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Interview with Kairos Power's Dr. Nicolas Zweibaum: Making Nuclear Energy Cost Competitive

Jul 30, 2020 3:07:56 PM Published by JKI Leave a comment

In this interview, we talked to Dr. Nicolas Zweibaum, Sr Manager of Engineering Testing at Kairos Power. Nico was the first employee at Kairos back in 2017 and has been instrumental in growing the company and leading the Engineering efforts.

Kairos Power is a nuclear engineering startup building an advanced nuclear reactor using an agile approach. Kairos's design promises to provide a clean, affordable and safe energy solution. JKI has been working with Kairos for more than 2 years and it is impressive to see how they apply an iterative (agile) methodology to the design of such a complex system.


It was a pleasure talking to Nico and learning more about their technology and how they see it playing a vital role in the transition to clean energy sources. Some of the topics we discussed with Nico were:

  • What does Kairos Power do? (0:20)
  • The role of engineering testing (1:40)
  • Validation testing of a nuclear reactor (4:24)
  • Developing and testing modular components (5:42)
  • Agile methodologies applied to the nuclear energy industry (7:28)
    • Competing with natural gas
    • Cost and safety
  • What's different about Kairos' technology? (9:15)
  • What's Kairos' business model?  (14:20)
  • The collaboration between JKI and Kairos Power (15:15)
  • Using Python as the scripting language to accelerate development (20:20)
  • Helping Kairos' test team become self sufficient  (23:40)
  • Nico's experience as Kairos' first employee and growing the team to 140+ (26:20)
  • Nico's career path from France to UC Berkeley's nuclear program to Kairos Power (29:07)
  • Nico's take on the future of power generation in the US (31:20)
  • Nico's advice for people wanting to start a career in the nuclear energy industry  (33:00)


We hope you enjoy this interview and you can read our full case study with Kairos Power using the link below :)


Kairos Power Case Study


Tags: energy, LabVIEW, Interview, startup, nuclear, clean energy

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