Berkeley, CA – Deep Isolation, a leading innovator in nuclear waste disposal solutions, has been awarded a contract from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an independent nonprofit organization for public interest energy and environmental research. Deep Isolation will collaborate with EPRI, Southern Company, the Nuclear Energy Institute, Auburn University, and J Kessler and Associates to assess the feasibility of onsite horizontal deep borehole disposal for the siting of advanced nuclear energy systems. The study will discuss physical site characteristics, disposal operations, safety performance analysis, regulatory and licensing considerations, and will outline an approach to understanding and building public support. This is similar to a Foundation Study that Deep Isolation markets to governments worldwide.
This project will leverage diverse expertise to evaluate the potential application of horizontal deep borehole techniques to address the permanent disposal of high-level nuclear waste for the next generation of nuclear reactors.
“The disposal of spent nuclear fuel should be considered during the development of advanced and micro reactors to ensure the ultimate disposition of the fuel is known and not left unresolved,” says Elizabeth Muller, CEO of Deep Isolation. “This contract allows us to align the siting requirements of an advanced reactor with the siting requirements of deep horizontal disposal of the waste that will be generated.”
EPRI brings to this project more than two decades of pioneering research and development (R&D) in the integrated performance assessment of deep geologic disposal systems. EPRI has performed numerous studies on advanced nuclear fuel cycles and is focused on R&D to support commercial demonstration and deployment of advanced reactor designs.
“This effort will help the industry and the public understand the uses of horizontal deep borehole disposal,” says Andrew Sowder, EPRI Senior Technical Executive in Advanced Nuclear Technology. “We want to equip next generation reactors with a plan for handling nuclear waste from the beginning, and the collaboration this project offers is a potential path.”
This is Deep Isolation’s first non-government contract. Details of our government work have not yet been disclosed. Having raised more than $14 million, Deep Isolation has gained traction in the industry through a public borehole demonstration in early 2019; partnerships with industry leaders such as Bechtel National Inc., and NAC International Inc.; the publication of three technical papers; and 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.