Oklo awarded $2 million to commercialize advanced fuel recycling

June 29, 2021, 6:59AMNuclear News
An artist's rendition of Oklo’s Aurora powerhouse. (Image: Gensler)

California-based Oklo has received a $2 million cost-share award from the Department of Energy for the commercialization of advanced fuel recycling capabilities by using electrorefining technology. Oklo is matching $1 million in funds and is partnering with the DOE and Argonne National Laboratory on this public-private partnership, which is intended to help reduce fuel costs for advanced reactor designs while reducing waste by turning used fuel into advanced reactor fuel.

The project is being supported by the DOE’s Technology Commercialization Fund, a nearly $30 million funding opportunity that leverages the research and development funding in the department’s applied energy programs to mature promising energy technologies with the potential for high impact.

They said it: “We are proud to be selected to accelerate the commercialization of advanced fuel recycling and development and bring clean power to market quickly and cost-effectively,” said Caroline Cochran, cofounder and chief operating officer of Oklo. “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.”

Oklo's 1.5-MWe fast spectrum design known as Aurora is the first advanced non–light-water reactor to be accepted for a licensing review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The company has also received a site use permit from the DOE, demonstrated fabrication of its fuel, and gained access to recovered used fuel from Idaho National Laboratory.

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