Kairos Power

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Kirk Sorensen
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Kairos Power

Post by Kirk Sorensen » Dec 12, 2016 2:09 pm

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

Kurt Sellner
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Re: Kairos Power

Post by Kurt Sellner » Dec 12, 2016 9:47 pm

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?
Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.

E Ireland
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Re: Kairos Power

Post by E Ireland » Dec 13, 2016 8:09 am

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.

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Kirk Sorensen
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Re: Kairos Power

Post by Kirk Sorensen » Dec 13, 2016 9:34 am

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.

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Jim L.
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Re: Kairos Power

Post by Jim L. » Jan 25, 2017 3:36 pm

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

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Kirk Sorensen
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Re: Kairos Power

Post by Kirk Sorensen » Sep 28, 2017 2:13 pm

Kairos Power moves headquarters to Alameda Point hangar
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.

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Kirk Sorensen
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Re: Kairos Power

Post by Kirk Sorensen » Jul 25, 2018 9:00 am

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.

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Re: Kairos Power

Post by Asteroza » Jul 25, 2018 6:36 pm

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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Kirk Sorensen
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Re: Kairos Power

Post by Kirk Sorensen » Jan 30, 2019 11:38 am

Kairos – Developing advanced nuclear energy in Alameda

Rod Adams references this article written by the founders of Kairos Power, dating back to May 2014:

Nuclear Freeze: Why Nuclear Power Stalled -- and How to Restart It

jagdish
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Re: Kairos Power

Post by jagdish » Jan 30, 2019 8:41 pm

A metallic solid fuel could be electro refined for recycling using a molten salt electrolyte. I wonder if this has ever been given a thought to.

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