Press Release, June 24, 2019

Deep Isolation Announces Memorandum of Agreement with Bechtel

Berkeley, CA – Deep Isolation, Inc., a leading innovator in nuclear waste disposal solutions, and Bechtel National, Inc., part of the largest engineering and construction company in the U.S., have announced a cooperative agreement on sales, product development, and the deployment of Deep Isolation’s patented technology.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) strengthens the relationship between Deep Isolation and Bechtel that has been built over the past year. 

Elizabeth Muller, CEO of Deep Isolation, notes, “Bechtel was the first major industry player that understood the significance of what Deep Isolation is doing. They appreciate the importance of innovation and urgency in solving the nuclear waste problem. We are excited that this MOA will solidify our existing relationship and lead to new opportunities for us to explore together.”

Under this agreement, Bechtel will provide support such as project management, financial/business and engineering capability for Deep Isolation’s sales in both domestic and international markets, including those with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Deep Isolation will provide options to support Bechtel’s cleanup work at federal government sites around the country. Deep Isolation could also be a key player in Bechtel’s decommissioning contracts at commercial nuclear power plants in the U.S. and worldwide.  

James Taylor, general manager of Bechtel’s Environmental business line, said, “Deep geologic disposal is the scientific consensus for permanently removing and disposing used nuclear fuel and high-level waste from their current locations around the country. We have long-term expertise in design, engineering and licensing, as well as the boots-on-the-ground experience with the everyday challenges of cleaning up radioactive waste. Bechtel is proud to support such an innovative technology that offers an alternative solution for safe, retrievable disposal of used nuclear fuel and high-level waste.”

Globally, there are roughly 450,000 metric tons of nuclear waste that have accumulated, and there is currently no operating disposal solution for commercial used nuclear fuel or high-level waste. Implementing a state-of-the-art technical solution, which is the goal of the MOA, would address one component of the challenge. 

Another major challenge for nuclear waste disposal is locating an acceptable site. Deep Isolation is prepared and looks forward to engaging with local communities and stakeholders to create an opportunity that is beneficial to all. Deep Isolation believes that genuine partnerships for collaborative problem solving are the means to success. “Because we are talking to stakeholders early, we are able to incorporate their feedback and suggestions into our plans. We believe in early engagement, genuine listening and honest transparency. We are committed to these values even as our company grows and we develop partnerships for delivery,” states Muller.

The MOA with Bechtel will help build capability for Deep Isolation to deliver its solution in countries that are interested in a deep horizontal drillhole disposal option. “We have the horsepower of Bechtel behind us. Deep Isolation is now well positioned to deploy its solution globally,” says Rod Baltzer, COO of Deep Isolation.


About Deep Isolation

Berkeley-based Deep Isolation is a leading innovator in nuclear waste disposal. Founded through a passion for environmental stewardship, scientific ingenuity and entrepreneurship, Deep Isolation has developed a patented solution using directional drilling in order to safely secure nuclear waste deep underground.

About Bechtel

Headquartered in Virginia, Bechtel is a global engineering, construction and project management company that has worked with industry and governments worldwide to deliver more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries. It serves the infrastructure; nuclear, security & environmental; oil, gas & chemicals; and mining & metals markets. Bechtel led the scientific characterization, engineering and licensing efforts for the U.S. Department of Energy’s national repository program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as well as completed the engineering and design of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, New Mexico for the disposal of defense-generated transuranic waste.

Press Contact
Zann Aeck

Deep Isolation, Inc.
2120 University Avenue, Ste. 623
Berkeley, CA 94704 USA

Press Release, April 15, 2019

Deep Isolation Publishes Technical Paper in Peer-Reviewed Journal Energies

Company will Present Multiple Papers at the 2019 International High-Level Radioactive Waste Management in Knoxville, Tennessee 

Berkeley, CA – Deep Isolation, a leading innovator in nuclear waste disposal solutions, announces the publication of its paper, “Thermal evolution near heat-generating nuclear waste canisters disposed in horizontal drillholes” in Energies, a peer-reviewed open-access journal of energy-related scientific research, technology development, engineering, and policy and management.  The paper was published February 13, 2019, and was written by hydrogeologist Stefan Finsterle, alongside Deep Isolation colleagues Richard A. Muller, Rod A. Baltzer, Joe Payer, and James W. Rector.

