The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved a construction permit for a test reactor at Heritage Center industrial park in west Oak Ridge. The NRC decision was announced Tuesday, and construction could start next year.
The 35-megawatt thermal Hermes demonstration reactor would be built by Kairos Power, which has headquarters in Alameda, California, and a Tennessee operation in Oak Ridge.
Hermes would use molten salt to cool its reactor core. It would not generate electricity. Instead, it would provide operational data to support the development of a larger version for commercial power, the NRC said.
“A critical step on Kairos Power’s iterative pathway to commercializing its advanced reactor technology, the Hermes reactor will demonstrate the company’s ability to deliver clean, safe, and affordable nuclear heat,” the company said in a press release.[Read more…]