Deep Isolation and Amentum partner to commercialise nuclear waste disposal technology – Nuclear Engineering

11 August 2022

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US-based Deep Isolation and Amentum have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to work together to further the worldwide commercialisation of Deep Isolation’s nuclear waste disposal technology. Initial targets for joint work include countries in Europe and the Pacific that represent a combined addressable market for geologic disposal of used fuel and high-level waste worth more than $30 billion.

Deep Isolation’s nuclear technology leverages directional drilling practices to safely and efficiently isolate waste deep underground in borehole repositories, providing many countries with an alternative to a traditional mined repository. “The world is changing fast, and it’s imperative for the success of nuclear energy that we solve the nuclear waste challenge,” said Deep Isolation CEO Elizabeth Muller, an environmentalist and co-founder of the company. “Deploying the solution requires a large-scale team effort.”

Amentum, a global technical and engineering services provider, brings numerous proven strengths to the project: maintaining complex and high hazard facilities and processes; delivering environmental solutions to customers worldwide; and capabilities in environmental management and waste management. “Amentum has unparalleled engineering expertise and experience in the use of science and advanced technologies to successfully clean up highly complex nuclear sites,” said Amentum , Senior Vice President Jim Blankenhorn. “This partnership strengthens our collective position in a growing market to provide innovative solutions for nuclear disposal around the world.”

The agreement provides Amentum with access to more than 50 protected Deep Isolation inventions, as well as engineering specifications and know-how. This includes Deep Isolation’s detailed and compliant process based on IAEA guidance for tailoring a deep borehole repository to the specific regulatory requirements, waste inventory, stakeholder needs and local geology of each client.

Deep Isolation offers licences that allow key industry players access to its protected intellectual property. The programme features access to Deep Isolation’s patents and engineering work, as well as planning and operational processes that could be used independently of Deep Isolation technology. “We are excited to work with Amentum to bring this solution to market,” Muller said. “We are pleased at the value they are placing in Deep Isolation’s solution by investing in this licence.”

After four years as a public-facing company, Deep Isolation’s milestones include: work with a dozen countries across three continents; a subsidiary in Europe; the acquisition of Freestone Environmental Services; and recently, two multi-million awards from the US Government.


Image: Deep Isolation’s concept for the disposal of nuclear fuel and high-level waste (courtesy of Deep Isolation)

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