The U.S. Department of Energy put out the formal request to create what it calls a fission surface power grid that would allow humans to measure for long periods in harsh space environments.
The Idaho National Laboratory, a nuclear research center in eastern Idaho, the Department of Energy and NASA will evaluate the ideas for developing the reactor.
The lab has been leading the way within the U.S. on advanced reactors, a number of them micro reactors et al. which will operate without water for cooling. Water-cooled nuclear reactors are the overwhelming majority of reactors on Earth.
The plan has two phases. the primary is developing a reactor design. The second is building a test reactor, a second reactor be sent to the moon, and developing a flight system and lander which will transport the reactor to the moon. The goal is to possess a reactor, flight system and lander able to pass the top of 2026.
The typical U.S. residential home, consistent with the U.S. Energy Information Administration, uses about 11,000 kilowatt-hours per annum . The Department of Energy said it might likely take multiple linked reactors to satisfy power needs on the moon or Mars.