Source: World Nuclear News | October 5, 2021

A rendering of the Hermes demonstration plant at Oak Ridge (Image: Kairos Power)

US company Kairos Power has submitted the preliminary safety analysis report (PSAR) for its fluoride salt-cooled, high-temperature reactor (KP-FHR) to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) as part of its application for a construction permit for the Hermes low-power demonstration reactor, which is to be built in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

The KP-FHR is described by Alameda, California-headquartered Kairos as a novel advanced reactor technology that leverages TRISO fuel in pebble form combined with a low-pressure fluoride salt coolant. The Hermes unit, designed to achieve a thermal power level of 35 MWt, will not generate electricity but will demonstrate the technology’s capability to deliver low-cost nuclear heat and is part of a “rapid iterative development” approach which the company says will help to mitigate technical, licensing, manufacturing and construction risk while establishing cost certainty on the pathway to commercial deployment of the KP-FHR. It is aiming for Hermes to be operational in 2026.

“It is both thrilling and humbling to embark on this new phase of development and demonstration for the technology on which our company is singularly focused,” said Kairos Power CEO and co-founder Mike Laufer. “We look forward to working with the NRC staff, State of Tennessee and City of Oak Ridge to build Hermes, demonstrating our ability to deliver safe and affordable nuclear heat.”

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