California-based Oklo on 25 June announced a $2 million cost-share award from the US Department of Energy (DOE) supported by the Technology Commercialisation Fund (TCF). Oklo is matching $1 million in funds and is partnering with the DOE and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) on a public-private partnership. The TCF project will enable the commercialisation of advanced fuel recycling capabilities by utilising electro-refining technology.
“We are proud to be selected to accelerate the commercialisation of advanced fuel recycling and development and bring clean power to market quickly and cost-effectively,” said Caroline Cochran, Oklo co-founder and COO. The electro-refining process helps reduce fuel costs for advanced reactors. Thermal reactors access a fraction of the energy in fuel, while fast reactors coupled with electrorefining can unlock the remaining untapped energy in fuel while reducing the volume and radiological lifetime of the waste material. “When your fuel is millions of times more energy-dense than alternatives, that’s a key enabler to deliver the cheapest forms of clean power available to humanity,” added Cochran. There are tremendous energy reserves in used fuel that can help provide clean power to the world.
“The award showcases the DOE’s priority to support the private sector in bringing next-generation fission to market,” said Jacob DeWitte, co-founder and CEO of Oklo. In addition, this public-private partnership will enable commercial opportunities to convert the country’s used fuel into clean energy.
Oklo has received a Site Use Permit from the DOE, demonstrated fabrication of its fuel, gained access to recovered used fuel from the Idaho National Laboratory, and submitted the first accepted advanced fission licence application.