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Kairos Power
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Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Dec 12, 2016 2:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Kairos Power

A new company has started that appears to be devoted to the salt-cooled, solid-fueled reactor approach. It is called "Kairos Power." Three of their representatives are at the GAIN/EPRI Modeling and Simulation Workshop that I am attending right now at NEI in Washington, DC.

Per Peterson tells me that they don't have their website up yet but that it will be:

Kairos Power

Author:  Kurt Sellner [ Dec 12, 2016 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kairos Power

An interesting development and something I'll look for in the future. A couple questions come to mind, since this is a forum on using thorium for energy. Was there any mention of this solid fuel reactor using thorium/U-233 as a potential fuel? Would this reactor be capable of breeding thorium into U-233? Or just generally, what kind of fuel do they intend to use? Is it thermal, fast, somewhere in between? I don't expect anyone here to have all the answers but that's likely the first questions that would come to mind for many.

Another set of questions that I ponder is why consider solid fuel? Don't they know the superiority of molten fuels? Cooling with salts avoids a lot of issues that we see in many currently operating nuclear reactors, such as the threat of water flash boiling explosively. It also retains the issues of solid fuel being potentially damaged by heat, radiation, earthquakes, etc.

I guess I'll just have to wait impatiently for Kairos Power to answer my questions.

Oh, one more thing, does the name of the company have some significance?

Author:  E Ireland [ Dec 13, 2016 8:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kairos Power

Having fuel that will stay in the vessel in most accidents simplifies the design of the reactor considerably though.
Coated particle fuels and the like have such enormous margins to fuel damage that keeping these salt cooled reactors cool is much easier than you might think.

I even saw one proposal to use vessel insulation that would melt above the normal operating temperature but below the point of coolant boiling so the vessel would de-insulate itself in a station blackout accident.

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Dec 13, 2016 9:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kairos Power

In a thermal-spectrum, uranium-fueled system, a solid-fueled system will likely outperform a liquid-fueled system because there will not be any fuel mixing and fuel pebbles can be discharged at enrichment levels below the average enrichment of the reactor.

These would be examples of a "Stage 1" reactor.

LFTRs running on plutonium or U-233 would be examples of Stage 2 and Stage 3 reactors, and in these stages liquid-fueled systems would have superior performance.

Update: Per Peterson just confirmed to me that their design at Kairos is pebble-fueled rather than prismatic-fueled.

Author:  Jim L. [ Jan 25, 2017 3:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kairos Power

The website is now up, but not much info on it yet.

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Sep 28, 2017 2:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kairos Power

Kairos Power moves headquarters to Alameda Point hangar

Quote:
The nuclear energy technology company agreed to lease 56,000 square feet at Alameda Point, the site of the shuttered former Alameda Naval Air Station. Kairos at present is leasing about 5,000 square feet at 580 Second St. in Oakland, a couple of blocks from the East Bay city’s waterfront. The new offices are being configured to accommodate 150 employees, Anderson said. Kairos at present has about 25 workers, Anderson estimated.

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Jul 25, 2018 9:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kairos Power

Kairos CEO Mike Laufer is the youngest son of billionaire hedge-fund manager Henry Laufer.

Funding will probably not be an issue at Kairos for the foreseeable future. I am told they now have over 50 employees.

I've also learned that they are no longer pursuing the open-cycle heated air gas turbine approach promoted by Charles Forsberg, but have reverted to a more typical steam turbine power conversion system.

I've also learned that they have inserted a nitrate salt intermediate heat transfer loop between the FLiBe coolant salt loop and the steam turbine, likely for imoroved tritium capture and greater temperature compatibility with the steam turbine.

Author:  Asteroza [ Jul 25, 2018 6:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kairos Power

Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Kairos CEO Mike Laufer is the youngest son of billionaire hedge-fund manager Henry Laufer.

Funding will probably not be an issue at Kairos for the foreseeable future. I am told they now have over 50 employees.

I've also learned that they are no longer pursuing the open-cycle heated air gas turbine approach promoted by Charles Forsberg, but have reverted to a more typical steam turbine power conversion system.

I've also learned that they have inserted a nitrate salt intermediate heat transfer loop between the FLiBe coolant salt loop and the steam turbine, likely for imoroved tritium capture and greater temperature compatibility with the steam turbine.


I can see first of a kind issues for NACC/NACC-FIRES for the power island, but not even trying for supercritical CO2 suggests they are so constrained by reactor development issues that they can't spend too much time on the power island?

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