Deep isolation is a company offering a solution to secure and dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste from commercial nuclear reactors at a lower cost compared to existing strategies. They use borehole technology developed by the gas and oil industry, to isolate nuclear waste in horizontal drillholes located deep underground in suitable rock formations.
In June 2019 the company announced a partnership with nuclear company Bechtel National, Inc. to bring Deep Isolation’s patented technology to fruition. Bechtel will provide project management, financial/business and engineering capabilities for Deep Isolation’s sales in both domestic and international markets, including those with the U.S. Department of Energy.
In November 2019, Deep Isolation signed a cooperative agreement with NAC International Inc., a nuclear fuel cycle consulting and technology solutions company. The companies will collaborate in the design, development, and manufacturing of Deep Isolation’s spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste disposal canister technology.
Deep Isolation was founded in 2016 by father and daughter Richard Muller (CTO) and Elizabeth Muller (CEO). They had previously founded Berkeley Earth together in 2010, a non-profit organization for analyzing land temperature data.
The companies advisory board includes 2 Nobel Laureates, a former US Secretary of Energy, a former member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, professors from the University of California, Berkeley, and successful entrepreneurs and innovators.
Deep Isolation plan to place nuclear waste in narrow 18-inch horizontal drillholes in rock that has been stable for millions of years. The nuclear waste repository begins with a vertical access drillhole extending thousands of feet deep before gently turning horizontal. Highly corrosion-resistant alloy canisters containing nuclear waste would be stored in the deep horizontal section.
Deep Isolation's patented design offers benefits including:
- Storage of 5 years waste from a Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) and 11 years of waste from a Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) in a single drillhole.
- Tilted horizontal drillhole and engineered seals offer excellent isolation from the surface.
- The drilling, placement, and retrieving techniques are standard and reliable.
- Sites can be located near power plants to minimize transportation
On January 16th, 2019, Deep Isolation performed a field demonstration, placing and retrieving a waste canister from thousands of feet underground.
Funding for Deep Isolation comes primarily from concerned citizens and successful entrepreneurs, as well as environmentalists. To date, they have raised $14M from non-institutional investors in a pre-Series A offering. This includes a 600k Pre Seed round, 10M Seed funding and an additional funding round of 3.5M in April 2019.
Aristidis (Aries) Loumis
VP of Government and Regulatory Affairs
Sr. VP of Strategy
Business Development Consultant
Systems Engineering and Management Advisor
CEO & Founder
Director, Business Development
Director of Partnerships
Director of Technology
Mary Louise Wagner
Government Affairs Senior Advisor
Director of Community Engagement
CTO & Founder
Chief Operating Officer
Director of Legislative Affairs
Chief of Staff
Director for Asia/Pacific