Saturday, October 6, 2018

Kairos Power

I somehow wasn't paying enough attention, and hadn't noticed this new arrival: Kairos Power moves headquarters to Alameda Point hangar

Kairos Power, a fast-growing East Bay company, is moving its headquarters from Oakland’s waterfront area to Alameda Point, agreeing to lease an old 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 Power will move into West Tower 9, a one-time hangar and manufacturing building constructed in the 1940s. The lease was arranged through Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial realty firm.

The building is undergoing a complete renovation ahead of the Kairos move into the old hangar.

The new building is to be both headquarters and laboratory: Nuclear Research Coming to Alameda

Kairos Power will be moving its headquarters from Oakland to this building. Kairos will occupy half the floor space that will include a newly built second floor being added by srmErnst to the interior. The research-and-development work will be done in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Kairos Power has apparently been underway here in the East Bay for several years, somewhat quietly: Kairos Power Is Hiring For Hybrid Natural Gas-Nuclear Power System

Their technology is a system whose major components and integration modeling has been under development for several years. The research, conducted mainly at the University of California, Berkely (UCB) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has led the developers to believe that a hybrid system that uses both nuclear fission heat and natural gas heat can be a clean, competitive source of dependable, flexible power.

The privately-held company's founders recognize that too much exposure too early can result in inflated expectations. They are experienced enough to know that nothing moves very fast in the energy industry, especially in the nuclear segment of the industry.

They have a nice, if brief, web site: Kairos Power: The Future of Nuclear Power The About Us page makes an interesting observation:

Kairos Power has identified a unique moment in our energy landscape. The unprecedented growth in natural gas generation, initiated around 2000, will begin retiring in the next two decades. Kairos Power’s highly efficient and flexible reactor technology, through its baseload and peaking operation, is uniquely suited to replace U.S. natural gas capacity while accommodating the expansion of intermittent renewable sources. Growing from a broad research effort at U.S. universities and national laboratories, Kairos Power was founded to accelerate the development of an innovative nuclear technology that has the potential to transform the energy landscape in the United States.

It's all part of the ongoing transformation of the Alameda Naval Air Station, a decades-long effort that is nicely summarized here: Urbanizing a Former Naval Air Station in San Francisco Bay

Over 556 acres (225 ha) of land remains to be redeveloped on Alameda Point west of Main Street. The city has divided that land into four subareas: a waterfront town center neighborhood surrounding the southern seaplane lagoon; a Main Street neighborhood for a mixture of housing types with supportive services; an adaptive use subarea that contains over 2 million square feet (186,000 sq m) of existing buildings; and an enterprise subarea for research, industrial, and office development.

I'm a little surprised there hasn't been more discussion and controversy around the notion of nuclear power research here in town.

On the other hand, I'm a pretty big fan of research, and I'm not sure I can see the downside of having a bunch of PhD's out on the old Navy Base thinking about how to make safe and effective power sources for the future.

I'll keep my eyes open for more news as it develops, but in the meantime: welcome, Kairos Power!

No comments:

Post a Comment