Pebble-bed reactor demo project plannedS. Himmelstein | May 13, 2021
The U.S. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Kairos Power are collaborating on the construction of Kairos' Hermes low-power demonstration molten-salt cooled, pebble-bed reactor at the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Hermes is a demonstration version of Alameda, California-based Kairos Power's KP-FHR, a 140 MWe fluoride salt-cooled high temperature reactor using tri-structural isotropic fuel pebbles with a low-pressure fluoride salt coolant. The technology was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to receive cost-shared risk reduction funding over seven years under the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program. TVA will provide engineering, operations and licensing support for the project at the former uranium enrichment/gaseous diffusion plant site.
When operational, Hermes will generate 140 MWE at an operating temperature of 585° C using pebbles containing fuel enriched to 19.75%. Kairos Power projects this advanced reactor technology to be cost competitive with natural gas in the U.S. electricity market and to provide a long-term reduction in cost.