Energy Alternatives for Defense Operations
In this research course, students will explore options to provide energy at U.S. military forward operating bases. The Pentagon has requested proposals for a small, mobile nuclear reactor. Students will compare the pros and cons of this option with non-nuclear alternatives, such as diesel and renewables. Criteria of comparative assessment will include: Costs – for construction and operation of the power plant. Logistics – for delivery of the power plant and fuel, including risks during transport. Vulnerability – of the plant to attack, including potential consequences of an attack and the costs of defensive measures against attack. During the first few weeks, the course will comprise assigned readings, guest lectures, in-class discussions, and an exam. Meanwhile, students will be assigned (either solo or in small groups) to research and write a paper on one of the energy options, based on the above criteria. Students will submit a draft paper, and after receiving feedback from the professor will revise and resubmit. The professor will then compile the findings into a final report. Grades will be based on: class participation, exam, and research paper.