Deep Isolation Releases Preliminary Safety Calculations of a Generic Horizontal Drillhole Repository for Spent Nuclear Fuel

Press Release, March 11, 2020

Deep Isolation Releases Preliminary Safety Calculations of a Generic Horizontal Drillhole Repository for Spent Nuclear Fuel

Berkeley, CA – Deep Isolation, a leading innovator in nuclear waste storage and disposal solutions, has released its initial findings of generic post-closure radiological safety calculations of a horizontal drillhole repository for spent nuclear fuel (SNF). The report, Spent Nuclear Fuel Disposal in a Deep Horizontal Drillhole Repository Sited in Shale: Numerical Simulations in Support of a Generic Post-Closure Safety Analysis, is now available on the company’s website, and the findings will be presented by Rod Baltzer, Deep Isolation’s COO, at the Waste Management Symposia in Phoenix, Arizona on March 12, 2020.

This study was led by Stefan Finsterle, a hydrogeologist at Deep Isolation and a recognized expert in numerical modeling of hydrogeological systems for nuclear waste isolation. The simulations and analyses examine radionuclide transport from the deep repository to the biosphere, aiming to estimate the radiological dose a person may receive if drinking potentially contaminated water from a well located directly above the center of the repository. Multiple scenarios and a wide range of conditions were examined.

“This report is the result of a tremendous effort and represents a significant milestone for our company,” explains Rich Muller, CTO of Deep Isolation. “Though the initial calculations are promising, this is only the beginning of a long process and there is still much to be analyzed. We feel that releasing the early findings honors our core value of transparency and will foster an open dialogue with independent reviewers.”

These calculations are preliminary and do not derive from a specific geographic location or geological site.  The layout and design of the repository represent the general disposal concept as no site-specific characterization data or detailed technical designs are available at this point. Generic calculations are a necessary step toward developing a comprehensive, site-specific safety analysis that will support the safety case of a deep horizontal drillhole repository in compliance with all applicable regulations.

The release of this work initiates the next phase of the company’s commitment to engage stakeholders and increase conversations.  To that end, Deep Isolation plans to moderate an open, independent review of the report.  Those interested in participating are encouraged to visit the Deep Isolation website to learn more. The company is also holding a webinar on May 12, 2020, to give an overview of the initial findings.

Rod Baltzer, COO at Deep Isolation, will highlight the preliminary, generic safety calculations in the session “Developments in Deep Borehole Disposal Around the World” at the Waste Management Symposia in Phoenix, Arizona on Thursday, March 12, at 8:00 am local time. Waste Management Symposia is a premier non-profit event focused on global radioactive waste management and is attended by more than 2,400 nuclear waste industry delegates from more than 35 countries.

Deep Isolation has gained significant traction with a public demonstration of its technology, three technical papers published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Energies, and its strategic partnership with Bechtel National, Inc., and NAC International Inc.


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.

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Zann Aeck — Deep Isolation  

Deep Isolation, Inc.
2001 Addison St, Ste. 300
Berkeley, CA 94704  

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