The U. S.-based Deep Isolation has signed a long-term cooperation and licensing agreement with NAC International (a Hitachi Zosen Corporation subsidiary) to design, manufacture and supply canisters to store and/or dispose of nuclear waste in deep horizontal boreholes.
The latest agreement will see NAC engineer, license and deliver the canisters and other equipment associated with the handling and transferal of
The high-level waste, used nuclear fuel management technology, developed by the Deep Isolation, includes emplacement of waste in corrosion-resistant canisters, which then are transfered into horizontal drillholes deep in rock. NAC International is engaged in the development of canisters and other equipment.
“As we approach the milestone of licensing a disposal facility, we have an internal team focused on the process of moving the spent fuel from its current storage state, transferring it to a Deep Isolation canister and into the drillhole,” said Deep Isolation CEO Elizabeth Muller. “This is a non-trivial challenge that requires the highest standards of safety and precision, and we are making great strides. The disposal canister design and NAC’s expertise with spent fuel handling are essential to this work, and we are excited to sign this long-term agreement between Deep Isolation and NAC.”
Deep Isolation’s drillhole approach involves the emplacement of waste in corrosion-resistant canisters – typically 9-13 inches (23—33 centimetres) in diameter and 14 feet (4.3 metres) long — into horizontal drillholes deep in rock that has been stable for tens to hundreds of millions of years. A vertical access section — which could be a few thousand feet to a few miles deep, depending on the geology – gradually curves to form a nearly horizontal disposal section which could be up to 2 miles long.
Once the waste is in place, the vertical access section of the drillhole and the beginning of its horizontal disposal section are sealed using rock, bentonite and other materials, although the canisters can still be retrieved if necessary.
According to World Nuclear News.