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Oklo, Argonne National Lab to Develop Sensor Technology for Fuel Recycling

OPEN 2021 project

Oklo, Argonne National Lab to Develop Sensor Technology for Fuel Recycling

The Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy has awarded fission power technology developer Oklo a $4.5 million cost-share project to develop sensor technologies for high-fidelity material counting.

In collaboration with the Argonne National Laboratory, Oklo will pair its solution with artificial intelligence to improve the detection of anomalies at power facilities. DOE awarded the project under a $175 million OPEN 2021 funding opportunity, Oklo said Thursday.

According to the ARPA-E website, OPEN 21 consists of 68 research and development projects aimed at introducing disruptive technologies in the U.S. energy enterprise. Some of OPEN 21’s other technology focus areas are fuel cells for vehicles and the recycling of used nuclear materials.

Oklo’s project is focused on improving safeguards at advanced power facilities and improving process efficiencies, steps that the company said will advance the commercialization of secure fuel recycling.

John Hanson, director of special projects at Oklo, said that the implementation of advanced sensor technology in fuel recycling facilities will improve the security and efficiency of the electrorefining process and reduce the cost of fuel.

Oklo added that its new ARPA-E project is only one of several research and development efforts it is conducting in collaboration with Argonne.

Oklo CEO and co-founder Jacob DeWitte said that enhancing materials accountability is a key step in lowering the costs of advanced fission.

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Tags: Argonne National Laboratory ARPA-E Department of Energy federal civilian fuel recycling Jacob DeWitte John Hanson Oklo OPEN 2021