A second paper, “Corrosion performance of engineered barrier system in deep horizontal drillholes,” written by Joe Payer, corrosion and reliability engineer at Deep Isolation and chief scientist emeritus for the National Corrosion Center at the University of Akron, has also been accepted for peer review in Energies on April 11, 2019. Coauthors include Finsterle, Muller, and John Apps.

Deep Isolation will give presentations on thermal issues and waste disposal canister design that draw from these papers at the International High-Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference (IHLRWM 2019) taking place April 14-18, 2019 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Two other papers covering drillhole technology and stakeholder engagement will also be discussed at the conference.

 “Deep Isolation is bringing something new to the table. Our technology for horizontal drillhole disposal is sound and our community-based siting approach is groundbreaking,” says Rod Baltzer, Deep Isolation’s COO. “Our disposal solution can be customized for a country’s needs and specific waste inventory.” 

Richard Muller, the Chief Technology Officer, said, “We believe that deep disposal of high-level nuclear waste in horizontal drillholes addresses a multitude of issues that challenged previous approaches while offering a less expensive solution. Even though we are a private company, we believe that transparency and full engagement with the scientific community is essential to assure the safety of the public, and publication of these papers is a key step in that process.”

IHLWRM 2019 is an international forum attended by hundreds of the world’s most reputable scientists, all working on issues surrounding long-term storage and disposal. It attracts an international audience from over 70 countries. This year’s theme centers around consent-based processes with an emphasis on information sharing across multiple generations.

The following four papers will highlight major aspects of Deep Isolation’s solution to the global nuclear waste disposal challenge:

  • Nuclear Waste Facility Siting: Learning from Success and Failure; Monday, April 15, 2:20 p.m. 
  • Corrosion Resistant Alloy Canisters for Nuclear Waste Disposal in Horizontal Drillholes; Tuesday, April 16, 10:15 a.m. 
  • Numerical Evaluation of Thermal Effects from Nuclear Waste Disposed in Horizontal Drillholes; Wednesday, April 17, 9:25 a.m. 
  • Deep Isolation: Innovative Technology for the Storage and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and Other High-Level Waste; Thursday, April 18, 9:50 a.m. 

High-level waste such as spent nuclear fuel is currently stranded at points of generation in the U.S. and is waiting for permanent disposal. In the U.S., billions of taxpayer dollars have already been spent without yet obtaining a solution for nuclear waste. In addition, over 30 countries play host to a growing inventory of radioactive waste that is also waiting for disposal. Deep Isolation offers a global solution that provides a deep horizontal drillhole repository that could be near or at the point of waste generation, which would reduce the need for long-haul transportation.


About Deep Isolation 
Berkeley-based Deep Isolation is a leading innovator in nuclear waste disposal solutions. Founded through a passion for environmental stewardship, scientific ingenuity, and American entrepreneurship, Deep Isolation’s world-class team of experts has developed a patented solution using directional drilling to safely secure waste deep underground. For more information, visit or contact 

Press Release, March 5, 2019

Deep Isolation Introduces Nuclear Waste Disposal Innovations at WM2019

March 6, 2019, COO Rod Baltzer Will Present Innovation for the Storage and Disposal of High-Level Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel at the annual Waste Management Symposium in Phoenix AZ

Phoenix, AZ – Deep Isolation, a leading innovator in nuclear waste disposal solutions, will present their solution for spent nuclear fuel disposal at the 45th annual Waste Management Symposium on Wednesday, March 6th. The annual conference draws over 2,000 policy makers, industry representatives, and nuclear experts from around the world to exchange ideas and develop potential solutions to managing and dispositioning radioactive waste.

