SEOUL — As governments worldwide are prioritizing the development of nuclear energy, there is increasing interest in nuclear waste disposal.
So far, the U.S.-Korean partnership on nuclear has focused largely on power production (such as the collaboration between NuScale and Doosan). And now that Europe has determined that nuclear must have a waste solution to be “green,” there is increasing interest in innovative solutions for waste disposal.
Today, at the 2022 Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul, leaders will participate in a panel on Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Wastes. The panel is moderated by Hwang Il Soon, Chair Professor at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST). Hwang has been leading a Korea national R&D program on oil-free microreactors for zero-emission vessels in support of global climate protection.
Panel participants include Seong Ik Oh, Director for overseas construction at Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Development, as well as Elizabeth Muller and Richard Muller, co-founders and CEO and CSO of Deep Isolation, a private waste disposal company.
The International Energy Agency says that reaching net-zero will require nuclear capacity to double by 2050. At least 30 countries are considering, planning, or starting nuclear power programs, according to the World Nuclear Association, and developers of advanced nuclear are attracting significant investment dollars.
The world has not yet disposed of any of the quarter-million metric tons of spent fuel accumulated over the last 70 years, and building mined geologic repositories is not affordable or scalable for many countries.
This presents a significant barrier to nuclear energy. A poll by Reuters/Ipsos found that of those opposed to nuclear energy in America, 64 percent are concerned about the waste. The European Union’s recently approved taxonomy amendment says nuclear power plants will only qualify as green investments if developers have a spent fuel disposal plan in place.
“Innovation in borehole waste disposal allows for greater flexibility of location, as well as improved safety and lower implementation cost,” said Deep Isolation CEO and co-founder Liz Muller. Chief Science Officer Richard Muller added, “We are trying to help enable the future of nuclear power and believe that this is achievable in years – not the decades that were previously required.”
Deep Isolation’s business model offers commercial and government partners a range of flexible IP licensing options, including training, support, and supply chain services for its planning and operational processes and solution technology.
About Deep Isolation
Deep Isolation is a leading global innovator in nuclear waste storage and disposal solutions. Driven by a passion for environmental stewardship and scientific ingenuity, the company’s patented solution of advanced nuclear technologies enables global delivery through its partnerships with industry leaders as well as flexible IP licensing options.