California-based Kairos Power, moving forward with development of a fluoride salt-cooled, high-temperature reactor (KP-FHR), said Tuesday it would work with Ohio-based chemical engineer firm Materion, to create a molten salt purification pant to produce coolant for future molten salt reactors.
The plant, designed by Kairos Power, will produce large quantities of high-purity fluoride salt coolant to be used in high-temperature molten salt reactors, a clean, affordable and safe nuclear energy solution with the potential to transform the global energy landscape,” the companies said.
Kairos Power’s fluoride salt-cooled high-temperature reactor (KP-FHR) technology is cooled by a mixture of lithium fluoride and beryllium fluoride salts known as “Flibe” which is chemically stable and operates at low pressure. This molten salt coolant will be used in Kairos Power’s Engineering Test Unit (ETU), and the Hermes demonstration reactor, as well as future commercial KP-FHR reactors.
Materion is a supplier of beryllium fluoride for MSPP and contributes requisite expertise staffing and operating the plant. The decision to locate MSPP at Materion’s Elmore facility reinforces a long-term, strategic commitment by both companies to demonstrate leadership in molten salt production.
By confirming the chemical process to produce Flibe at industrial scale, MSPP will help ensure the success of Kairos Power’s iterative hardware demonstrations, reducing risk in a critical path work stream for the commercialization of KP-FHR technology while delivering cost certainty.
“With MSPP we have scaled up a chemical process developed in Kairos Power’s Salt Lab to produce Flibe in large quantities with specifications that demonstrate our ability to deliver for ETU,” said Kairos Power Senior Director Alan Kruizenga. “We’ve established a plant and a working team that will scale as needed in the future,” he said.
Keith Smith, Vice President of Nuclear, Science & Government Affairs, Materion Corporation said the plant design and process has been in development for more than a year. “This is the largest Flibe production facility ever built and has the capacity to generate commercial quantities of the material,” he noted.
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