Advanced Manufacturing of Embedded Heat Pipe Nuclear Hybrid Reactor

Default ARPA-E Project Image

OPEN 2018
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Project Term:
04/25/2019 - 08/31/2024

Technology Description:

Los Alamos National Laboratory will develop a scalable, compact, high-temperature, heat pipe reactor (HPR) to provide heat and electricity to remote areas. A 15MWth HPR could be built on-site in less than a month and self-regulate its power to plug into microgrids. The team will use high temperature materials via advanced manufacturing to reduce costs, and further cost reduction will be achieved from novel sensors embedded in the reactor core for continuous monitoring, reducing the number of operational staff needed.

Potential Impact:

All the internals of the reactor system, including the reactor core structures, the reflector, radiation shields, and heat exchangers, could be constructed of controlled expansion ceramics that possess superior neutronic and thermal properties.


The HPR will be developed to meet energy needs at remote locations (e.g., mining), decentralized microgrids (e.g., remote towns in Alaska), and niche applications in centralized grids (e.g., replacing diesel generators at light water reactors).


Nuclear power has low life-cycle emissions, making it a key source of clean electricity.


Pre-fabricated ceramic components can be pieced together into a single block, which considerably reduces fabrication and installation costs and improves safety.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Robert Ledoux
Project Contact:
Topher Matthews
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


University of Rochester
University of Pittsburgh
Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
Idaho National Laboratory

Related Projects

Release Date: