Futurist and author Trond Arne Undheim interviews Elizabeth Muller, CEO and co-founder of Deep Isolation, the nuclear waste disposal startup, which she has founded together with renowned physicist Richard Muller, who is also her father.
Deep Isolation has signed a long-term cooperation and licensing agreement with NAC International to design, manufacture and supply canisters to store and/or dispose of nuclear waste in deep horizontal boreholes. The agreement follows a short-term memorandum of understanding the two companies signed last year.
Berkeley, California – Deep Isolation, a leading innovator in the global nuclear waste storage and disposal market, has signed a long-term cooperation and licensing agreement with NAC International Inc. (NAC) to design, manufacture and supply the canisters that will be used to safely store and/or dispose of nuclear waste in deep horizontal boreholes.
NAC, a leading nuclear fuel cycle consulting and technology solutions company, specializes in systems for the storage, transportation and disposal of spent nuclear fuel, high-level waste, and other nuclear materials. Deep Isolation has developed a solution that applies state-of-the-art horizontal drilling technology to dispose of nuclear waste deep underground.
Leveraging NAC and Deep Isolation canister technology and intellectual property, NAC will engineer, license and deliver the canisters and other equipment associated with the handling and transferring of high-level waste, spent nuclear fuel and other nuclear waste from existing storage areas to a Deep Isolation repository.
“As we approach the milestone of licensing a disposal facility, we have an internal team focused on the process of moving the spent fuel from its current storage state, transferring it to a Deep Isolation canister and into the drillhole. This is a non-trivial challenge that requires the highest standards of safety and precision, and we are making great strides,” said Elizabeth Muller, Deep Isolation CEO. “The disposal canister design and NAC’s expertise with spent fuel handling are essential to this work, and we are excited to sign this long-term agreement between Deep Isolation and NAC.”
The long-term agreement includes a significant in-kind commitment by NAC for its services and builds on the short-term memorandum of understanding the two companies signed last year.
“Collaborating with Deep Isolation to create a much-needed new solution for spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste management demonstrates our commitment to developing and delivering innovative new technologies that has made NAC a trusted partner for fuel cycle solutions for over 50 years,” said Kent Cole, President and CEO of NAC International. “This new long-term agreement enables our two companies to work more closely and effectively together to combine unique and valuable technologies to provide this game-changing option for our customers around the world.”
With more than 20 years of decommissioning spent fuel management experience, NAC has supplied a large share of the used fuel systems at U.S. and international sites. NAC has developed and deployed transportable storage systems at commercial nuclear plants and DOE sites and has packaged and transported fuel all over the world.
Having raised more than 14 million USD, Deep Isolation has gained traction in the industry through the recent release of its Safety Calculations Report; a public borehole demonstration in Texas in 2019; collaboration with partners and technical advisors, including industry leaders such as Bechtel National and Schlumberger; the publication of multiple technical papers; customer contracts; and receipt of a half dozen Letters of Intent from future customers.
About Deep Isolation
Deep Isolation is a leading innovator in nuclear waste storage and disposal. Founded upon values of environmental stewardship, scientific ingenuity, and social license, Deep Isolation offers a solution that leverages directional drilling technology to safely isolate nuclear waste deep underground.
About NAC International
NAC International is a leading supplier of fuel cycle consulting and nuclear fuel backend technology solutions, providing full-scope services for used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste packaging, storage, transport, and management. NAC has completed projects in more than 60 countries and maintains its corporate headquarters in Peachtree Corners, GA. NAC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Zosen Corporation, a global leader in the design and construction of environmental systems, industrial plants, industrial machinery, process equipment, infrastructure-related equipment, disaster prevention systems, and precision machinery.
Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the energy sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising nuclear energy solutions.
Nuclear energy in the USA generates about 2,000 metric tonne of used fuel each year, with a total of 84,000 metric tonne since the 1950s, stored at more than 70 sites, most of them commercial nuclear power plants, in 34 states. The country has yet to build a permanent disposal location for the spent fuel, . . . .
Those who are interested in the issue of nuclear waste might want to have a look at this series of 3 podcasts provided by Deep Isolation. Keep in mind that this is a company that is developing the idea of geological isolation of high-level nuclear waste. Regardless of what one may think of the podcasts, the CEO makes a point worth reporting here: “Without listening and respect there can be no solution.” – Liz Muller, Deep Isolation
This article is behind a paywall: Business Insider Prime included Deep Isolation CEO Liz Muller on a list of 21 emerging leaders in clean tech for the company’s work to dispose of nuclear waste now rather than leaving it for future generations to deal with.
Women Who Mean Business
Deep Isolation CEO, Liz Muller was featured in an article by UC-San Diego “UC San Diego ranks in top 25 for female-founded startups”. Women are on the rise. According to the latest U.S. census data, they make up more than 50% of the population. They also earn more degrees at every level (associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral) than men.
The father-daughter team had invited 40 nuclear scientists, U.S. Department of Energy officials, oil and gas professionals, and environmentalists to witness the first-ever attempt to test whether the latest oil-fracking technology could be used to permanently dispose of the most dangerous nuclear waste.
This video interview was film at an earlier date: CEO Elizabeth Muller is a guest on the Titans for nuclear podcast with Jadwiga Najder.