NRC Accepts Application for Kairos Construction Permit
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 future.
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.