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Portable Nuclear Reactors: Power for our Planet & Beyond

02/18/2021 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm MST

Please join Café Scientifique-New Mexico for our upcoming café featuring Mikeala Blood, R&D nuclear engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory under the civilian microreactor program. Hosted via Zoom Webinar.



Imagine a technology delivered by truck or plane that generates enough energy to power a small town for at least 10 years without needing refueling and without emitting greenhouse gases. It’s capable of immediate delivery to hospitals suffering power outage, to rural towns in developing nations, and even disaster areas to aid emergency response and hasten infrastructure recovery. It could be a backup system for homeland military bases, ensuring that our military can protect us in the event of an intentional electrical grid sabotage. It could save soldiers’ lives by eliminating dangerous convoy deliveries of fossil fuel to remote bases in hostile regions.

A group of engineers at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is making this a reality by modifying a tested power technology originally designed for deep space exploration.

KiloPower is a safe, compact, autonomous nuclear reactor for powering deep space missions, lunar outposts, and eventually Mars colonization. The first of its kind in over 50 years, the technology will enable missions currently not feasible due to power generation limitations. KiloPower is catalyzing a new paradigm in space exploration, while sparking promise of isolated power generation on Earth.


Mikaela Blood aspired to be an artist from a young age. She was a professional fine arts painter after graduating high school. Upon attending community college to pursue an art degree, she took some math and science courses out of curiosity. Her was passion swiftly redirected to physics and space studies.

Through further academic exploration, she discovered that she wanted to focus her career on advancing nuclear energy technology because she believes it is the key to combating climate change on Earth, as well as the enabler for getting humans to Mars.

Mikaela holds a BS in Radiation Physics and MS in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Her graduate research focused on experimental nuclear forensics techniques for detection of underground clandestine nuclear events. Mikaela is now a nuclear R&D engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory under the civilian microreactor program.

She works closely with NASA and other national labs in the design and development self-regulating space reactors. Concurrently she works on advancing the high-fidelity multi-physics computational modeling methodology used to design and analyze these special purpose microreactors.


6:00 pm - 7:00 pm MST
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