Kairos is making progress on building, too. The corporate obtained approval in December from the NRC to construct Hermes-1, its first nuclear check reactor. Hermes-1 will produce about 35 megawatts of thermal energy (immediately’s business reactors sometimes produce round 1,000 megawatts of electrical energy). It’s deliberate for completion as quickly as 2026.
A number of different corporations are additionally utilizing molten salt or TRISO gasoline of their superior nuclear designs. X-energy, primarily based in Maryland, is creating a gas-cooled reactor that makes use of TRISO gasoline, and TerraPower and GE Hitachi Nuclear Power are creating a sodium-cooled reactor that makes use of molten salt to retailer power.
There’s nonetheless an extended street forward earlier than Kairos’s design and different superior reactors could make it onto the grid. The corporate plans to construct no less than two extra large-scale check cooling methods earlier than placing the items collectively for Hermes-1, Blandford says.
The corporate can even have to win an working license for Hermes-1, the second of two main regulatory steps it’ll undergo with the NRC. Subsequent comes Hermes-2, which can embody two reactors which might be comparable in scale and design to Hermes-1, plus a system to rework the warmth generated into electrical energy. Lastly, the corporate will transfer on to bigger, commercial-scale reactors.
All of that can take a while, however Kairos and others really feel the outcome will probably be price it. “With our know-how, it’s distinctive,” Blandford says, “and it does open up distinctive alternatives to discover areas that different applied sciences haven’t.”