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Request for Information (RFI) on Deployable Reactor Technologies for Generating Power and Logistic Fuels

Solicitation Number: DARPA-SN-10-37
Agency: Other Defense Agencies
Office: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Location: Contracts Management Office
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Special Notice
Added: Mar 30, 2010 2:46 pm
Request for Information (RFI) on Deployable Reactor Technologies for Generating Power and Logistic Fuels


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Strategic Technology Office (STO) is requesting information on innovative technologies and approaches that may enable the development of deployable nuclear reactor technologies for the generation of electrical power and military logistic fuels (JP-8) in forward land based and maritime military operations.

Recent advances in high temperature materials science suggest that an investigation of compact, deployable nuclear reactor technologies may be timely. The goal would be to create a fieldable design that could be deployed to maritime and/or ground based forward operations to provide on-site power and fuel production capability in regions not connected to a robust grid and/or not easily accessible for fuel resupply. Preferred reactor designs would allow for several years of operation without refueling. Technical approaches to fuel production should accommodate a broad range of hydrogen and carbon feedstocks (water/seawater, biomass, waste materials, etc.). Concepts that involve carbon capture or sequestration should be well justified in terms of technical feasibility given known carbon concentrations in the proposed carrier stream.

DARPA/STO is interested in design concepts that are inherently safe (negative temperature coefficient), do not produce waste products which would contribute to proliferation problems, and which could be readily deployed for power generation and fuel production using available indigenous feedstocks.

Currently, electrical power generation in ground based forward operating bases is primarily provided by fuel burning generators. Delivering fuel to these bases can be a significant logistics challenge and may place military personnel and/or defense contractors at risk. For maritime applications the ability to recharge and refuel various Naval platforms could greatly extend mission range and duration. The goal of this RFI is to identify and preliminarily assess the feasibility of providing U.S. military forward operations an unprecedented self sufficiency in terms of electricity and mobility fuel production.

For the purposes of this RFI, DARPA/STO is interested in nuclear powered generator design concepts that produce both electricity and mobility fuel. The total energy output of the generator design should support an electrical load of 5 to 10 MW in addition to producing 15,000 gallons/day of fuel from indigenous hydrogen and carbon feedstocks. It may be assumed that the desired fuel end product is JP-8; however, responders should discuss the degree to which their fuel production technology could be used to produce other mobility fuels including gasoline and diesel fuels.


To respond to this RFI, interested parties should submit a cover sheet and abstract to include information outlined below. The cover sheet and abstract must be submitted by Friday, April 30, 2010 by 4:00 p.m. (Eastern) to the following email address:

Abstracts should briefly summarize the technical concepts and approaches within a single page, excluding figures, references and the cover page. No proprietary or classified information should be included in response to this RFI. Format specifications include 12 point font, single-spaced, single-sided, 8.5 by 11 inches paper, with 1-inch margins in either Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

1. Cover Page (1 page)



Respondent's technical and administrative points of contact (names, addresses, phones and fax numbers, and email addresses)

2. Abstract (2 pages)

Summarize technical concepts, associated technical challenges as well as approaches to address the enumerated technical challenges

Respondents are encouraged to be as succinct as possible while providing sufficient detail to adequately convey the technical concepts, challenges and approaches.


DARPA invites participation from all those engaged in related research activities and appreciates responses from all capable and qualified sources including, but not limited to, universities, university-affiliated research centers, federally-funded research centers, private or public companies and Government research laboratories.


This is an RFI issued solely for information and new program planning purposes. The RFI does not constitute a formal solicitation for proposals. In accordance with FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. Submission of an abstract is voluntary and is not required to propose to subsequent Broad Agency Announcements (if any) or research solicitations (if any) on this topic. DARPA will not provide reimbursement for costs incurred in responding to this RFI. NO PROPRIETARY OR CLASSIFIED INFORMATION SHALL BE INCLUDED IN THE RFI RESPONSE. Respondents are advised that DARPA is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted under this RFI. Response to the RFI is strictly voluntary. This RFI does not commit DARPA to be responsible for any cost associated in the generation of the responses.

Submissions may be reviewed by the Government personnel; Federally Funded R&D Centers; and support contractors to the Government.


Dr. Aaron Lazarus, STO Program Manager, DARPA


Contracting Office Address

3701 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, Virginia 22203-1714

Primary Point of Contact

RFI Coordinator


3701 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, Virginia 22203-1714
RFI Coordinator