TEXAS/HALDEN — Today, the Deep Borehole Demonstration Center is pleased to announce the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on demonstration of deep borehole disposal in Norway in addition to its work in Cameron, Texas.
The MOU signing marks a milestone in the Center’s journey. The memorandum is with Norsk Kjernekraft, a recently established Norwegian company with the goal of building and operating Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) in Norway, to provide clean and reliable power as Norway phases out fossil-fueled energy production leading up to net zero in 2050.
The Center’s Executive Director, Ted Garrish (former Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy) is encouraged by these developments, and says “It is an exciting development to collaborate with Norsk Kjernekraft to explore opportunities for demonstration of borehole disposal technology in Norway. At the technical level, Norway’s crystalline rock, including granite, is a very different geology to the Center’s initial shale environment in Texas – so it helps demonstrate the wide variety of rock types that offer safe and effective options for deep borehole disposal. Further, it demonstrates that Europe’s SMR industry is rightly focused on the need to engage with communities in planning for waste disposal right from the outset.”
Jonny Hesthammer, CEO of Norsk Kjernekraft, said: “Norsk Kjernekraft is passionate about the benefits that nuclear power will bring to Norway’s net-zero energy market – and to achieve these we must show the communities we work in that there are practical solutions available to put the resulting waste safely and permanently out of contact with the biosphere. Deep borehole disposal is a technology that offers huge potential benefits to Norway – for our communities, and for our world-leading drilling industry – so I am delighted to be working with the Deep Borehole Demonstration Center to demonstrate this technology here in Norway.”
The Center is an independent, nonprofit, science-driven organization – funded on a multinational, public-private-partnership basis – with the aim to advance the maturity of the safety case for deep borehole disposal and the technical readiness levels of the disposal concept. Since the public launch at Waste Management Symposia in February 2023, the Center has been engaged in dialogue with a large number of interested parties and already has membership from organizations representing waste disposal interests in nine countries, from both the public and private sectors. The Center has already started its multi-year program of work to cumulatively deliver an end-to-end, non-radioactive demonstration of deep borehole disposal. The initial tests at Cameron in February 2023 successfully demonstrated the compatibility of a PWR waste canister with standard lifting equipment for the oil and gas industry for use in deep borehole disposal operations.
Learn more about the Deep Borehole Demonstration Center here.
Read the Deep Borehole Demonstration Center’s Strategic Plan.
About the Deep Borehole Demonstration Center
The nonprofit Deep Borehole Demonstration Center was established to provide interested entities and governments worldwide with an independent organization through which to commission projects that characterize and advance the technical readiness of deep borehole nuclear waste disposal technologies.