The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will conduct a mandatory hearing on October 19 regarding Kairos Power’s application for a construction permit to build a Hermes nonpower test reactor in Oak Ridge, Tenn. This hearing marks the final step in the agency’s review of the application.
About the meeting: The NRC’s hearing will include testimony and exhibits from the applicant, as well as commission staff, on the question of whether the staff’s review adequately supports the findings necessary to issue the permit. The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. (EDT) in the Commission Hearing Room at NRC Headquarters, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Md. The hearing will be open to public observation and will also be webcast. A detailed agenda and presentation slides will be available in advance on the NRC’s website.
Some history: Kairos submitted a two-part application to build the Hermes reactor in September and October 2021. Kairos is seeking a permit to build a 35-MWt reactor that would use molten salt to cool the reactor core. The test reactor, which will not generate electricity, is intended to provide operational data to support the development of a larger version for commercial power. The NRC would need to review and approve a future application from Kairos before an operating license for Hermes could be issued. The commission issued its final environmental impact statement for the site on August 17, a few months after it issued its final safety evaluation report for the permit on June 14.