US-based Deep Isolation has signed a long-term cooperation and licensing agreement with NAC International to design, manufacture and supply the canisters that will be used to store and/or dispose of nuclear waste in deep horizontal boreholes.

NAC, a nuclear fuel cycle consulting and technology solutions company, specialises in systems for the storage, transportation and disposal of used nuclear fuel, high-level waste, and other nuclear materials. Deep Isolation has developed a solution that applies state-of-the-art horizontal drilling technology to dispose of nuclear waste deep underground.

Leveraging NAC and Deep Isolation canister technology and intellectual property, NAC will engineer, license and deliver the canisters and other equipment associated with the handling and transferring of high-level waste, spent nuclear fuel and other nuclear waste from existing storage areas to a Deep Isolation repository.

“As we approach the milestone of licensing a disposal facility, we have an internal team focused on the process of moving the spent fuel from its current storage state, transferring it to a Deep Isolation canister and into the drillhole. This is a non-trivial challenge that requires the highest standards of safety and precision, and we are making great strides,” said Elizabeth Muller, Deep Isolation CEO. “The disposal canister design and NAC’s expertise with spent fuel handling are essential to this work, and we are excited to sign this long-term agreement between Deep Isolation and NAC.”

The long-term agreement includes a significant in-kind commitment by NAC for its services and builds on the short-term memorandum of understanding the two companies signed in November 2019.

Photo: Deep Isolation concept