US-based Deep Isolation, a specialist in used fuel and high-level waste (HLW) storage and disposal solutions, said on 4 May it had signed a cooperative agreement with Dominion Engineering (DEI), which specialises in nuclear fuel services and technology, with a focus on inspection and maintenance equipment that ensures safety and integrity of nuclear fuel during operation and long-term storage.
Deep Isolation and DEI will cooperate in the sales, development, and deployment of Deep Isolation’s patented used fuel and HLW disposal technology, with an initial focus on Latin America and an option to expand to other markets. There is currently an estimated 7,000 metric tons of used fuel awaiting disposal in Latin America, and Deep Isolation said the nuclear energy infrastructure and waste management considerations in this region make it an ideal candidate for deep borehole technology.
“There is a growing awareness that nuclear waste belongs in deep geologic isolation, and that it’s no longer acceptable to push this problem onto future generations,” said Deep Isolation CEO Elizabeth Muller. “DEI’s reputation for delivering innovative services and technologies that enhance the safety and integrity of nuclear fuel is wholly consistent with our own objectives of delivering safe disposal solutions. By working with DEI’s established clients and active operations globally, we have an opportunity to assist them in developing a comprehensive strategy for the disposal of spent fuel and high-level waste.”
DEI, founded in 1980, provides technical consulting services, field services and technology for the full life cycle of nuclear reactors and nuclear waste management installations. Its Smart-Sip technology is a vacuum sipping technology that ensures the integrity of nuclear fuel assemblies before they are reloaded to a nuclear reactor or transferred to a storage or disposal canister. DEI also provides engineering services to ensure the long-term safety and integrity of used fuel canisters during long-term storage.
DEI President Mike Little said: “Nuclear energy technology is essential to deep decarbonisation and the fight against climate change. By catalysing this solution for long-term management of nuclear waste, we are meaningfully contributing to greater confidence in nuclear power by eliminating what has been a historical barrier to greater acceptance within the clean energy landscape.”