Kairos Power Selects East Tennessee Technology Park for Hermes Low-Power Demonstration Reactor

Kairos Power has chosen East Tennessee Technology Park as the site for a low-power demonstration reactor to support development of Kairos Power’s fluoride salt-cooled, high-temperature reactor (KP-FHR) technology. In the coming years, we plan to invest $100 million and create more than 55 high-paying jobs in Tennessee.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Kairos Power do?

Growing from a broad research effort at U.S. universities and national laboratories, Kairos Power was founded to accelerate the development of a clean, safe, and affordable advanced reactor technology that has the potential to transform the energy landscape in the United States and around the world.


In order to achieve the scale of cost reductions necessary to make advanced reactors competitive with fossil fuels, Kairos Power is singularly focused on the development of a safe and affordable source of energy that will be able to scale to meet the increasing need for dispatchable clean energy. Kairos is currently doing the engineering, manufacturing, and testing necessary to prove that our advanced reactor technology works and can be delivered at the target costs.

What is Kairos Power building in Tennessee?

Kairos Power plans to build and operate the Hermes low-power demonstration reactor in Oak Ridge to demonstrate our capability to deliver clean, safe, and affordable nuclear heat. Hermes will be designed to achieve a thermal power level of 35 MWth, compared to 320 MWth for Kairos Power’s future commercial reactors. The construction and operation of Hermes is a key step on our path to commercialize the Kairos Power Fluoride Salt-Cooled High-Temperature Reactor (KP-FHR) and to achieve our mission to enable the world’s transition to clean energy.


The construction and operation of Hermes will be licensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to ensure that the health and safety of the plant staff and the public is protected.

Where will the Hermes reactor be located?

The Hermes reactor will be built in Oak Ridge at the former site of the K-33 gaseous diffusion enrichment plant in the East Tennessee Technology Park.

When will Hermes be built?

The current target schedule for Hermes is to start construction in 2023 and to have the reactor operational in 2026.

Who will own and operate Hermes?

Kairos Power will be the owner and operator of the Hermes reactor.

Who is paying for Hermes?

Kairos Power is responsible for all costs associated with the construction, operation, and future decommissioning of Hermes. To date, Kairos Power has been nearly exclusively funded through private investment.


In support of the effort to construct and commission Hermes, Kairos Power was selected by the Department of Energy in December 2020 to receive an investment of up to $303 million over seven years. This funding will also support work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory aligned with the Hermes reactor deployment.

Why Tennessee?

The location of Oak Ridge, Tennessee was chosen based on the unique combination of regional workforce capabilities, proximity to highly capable local collaborators, such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Tennessee Valley Authority, and the infrastructure and characterization data available for the selected site. Tennessee has played an important role in nuclear technology development and Kairos Power looks forward to building on this legacy to enable the next generation of clean, safe, and affordable advanced reactors for the U.S. energy markets and around the world.