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Oklo Selected by DOE to Develop Advanced Nuclear Waste Recycling Facility

Recycling radioactive

waste

Oklo Selected by DOE to Develop Advanced Nuclear Waste Recycling Facility

Oklo Inc., a designer of modern nuclear reactors, has been awarded a $5 million cost-share project in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory and Deep Isolation. The funding was awarded through the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which has launched its Optimizing Nuclear Waste and Advanced Reactor Disposal Systems program, Oklo said Thursday.

In a statement, Jacob DeWitte, co-founder and chief executive officer of Oklo, said the ONWARDS project will build on his company’s other DOE project work, allowing it to build a first-of-a-kind fuel recycling facility. The envisioned fuel recycling facility will enable Oklo to convert nuclear waste from existing used nuclear fuel into clean energy.

DeWitte said that a commercial-scale fuel recycling facility can potentially change the economic paradigm for advanced fission. He added that the DOE’s investments in advanced fission infrastructure will enable a cleaner and more secure energy future for the country.

The award will see Oklo use advanced sensors as well as advances in machine learning and digital twin modeling to develop and demonstrate a novel end-to-end recycling process. The result of its work will form the technical basis for a new facility for recycling nuclear waste materials in commercial quantities, the company said.

On Thursday, the ARPA-E announced that $36 million would be provided to 11 organizations developing ways to increase the deployment, and use of, nuclear power as a reliable source of clean energy and limit the amount of waste produced from advanced nuclear reactors. The initiative ultimately seeks to reduce nuclear waste, support safe and sustainable domestic fuel stocks, and advance America’s clean energy portfolio.

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Tags: Argonne National Laboratory ARPA-E contract award Deep Isolation Department of Energy federal civilian Idaho National Laboratory Oklo

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