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December 11, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Kairos Power turns to Los Alamos Lab for TRISO fuel pebbles

The demonstration reactor will be built in Oak Ridge and be operational in Los Alamos in 2026.

An announcement late last week from Kairos Power appeared to surprise many in Oak Ridge.

Building on what was described as a long-term collaboration with Los Alamos National Laboratory, Kairos Power 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. The reactor itself will be built in Oak Ridge and is scheduled to be operational in 2026.

The agreement was described in this news release as building on a “synergistic partnership (that) combines Kairos Power’s expertise in fuel manufacturing with the (Los Alamos) Laboratory’s facilities and capabilities to realize the first nuclear iteration in Kairos Power’s rapid iterative approach to nuclear fuel development.”

The partnership was facilitated by the Los Alamos 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.