US-based Deep Isolation, a specialist in used fuel and high-level waste (HLW) storage and disposal solutions, announced that it had acquired Freestone Environmental Services, a multi-discipline environmental and water resources consulting firm based in Richland, Washington.
The acquisition brings to Deep Isolation a team of 25 scientists and engineers experienced in providing services to public and private sector clients, including the US Department of Energy’s Hanford project, one of the largest nuclear weapons production clean-up efforts in the world.
“We are pleased to welcome Freestone as a Deep Isolation company,” said Deep Isolation CEO Liz Muller. “Freestone has a track record of delivering high-quality regulatory planning and environmental clean-up projects for government customers. These are essential elements of solving the nuclear waste disposal problem, and we are excited about our future.”
The acquisition broadens the depth of Deep Isolation’s science and technology teams, adding a cadre of scientists and engineers with expertise in environmental investigations and with providing scientific and regulatory support services to their clients.
Freestone President Steve Airhart, a geologist, noted: “We’ve been watching Deep Isolation’s progress toward solving the seemingly unsolvable problem of nuclear waste disposal, and we’re excited to join such an important mission. Having been involved in work at Hanford and the commercial nuclear industry, we know first-hand how critical it is to find a safe, permanent home for nuclear waste. Combining Freestone’s Hanford site consulting experience with Deep Isolation’s scientific and technological waste disposal capabilities will benefit both companies.”
Deep Isolation has recently seen renewed global interest in deep borehole technology as a safe and flexible solution for nuclear waste disposal that could be simpler to deploy than a mined repository for many countries. Deep Isolation is investigating deep borehole disposal at potential locations around the globe and continues to be open to conversations with communities.
“This acquisition is a significant milestone in the history of both of our companies,” said Deep Isolation Chief Operating Officer Rod Baltzer. “It gives Deep Isolation access to experts with a wealth of real-world nuclear waste clean-up experience and opens up Freestone to new opportunities through our global network.” Baltzer will oversee the interface of Freestone’s operations with Deep Isolation. Airhart will remain President of Freestone and maintain responsibility for its daily operations.