“We have something new to address a pressing global issue,” says Rod Baltzer, Deep Isolation’s Chief Operating Officer. “We have a solution to dispose of spent nuclear fuel deep underground. Our horizontal drillhole repository concept can remove the need for transportation and we have solved the retrievability concerns with borehole disposal approaches. We think others will be as enthusiastic as we are about the benefits we are bringing to the table.”

The Deep Isolation discussion will begin at 3:45 p.m. in Room 105C at the Phoenix Convention Center. Rod Baltzer will participate during the Innovation for the Storage and Disposal of High-Level Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel track, part of Session 098 in the WM2019 program, Stabilization/Immobilization of HLW, SNF/UNF and Long-Lived Alpha/TRU. The company will also exhibit the solution at booth #427.

High Level Waste (HLW) and Used Nuclear Fuel (UNF) have been stranded at points of generation waiting on a permanent, safe disposal solution. Billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on permanent nuclear waste disposal.  Over 30 countries play host to a growing stockpile of radioactive waste in need of a solution. Deep Isolation offers a solution that provides a deep geologic repository at the point of generation, removes the need for long-haul transportation, and can be deployed worldwide.


About Deep Isolation
Berkeley based Deep Isolation is a leading innovator in nuclear waste disposal solutions. Founded through a passion for environmental stewardship, scientific ingenuity, and American entrepreneurship, Deep Isolation’s world-class team of experts has developed a patented solution using directional drilling to safely secure waste deep underground. For more information, contact

Press Release, January 16, 2019

Private Company Successfully Demonstrates Deep Geologic Disposal of Prototype Nuclear Waste Canister

Berkeley, CA – On Wednesday 16 January, Deep Isolation, a California-based private company, demonstrated publicly that prototype canisters built for nuclear waste can be successfully placed and retrieved thousands of feet underground. With over 40 observers from multiple countries, attendees included representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy, nuclear and oil & gas industry professionals, investors, environmentalists, and local citizens.  This first-of-its-kind demonstration represents a significant milestone for the nuclear waste industry.

Deep Isolation’s patented technology leverages standard drilling technology that has been perfected over the past two decades in the oil & gas industry. The approach was previously considered impossible by many nuclear experts, in part because of the challenge of retrieval. Deep Isolation had been testing their technology in private, and this was the first time that members of the public were invited to see the demonstration. No radioactive material was used in the test, and the location was not one where actual waste would be disposed.

Participants saw first-hand the Deep Isolation prototype canister designed to hold highly radioactive nuclear waste and were able to tour the test rig and site while the test was being conducted. Professor Scott Tinker, Director of the Bureau of Economic Geology and the State Geologist of Texas, has been following Deep Isolation’s progress. “Managing nuclear waste is an important, unmet commitment to the American people. I was intrigued by this innovative approach to nuclear waste disposal”, said Dr. Tinker. “The technology is adapted from the oilfield and is straightforward and time tested. The team was able to answer questions around public perception and environmental risk.”

This is the first time that such a test has ever been carried out, and demonstrates the advantages of a private-public-partnership approach.  Deep Isolation’s objective is to safely and securely dispose of nuclear waste faster than other options while building consensus through genuine stakeholder engagement.  Elizabeth Muller, Deep Isolation’s CEO emphasized that “Stakeholder engagement is where our solution began.  Meaningful consultation cannot happen once a technology has been confirmed.  To prepare for this public demonstration, we met with national environmental groups, as well as local leaders, to listen to concerns, incorporate suggestions, and build our solution around their needs and our customers’.”

The canister held no waste, but a steel rod simulated the weight of true waste. The canister was lowered over 2000 feet deep in an existing drillhole using a wireline cable and then pushed using an underground “tractor” into a long horizontal storage section.  The canister was released and the tractor and cable withdrawn.  Several hours later, the tractor was placed back in the hole, where it latched and retrieved the canister, bringing it back to the surface.

