The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said on 29 October it had received the first portion of a construction permit application from Kairos Power, which requests permission to build a test reactor at a site in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Kairos filed the application on 29 September, providing a preliminary safety analysis report for the company’s “Hermes” test reactor. The 35MW, 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, NRC said. The company will need to submit a separate application for an operating licence in the future.
NRC said it is reviewing this portion of the permit application to determine if it is complete and ready for processing. If the partial application is determined to be sufficient, the staff will docket it and begin a detailed technical review. The NRC understands Kairos plans to file the second portion of the Hermes application, an environmental report, in several weeks. That report will undergo a separate docketing acceptance review at that time. If the environmental report is accepted for review, the NRC will publish a notice of opportunity to request an adjudicatory hearing on the full application before the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board.
Photo: Artistic rendering of the Hermes low-power demonstration reactor (Credit: Kairos Power)