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Crapo Leads Colleagues in Expressing Support for Important INL Project

Washington, D.C--U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) led a bipartisan group of colleagues in sending a letter to the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment at the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Dr. William A. LaPlante seeking answers regarding the implementation timeline and expressing support for Project Pele, a mobile micro nuclear reactor pilot program on schedule for deployment to the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) by 2025.

Crapo is joined on the letter by U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mark Warner (D-Virginia), Ted Budd (R-North Carolina) and JD Vance (R-Ohio).

“As strong supporters of our military’s nuclear capabilities, we write today to express our support for Project Pele.  Given the projected increase in battlefield energy usage, it is imperative that the Department of Defense (DOD) continues its support for Project Pele while also taking the necessary steps to ensure this new technology can be seamlessly integrated as soon as feasible,” the Senators wrote.    

“Project Pele was launched by the DOD in response to findings by the Defense Science Board (DSB) that projected a significant increase in battlefield energy usage.  The DSB also indicated that the intermittent character of alternative energy sources could likely not keep pace with the DOD’s energy needs.  This is of particular concern for remote sites in Alaska, the Arctic, and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) area of responsibility, all of which are currently dependent on traditional fuel sources to meet their energy needs.  In addition, this capability will be crucial for other federal facilities and critical infrastructure including the intelligence community, the Department of Energy, national laboratories, data centers, hospitals, and other facilities that require uninterrupted power sources,” the Senators continued.

Read the full letter HERE.