Inside the MARVEL micronuclear reactor project at Idaho National Lab


Nuclear reactors have a well-earned reputation for being massive construction projects that frequently run into cost overruns. Plus, once they are eventually constructed, monitoring and maintaining them takes a staff of dozens of trained experts.

But Yasir Arafat believes nuclear power doesn’t have to be this way.

Arafat is the technical lead of the microreactor project at one of the United States government’s preeminent nuclear research labs, Idaho National Lab, and in his role there, Arafat is leading the effort to build a tiny, relatively inexpensive nuclear reactor. It’s more of a nuclear battery, he says.

Arafat grew up in Bangladesh before coming to college in the United States, and…


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