NRC Accepts Application for Kairos Construction Permit

Source: NRC | Release | November 30, 2021 |

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has accepted for review an application from Kairos
Power for a permit to construct a test reactor at a site in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Kairos submitted
the first portion of the application on Sept. 29, and the remainder on Oct. 31.

The Kairos application seeks to build the company’s “Hermes” test reactor. The
35-megawatt, non-power reactor would use molten salt to cool the reactor core, providing
operational data to support development of a larger version meant for a commercial nuclear power
plant. The company will be required to submit a separate application for an operating license in the

Accepting the application for review, or “docketing,” does not indicate whether the
Commission will approve or reject the construction permit request. Additional information
regarding new reactor licensing and specific information on the review of the Hermes application is
available on the NRC website.

Beginning in March 2018, Kairos engaged in extensive pre-application activities with the
NRC staff to address key aspects of the Hermes design. Because of this constructive engagement,
the agency was able to establish a shortened review schedule of 21 months. Barring unforeseen
delays, the staff expects to complete its environmental and safety reviews by September 2023.

The NRC will soon publish in the Federal Register a notice of acceptance and docketing. A
future Federal Register notice will provide an opportunity to intervene in an adjudicatory hearing.