Our History, Our Vision
Kairos Power seeks to combine existing technologies in new and novel ways. Writing in Foreign Affairs in 2014, the founders of Kairos Power described the deficit in nuclear energy technology innovation that has slowed progress in nuclear energy over the last six decades and stalled the growth of U.S. nuclear generation.
Kairos Power has identified a unique moment in our energy landscape. The unprecedented growth in natural gas generation, initiated around 2000, will begin retiring in the next two decades. Kairos Power’s highly efficient and flexible reactor technology, through its baseload and peaking operation, is uniquely suited to replace U.S. natural gas capacity while accommodating the expansion of intermittent renewable sources. Growing from a broad research effort at U.S. universities and national laboratories, Kairos Power was founded to accelerate the development of an innovative nuclear technology that has the potential to transform the energy landscape in the United States.
Kairos Power has secured private funding for major design, licensing and technology development programs through 2020. In this time frame, Kairos Power is focused on reducing technical risk through a novel approach to test iteration often lacking in the nuclear space. Our schedule is driven by the goal of a U.S. demonstration plant before 2030 and a rapid deployment thereafter. The challenge is great, but so too is the opportunity.
Dr. Michael Laufer is the Chief Executive Officer for Kairos Power and is responsible for high level strategy and operations within the company. Prior to co-founding Kairos Power, Dr. Laufer was a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley where his research included work in reactor safety, design, licensing, and code validation for advanced non-light water reactors. His technical expertise includes experimental and discrete-element simulation methods for granular flows relevant to pebble-bed nuclear reactors. Dr. Laufer has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with Honors in International Security Studies from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from UC Berkeley.
Dr. Edward Blandford is the Chief Technology Officer for Kairos Power. He is currently on leave from the University of New Mexico where he is an assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering. He is responsible for technology development and licensing at Kairos Power. Prior to the University of New Mexico, he was a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. He also worked for several years as a project manager at the Electric Power Research Institute focusing on steam generator thermal-hydraulics and material degradation management. Dr. Blandford has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from UC Berkeley.
Dr. Per Peterson is a consultant and Senior Technical Advisor for Kairos Power. He holds the William and Jean McCallum Floyd Chair in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley. He is an expert in topics related to high-temperature fission energy systems, safety and security of nuclear materials, and waste management. As a member of the Evaluation Methodology Group, he participated in the development of the Gen IV Roadmap while serving as co-chair for the Proliferation Resistance and Physical Protection Working Group. His research has contributed to the development of the passive safety systems used in the GE ESBWR and Westinghouse AP1000 reactor designs. With Charles Forsberg and Paul Pickard, in 2003 he proposed the FHR concept of a molten-salt cooled, solid fueled reactor.