Skip to main content

Meanwhile at DARPA: Nuclear Reactor Powered by Human Waste in the Works

DARPA, the advanced military research unit within the U.S. government that’s used its heavy funding to tinker with telepathic spies, cyborg moths, and immortal synthetic organisms — and which, of course, played a big part in inventing the Internet — is at it again: Now, they’re working on developing portable nuclear reactors powered by human waste.

Wired’s Danger Room reports:

It’s no surprise that Darpa, the military’s risk-taking research agency, is behind this one. They’re requesting information on approaches to developing portable nuclear reactors that could generate electricity and fuel for land and water-based operations. And they want the systems to be sustainable for “several years” in off-the-grid locales. That means “indigenous feedstocks” are the preferred fuel source. What could be more indigenous, Darpa asks, than human waste?

So Darpa’s proposal would offer two major benefits: Less waste to treat and dispose of at bases, and fewer financial and tactical burdens around sourcing adequate fuel — whether to power jets and facilities or burn off heaps of odorous fecal matter. And with a single trooper stationed in Afghanistan using 22 gallons of fuel a day, that’d add up to major savings.

Counterpoint that is so obvious it hardly needs to be brought up: the smell, the smell, the smell, the smell. Though this is coming from the same agency that once poked around with identifying terrorists by their unique body odors, so that may not be a deterrent…

(Danger Room via Neatorama. image via Cynical-C.)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue: