DOE inks $303M deal for advanced nuclear reactor

By Zach Bright | 02/23/2024 06:40 AM EST

Kairos Power said the funding will give a boost to a demonstration project in Tennessee.

Department of Energy headquarters in Washington.

Department of Energy headquarters in Washington. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The Department of Energy has signed an agreement with a nuclear technology company to provide up to $303 million for designing, building and commissioning a Tennessee test reactor.

Kairos Power said this week that DOE will pay Kairos in installments for its Hermes demonstration reactor in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The payments — set up through a technology investment agreement — will be based on milestones such as accomplishments in construction and applying to federal regulators for a future operating license.

The money would be a shot in the arm for Kairos, a California-based company that got a green light from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in December to build the Hermes project — the first non-water-cooled reactor to be approved in the U.S. in more than half a century.
the first non-water-cooled reactor


Mike Laufer, Kairos’ co-founder and CEO, said in a statement that the new agreement “provides real benefits to both Kairos Power and DOE to ensure the successful completion of the Hermes reactor“ and “incentivizes efficiency, drives performance, and establishes credibility to deliver.”