Our team has worked tirelessly to reach this moment,” says Rod Baltzer, Deep Isolation’s Chief Operations Officer. “We have been working on canister design, drilling technology, stakeholder engagement and other aspects, and today, we were able to show people our disposal concept using a prototype canister.  It was incredibly special to share this accomplishment with many of the key people who have made it possible, and with our guests who can see how this solution could benefit them, their organizations and communities.”

Dr. Richard Muller, Deep Isolation Chief Technology Officer, notes that “We have not invented new drilling technology; the oil and gas industry has already perfected directional drilling. What we are doing is using this technology for an unexpected and extremely important new application. Right now, the U.S. is holding 80,000 tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste. Something must be done with this, and every major scientific group that has studied the challenge concluded that putting it deep underground is the safest solution for the present and future generations.” He further explains that the method has significant advantages over the widely considered alternative of putting the waste in mined tunnels. “A drilled repository allows you to go deeper while disturbing less rock.  It is both safer and less expensive than a mined repository”, says Professor Muller.

In 2019, Deep Isolation is focused on both the U.S. and the international market for nuclear waste disposal. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, there are about 400 thousand tons of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel waste temporarily stored in pools and dry casks at hundreds of sites around the world. No country has an operational geological repository for spent fuel disposal.



About Deep Isolation

Berkeley based Deep Isolation is a leading innovator in nuclear waste disposal solutions. Founded through a passion for environmental stewardship, scientific ingenuity, and American entrepreneurship, Deep Isolation’s world-class team of experts has developed a patented solution using directional drilling to safely secure waste deep underground. For more information, contact


Press Contact
Zann Aeck
Deep Isolation


Press Release, January 16, 2019

Deep Isolation Raises Over $10 Million in Funding to Solve Nuclear Waste Gridlock

Berkeley, CA – Deep Isolation, a leading innovator in nuclear waste disposal solutions, has closed its oversubscribed Seed Round. To date, the company received a total of just over $10 million from a diverse group of individual investors and expects to open its next round of funding in 2019. Investments support Deep Isolation’s efforts to commercialize a new approach to nuclear waste disposal, in the United States and internationally.

The group of approximately 30 investors is composed of environmentalists, venture capitalists investing their personal funds, successful entrepreneurs, as well as concerned citizens.  There has been no institutional investment to date.  The Seed Round included a crowdfunding component, which allowed smaller investors to participate in the round.  All investors shared the company’s vision for solving an important environmental problem and demonstrated confidence in both the technology and the leadership team.

“I believe Deep Isolation has a breakthrough solution to a vexing problem” states David Marquardt, Founding Partner at August Capital and one of Deep Isolation’s early investors. “I am excited to see the company address nuclear waste with an innovative safe and economic solution. The market is large, barriers to entry high, and no viable alternatives.”

“Deep Isolation’s fundraising success is a sign of investor recognition of the importance of solving this problem, the enormous market opportunity, and confidence in our business approach,” said Elizabeth Muller, Deep Isolation CEO. “We are honored to have such a large variety of individuals coming together, adding many salient perspectives to this important topic. The lack of disposal options is forcing us to use temporary storage as a long-term reality, and experts agree that we need permanent solutions. With the support from our investors, Deep Isolation is taking the steps needed to prove that we can satisfy this need at home and around the world.”

Deep Isolation became the first company to successfully place and retrieve a prototype disposal canister from a deep horizontal drill hole in 2018. The test was a major milestone for the company and a leap forward for the industry. Their solution applies well-established directional drilling technologies used in the oil & gas industry, to place nuclear waste in the horizontal portion of a drill hole at a depth of several thousand feet below the Earth’s surface.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, there are approximately 400 thousand tons of radioactive spent fuel from nuclear power plants worldwide. No country has an operating solution for spent fuel disposal. Deep Isolation technology provides a safe and complementary permanent solution for nuclear waste disposal.


