FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KAIROS POWER SIGNS AGREEMENT TO PRODUCE FUEL FOR HERMES AT LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY
ALAMEDA, Calif. – December 8, 2022 – Building on Kairos Power’s long-term collaboration with Los Alamos National Laboratory, the company has signed an agreement to produce TRISO fuel pebbles for the Hermes demonstration reactor at Los Alamos’ Low Enriched Fuel Fabrication Facility (LEFFF) in New Mexico. This synergistic partnership combines Kairos Power’s expertise in fuel manufacturing with the Laboratory’s facilities and capabilities to realize the first nuclear iteration in Kairos Power’s rapid iterative approach to nuclear fuel development.
The partnership with Los Alamos is facilitated by the Laboratory’s proximity to Kairos Power’s testing and manufacturing facility in Albuquerque, where engineers are working through non-nuclear iterations using surrogate materials to develop the manufacturing processes that will be implemented in the LEFFF. By expanding its work with Los Alamos to produce fuel for Hermes, Kairos Power is continuing its investment in New Mexico and leveraging the local research and development ecosystem to advance the company’s mission enabling the world’s transition to clean energy.
“Our team brings incredible expertise in graphite pebble and TRISO fuel development and manufacturing. The partnership with Los Alamos National Laboratory will be the catalyst for Kairos Power to build a credible path to manufacture fuel at industrial scale for KP-FHR technology starting with our Hermes demonstration reactor. At the Laboratory’s Low Enriched Fuel Fabrication Facility, Kairos Power employees and lab employees will work side-by-side to produce the fuel pebbles that are a critical path item for Hermes. I am proud of both teams’ commitment to collaborating in a public-private partnership to bring clean energy to market,” said Ed Blandford, Kairos Power Chief Technology Officer.
“The iterative prototyping and innovation happening in Kairos Power’s Pebble Development Lab and our soon-to-be-commissioned TRISO Development Lab will be integral to our work with Los Alamos National Laboratory. With these early iterations, we are optimizing our processes and learning valuable lessons that will carry forward into our nuclear fuel program. We are thrilled to be partnering with Los Alamos to help bring Hermes to life,” said Micah Hackett, Kairos Power Senior Director of Fuels and Materials.
The Hermes demonstration reactor, an iteration of Kairos Power’s fluoride salt-cooled high-temperature reactor (KP-FHR), represents a key milestone in the company’s iterative pathway to commercial deployment of advanced fission technology. Hermes will prove Kairos Power’s ability to deliver low-cost nuclear heat, demonstrate complete nuclear systems, facilitate licensing and construction certainty, and advance manufacturing capabilities for critical components including fuel.
Manufacturing fuel for Hermes in partnership with Los Alamos National Laboratory will allow Kairos Power to better control product quality, schedule, and cost, and yield experience that will inform future iterations in its nuclear fuel development program. The investment Kairos Power is making in the LEFFF aligns with the company’s vertical integration strategy to build a robust and reliable supply chain that will be key to delivering cost certainty for its future commercial products.
“The Hermes reactor is an important step on the path toward a clean energy transition, and Los Alamos is excited to partner with Kairos Power to fabricate fuel for Hermes,” said Kim Scott, Acting Associate Laboratory Director for Physical Sciences. “The LEFFF facility builds upon a long history of safely operating nuclear facilities at the Laboratory and fills a need in producing intermediate quantities of nuclear fuel for reactor demonstrations. Not only does LEFFF build upon our longstanding nuclear fuel research, but Kairos Power utilizing LEFFF to produce Hermes fuel is consistent with our energy security mission. We are enthusiastic about supporting our New Mexico neighbors in this endeavor.”
“We are excited to announce our first partner for the Low Enriched Fuel Fabrication Facility at Los Alamos, Kairos Power,” said Timothy Coons, Los Alamos National Laboratory LEFFF Team Leader. “Los Alamos’ commitment to establishing this facility aligns with the strategic goals of the lab. The facility is a critical tool for the nation to mature fuel technology for the advancement of clean energy. LEFFF’s mission is to provide the necessary utilities and authorization basis for a multi-disciplinary set of customers to mature and accelerate their fuel needs. This first partnership between LEFFF and Kairos Power demonstrates the commitment of both organizations to accelerate advanced clean energy solutions.”
About Kairos Power
Kairos Power is a mission-driven nuclear technology, engineering and manufacturing company singularly focused on commercializing the fluoride salt-cooled, high-temperature reactor (KP-FHR) – a clean source of carbon-free energy that can be deployed with robust safety at an affordable cost. Founded in 2016, the company is unique in applying a rapid iterative development approach supported by a vertical integration strategy to bring advanced reactor technology to market. The Construction Permit Application for Kairos Power’s Hermes demonstration reactor is currently undergoing formal review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission following extensive pre-application engagement. Kairos Power’s mission is to enable the world’s transition to clean energy with the ultimate goal of dramatically improving people’s quality of life while protecting the environment. Learn more at kairospower.com.
About Los Alamos National Laboratory
Located in northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. The Laboratory’s Low Enriched Fuel Fabrication Facility is a multi-disciplinary customer user facility designed to support multiple nuclear fuel development campaigns, of which Kairos Power’s will be the first.