TVA, Kairos Power to collaborate on low-power demonstration reactor

May 11, 2021

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
May 11, 2021

The Tennessee Valley Authority and Kairos Power recently announced plans to collaborate on deploying a low-power demonstration reactor at the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

As part of this agreement, TVA will provide engineering, operations, and licensing support to help Kairos Power deploy its low-power demonstration reactor, named Hermes, TVA noted on May 6.

California-based Kairos Power states on its website that its fluoride salt-cooled high temperature reactor is a novel advanced reactor technology that aims to be cost competitive with natural gas in the U.S. electricity market and to provide a long-term reduction in cost.

Kairos Power has chosen Albuquerque, N.M., as its home for a new engineering center to support the development of its advanced reactor technology. The facility will be located in Albuquerque’s Mesa del Sol master-planned community in an existing building on 32 acres of land for future expansion.

Jeff Lyash, President and CEO of TVA, discusses the Kairos Power news in an upcoming episode of the American Public Power Association’s Public Power Now podcast. Click here on Monday, May 17 to access the podcast episode.

TVA generates more than 40% of its electricity from nuclear power and has the third largest nuclear fleet in the U.S. 

In April 2020 it was disclosed that the University of Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley Authority had signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate the development of a new generation of cost-effective, advanced nuclear reactors, such as small modular reactors, at TVA’s 935-acre Clinch River Nuclear Site in Roane County.

TVA signed a similar agreement with Oak Ridge National Laboratory in February 2020 to explore advanced reactor designs as a next-generation nuclear technology with potential for improved safety and increased flexibility.

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