About Deep Isolation
Berkeley based Deep Isolation is a leading innovator in nuclear waste disposal solutions. Founded through a passion for environmental stewardship, scientific ingenuity, and American entrepreneurship, Deep Isolation’s world-class team of experts has developed a patented solution using directional drilling to safely secure waste deep underground. For more information, contact

Statement, November 29, 2018

Deep Isolation Completes Equipment Test

Deep Isolation, Inc. performed a test of equipment, tools, and methods on November 14, 2018, to emplace a mock disposal canister into a horizontal well and retrieve it back to the surface. We performed the test at a commercial testing facility for oil and gas drilling. We used standard, off-the-shelf, tools and equipment that are common in the oil and gas drilling industry. The mock disposal canister was approximately four inches in diameter and 30 inches long with a 30-pound metal tube as the mock-waste payload. The entire package weighed approximately 83 pounds.

The test used an existing horizontal well approximately 2200 feet deep. We successfully placed the mock disposal canister over 100 feet into the horizontal section of the well. The test crew used wireline cable as the placement and retrieval technology. To fully demonstrate retrieval, operators released the mock disposal canister and returned the wireline to the surface. The crew then replaced the delivery tool at the end of the wireline with a recovery tool. Operators lowered the wireline and recovery tool into the well, latched onto the canister and returned it to the surface. There was no damage to the canister or well during this test.

Deep Isolation is proud to be the first company to place and retrieve mock disposal canisters from a deep horizontal well. We accomplished this first-of-its-kind test using standard drilling equipment and tools. We are evaluating the results and data gathered and considering additional tests and demonstrations to further develop and demonstrate Deep Isolation processes and technology for potential future placement and retrieval of nuclear waste canisters. For further information contact

Press Release, August 1, 2018

Rod Baltzer Joins Deep Isolation as COO

For Immediate Release

Berkeley, CA – August 1, 2018 – Deep Isolation, the leading innovator in nuclear waste disposal solutions, announced today the appointment of Rodney (Rod) Baltzer as Chief Operating Officer (COO) reporting to CEO Elizabeth Muller. The company has a unique approach to solving the $80 billion U.S. nuclear waste problem using directional drilling.

Rod Baltzer

Formerly CEO at Waste Control Specialist, Baltzer is a seasoned, 20-year veteran in the nuclear waste industry, with experience in licensing and operating a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility in Texas. Having successfully filed license applications with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the storage of spent nuclear fuel, he is accomplished in navigating the regulatory framework as well as many other aspects of the industry.

“We are assembling a team of world class experts, top-tier experts in their fields”, said Elizabeth Muller, Deep Isolation CEO. “Rod brings experience in private-public partnerships that have solved tough problems in the low-level nuclear waste industry.  That experience will be instrumental in leading our efforts to partner with our government and stakeholder communities. His industry knowledge will be beneficial as we begin our license applications and build an operating company.”

Baltzer said “I’m excited to join Deep Isolation. The similarities on what Deep Isolation is trying to accomplish and the experience I’ve had in the nuclear waste industry makes this a perfect match. The nuclear waste problem is older than I am and it is time that America had a solution. I look forward to providing a solution for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel in the very near future.”

About Deep Isolation
Berkeley based Deep Isolation is a leading innovator in nuclear waste disposal solutions. Founded through a passion for environmental stewardship, scientific ingenuity, and American entrepreneurship, Deep Isolation’s world-class team of experts has developed a patented solution using directional drilling to safely secure waste deep underground. In an industry regulated by the US Government, Deep Isolation is pioneering a pathway for a nuclear storage market that will allow private companies to participate in developing and implementing options for safe and permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel. For more information, visit 

Press Contact:
David Hoffman
Deep Isolation
+1 415 915 6506