Waste Management Symposia: Deep Isolation presents research on technical readiness, waste canister design and international stakeholder borehole study

Press Release, February 23, 2022

Waste Management Symposia: Deep Isolation presents research on technical readiness, waste canister design and international stakeholder borehole study

BERKELEY — Deep Isolation, a leading innovator in nuclear waste storage and disposal solutions, will present its latest research in three sessions at Waste Management Symposia 2022, taking place March 6-10 in Phoenix.

On March 7 Deep Isolation Director of Systems Engineering Dr. Ethan Bates will present during the session “Developments in Deep Borehole Disposal Around the World.” Dr. Bates, an expert in reactor safety and nuclear systems integration, will present his paper “Preliminary Technology Readiness Assessment of Deep Borehole Disposal,” an analysis of the readiness of Deep Isolation’s deep borehole repository operations from the storage phase through transportation, construction, and disposal.

“This assessment concludes that spent nuclear fuel handling above ground is the most mature technical process and that demonstrating borehole drilling (at relevant depths and diameters), borehole stability, and canister emplacement should receive the highest priority in terms of technology development planning,” Dr. Bates said.  “Other processes such as pre-closure monitoring, canister retrieval, and borehole sealing may also require additional development and demonstration, but the extent will depend on regulatory and risk-informed engineering requirements that are still being developed.”

At Deep Isolation Dr. Bates is responsible for systems engineering-based product development for the company’s deep borehole repository concept.

During that same session, Chris Parker, Managing Director of Deep Isolation EMEA Ltd., will present “Implementing Deep Borehole Disposal: Study of International Stakeholder Views from Regulatory, Policy and WMO Communities.”

Parker, who leads Deep Isolation’s work for clients globally, led a team of Deep Isolation researchers who worked with Professor Neil Chapman, University of Sheffield, to interview stakeholders in the waste management communities in the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region to qualitatively assess their opinions of deep borehole disposal of nuclear waste.

Chapman, a leading expert in the geological disposal of radioactive wastes with four decades of experience in environmental, strategic and waste management in the international nuclear industry, said this research has at last shone a light on what a range of decision-makers really think.

“The general consensus that (deep borehole disposal) could be incorporated into a suite of safe disposal solutions, considerably improving strategic and economic flexibility, ought to encourage countries to get together now and support an early multi-national demonstration project,” Chapman said. “This is becoming increasingly important as the world moves closer to a low-carbon nuclear power future.”

On March 9 Mark Frei will join a panel discussion, “Evolution and Development for Waste Transport and Disposal,” to share the results of Deep Isolation’s paper, “Canister for Radioactive Waste Transport, Storage and Disposal in Boreholes.” Frei, Deep Isolation senior project manager, has more than 40 years of experience in nuclear energy, Cold War-related environmental clean-up and nuclear waste disposal, including serving in senior executive positions at the Department of Energy.

Waste Management Symposia Deep Isolation Presenters 2022

Last year Deep Isolation, in partnership with NAC International, developed a preliminary design for a drillhole canister for nuclear waste storage, transportation, and deep borehole disposal. The canister is designed to contain an intact pressurized water reactor (PWR) assembly and is expected to pave the way for new options for managing the lifecycle of nuclear waste.

The new canister was designed to be capable of satisfying current regulatory requirements for storage and transportation and future regulatory requirements for disposal. Both U.S. and international regulatory requirements were considered in this design effort. A manufacturer in England is currently reviewing the design for mass production and will produce a full-sized metal prototype by the end of the year.

“The updated design provides a generic design that meets expected requirements for storage, transportation and disposal while being small enough in diameter to facilitate disposal in a borehole.” Frei said. “The versatile and disposal-ready canister design facilitates transportation and potentially avoids additional repackaging at the repository.”

Stop by the Deep Isolation booth (No. 630) and our U.K. Pavilion Kiosk (No. 4) to meet the Deep Isolation team.

Visit wmsym.org to register for the conference.

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.

Press Contacts

Kari Hulac — Deep Isolation

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

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