Oklo to collaborate with Atomic Alchemy on isotope production

May 16, 2024, 3:00PMNuclear News
Oklo Inc. (Image: Gensler)

Fast reactor developer Oklo, which recently went public on the New York Stock Exchange, announced on May 13 that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Atomic Alchemy to cooperate on the production of radioisotopes for medical, energy, industry, and science applications.

According to a press release, the strategic partnership will aim to combine Oklo’s work to build and operate fast reactors and its fuel recycling expertise with Atomic Alchemy’s expertise in isotope production to meet increasing demand for radioisotopes. Oklo added that the partnership can help address the gaps in domestic supplies of isotopes and tritium, helping reduce dependence on foreign suppliers.

Idaho-based Atomic Alchemy intends to submit a permit application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the construction of a scalable, fully vertically integrated radioisotope production facility.

Quotes: “Industrial and medical isotopes are indispensable to many sectors of the economy, from treating diseases like cancer to fueling clean energy technologies like radioisotope thermoelectric generators, fission power plants, and even fusion research,” said Jacob DeWitte, cofounder and chief executive officer of Oklo. “Our partnership with Atomic Alchemy will enable us to diversify our product offerings with radioisotopes produced from our fuel recycling process.”

Sam Altman, chairman of Oklo, added, “This partnership is an example of some of the promising aspects of Oklo’s recycling plans, with large potential benefits to a number of industries.”

“The world is facing a shortage of vital isotopes,” said Thomas Eiden, founder and CEO of Atomic Alchemy. “We are witnessing many promising cancer therapies stuck in clinical trials, unable to secure sufficient quantities of isotopes in a timely manner. I’m proud to be partnering with Oklo to help expand our domestic supplies of isotopes and tritium.”

Background: Oklo is currently seeking an NRC license for its Aurora Powerhouse reactor. Based on the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II, Aurora is a liquid metal–cooled, metal-fueled fast reactor. The company has already received a site use permit for the reactor from the U.S. Department of Energy and was awarded fuel material from Idaho National Laboratory.

Oklo claims its reactors can convert used nuclear fuel into clean energy while remaining proliferation resistant.

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