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.

 

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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 info@deepisolation.com.

 

Press Contact
Zann Aeck
Deep Isolation
media@deepisolation.com

 

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.

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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 info@deepisolation.com.

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 info@deepisolation.com.

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 deepisolation.com. 

Press Contact:
David Hoffman
Deep Isolation
+1 415 787 0092
david@deepisolation.com