Kairos makes list of 100 most promising cleantech companies

January 13, 2023, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Kairos Power, an Alameda, Calif.–based advanced reactor developer, announced yesterday that it has been named to Cleantech Group’s list of the 100 most innovative and promising private companies in the cleantech sector for 2023. Cleantech Group is a research and consulting services firm headquartered in San Francisco.

The “Energy & Power” section of Global Cleantech 100—From Commitments to Actions: The Sprint to Net Zero is On contains 37 companies from nine countries, with 21 companies from the United States. Kairos is the only reactor developer on the 2023 list. (Last year’s roster also included one reactor developer—Portland, Ore.’s NuScale Power.)

Acceptance speech: “Kairos Power is honored to be named to the Cleantech 100 list and join other innovators in tackling deep decarbonization,” said Mike Laufer, Kairos’s cofounder and chief executive officer. “At Kairos Power, we are taking a novel approach to nuclear development to achieve significant cost reductions and true cost certainty so advanced reactors can play a vital role in the fight against climate change. We believe that the next decade will be pivotal to deploying affordable, safe, and reliable nuclear energy in combination with renewables to realize the decarbonized grid of the future.”

The competition: According to Cleantech Group, sources for list nominations included the firm’s expert panel, i3 research portal, and staff, as well as the public and third-party awards. A total of 15,753 companies were initially nominated, representing more than 93 countries. Those companies were weighted and scored to create a short list of 330 companies that were then reviewed by the 81 members of Cleantech Group’s expert panel.

Background: Founded in 2016, Kairos describes itself as “a mission-driven nuclear technology, engineering, and manufacturing company singularly focused on commercializing the fluoride salt–cooled, high-temperature reactor,” aka the KP-FHR.

A major step toward that goal is for Kairos to first deploy a scaled-down version of the KP-FHR called Hermes, a 35-MWt nonpower reactor intended to demonstrate complete nuclear systems, advance Kairos’s manufacturing capabilities for critical components, test the supply chain, and facilitate licensing certainty for the KP-FHR. Kairos expects Hermes to be operational in 2026 at Oak Ridge, Tenn., and to lead to the development of a commercial-scale KP-FHR reactor, which the company is calling KP-X.

The construction permit application for Hermes is currently undergoing formal review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, following extensive preapplication engagement by Kairos.

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