Nuclear waste solutions company Deep Isolation, Inc. and construction giant Bechtel National, Inc., part of the largest engineering and construction company in the U.S., have announced a cooperative agreement on sales, product development, and the deployment of Deep Isolation’s patented technology.
Under this agreement, Bechtel will provide support such as project management, financial/business and engineering capability for Deep Isolation’s sales in both domestic and international markets, including those with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Deep Isolation will provide options to support Bechtel’s cleanup work at federal government sites around the country. The companies also envision Deep Isolation as a key player in Bechtel’s decommissioning contracts at commercial nuclear power plants in the U.S. and worldwide.
"We have the horsepower of Bechtel behind us," said Deep Isolation Chief Operations Officer Rod Baltzer.
James Taylor, general manager of Bechtel’s Environmental business line, said, “Deep geologic disposal is the scientific consensus for permanently removing and disposing used nuclear fuel and high-level waste from their current locations around the country. We have long-term expertise in design, engineering and licensing, as well as the boots-on-the-ground experience with the everyday challenges of cleaning up radioactive waste. Bechtel is proud to support such an innovative technology that offers an alternative solution for safe, retrievable disposal of used nuclear fuel and high-level waste.”
Globally, there are roughly 450,000 metric tons of nuclear waste that have accumulated, and there is currently no operating disposal solution for commercial used nuclear fuel or high-level waste. Implementing a state-of-the-art technical solution, which is the goal of the MOA, would address one component of the challenge.
Another major challenge for nuclear waste disposal is locating an acceptable site. However, Deep Isolation plans to engage community stakeholders early in the approval process in order to secure licensing for deep drilling and storage of radioactive material.
The MOA with Bechtel will help build capability for Deep Isolation to deliver its solution in countries that are interested in a deep horizontal drillhole disposal option, the companies said.
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