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Oklo Submits the First Combined License Application for 1.5MW Reactor

Dan Yurman's picture
Editor & Publisher NeutronBytes, a blog about nuclear energy

Publisher of NeutronBytes, a blog about nuclear energy online since 2007.  Consultant and project manager for technology innovation processes and new product / program development for commercial...

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  • Mar 17, 2020
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  • Oklo Submits the First Combined License Application for an Advanced Fission Plant.
  • Oklo’s combined license application for the Aurora powerhouse is the first to be submitted for an advanced fission plant.
  • Oklo is the first to submit a combined license application using an entirely new structure to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
  • The existing application and regulatory structures are based on historical nuclear reactor designs, and Oklo’s modernized application is an important step towards commercializing advanced technologies in the U.S.
  • Oklo’s license application is also the first privately funded combined license application, and the first to be submitted online.

(Oklo) announces its submission of the first combined license application (COLA) for an advanced reactor to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Oklo’s application is a landmark milestone in the development of advanced fission technologies. In addition to being the first application for an advanced reactor, Oklo also pioneered a modernized and novel application structure for advanced fission technologies. Oklo’s application is also the first privately funded application for a commercial advanced reactor.

The NRC Public Affairs Office told this blog in an email, “”The Oklo application is in-house and the staff is going through its acceptance check.” It added that people interested in it should expect it to be available for public review in a month or two.

In a Facebook message Oklo has posted some of the application documents on Dropbox. Click here.

The California-based company began pre-application for the Aurora powerhouse with the NRC in 2016. The Aurora is an advanced fission power system that generates approximately 1.5 megawatts of clean power.

In 2018, Oklo piloted the new application structure with the NRC. The structure of the application was based on the regulations, completed interactively with NRC review and feedback to drive efficiency and effectiveness for future applications.

Caroline Cochran, COO and co-founder of Oklo, said, “We are excited to show that an application for a fundamentally different fission technology can meet and exceed existing regulations while not being impeded by guidance based on nuclear plants of decades ago.”

The NRC has taken a number of steps over the past several years to assure the effective and efficient review of applications for non-LWR technologies. “We are proud to reach this historic milestone. As the world’s leading nuclear regulator, the NRC is prepared to evaluate an advanced reactor application in an efficient and effective manner,” said CEO and co-founder of Oklo, Jacob DeWitte.

Oklo’s Director of Licensing, Alex Renner said, “This is not just a big step for Oklo. This license application is a significant step towards deploying advanced fission energy and starting the clean energy revolution for the sake of humanity and the environment. Clean air, the end of energy poverty, and a healthy environment for all life forms is waiting around the corner.

About Oklo Inc.: Oklo is a California-based company developing clean energy plants to provide emission-free, reliable, and affordable energy using advanced fission. Oklo’s first product is the Aurora, which produces 1.5MW of electric power and during its operation can save 1,000,000 tons of carbon emissions over the diesel generator alternative. The Aurora can produce clean energy for decades without needing to refuel, and also has capability to turn nuclear waste into clean energy.

Oklo received a Site Use Permit from the U.S Department of Energy, successfully demonstrated prototype of its metallic fuel, was awarded access to recycled nuclear fuel from Idaho National Laboratory, and submitted the first advanced fission combined license application.

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Mar 17, 2020

When NRC talks of the efficient review, I assume that means in terms of timeliness? What are the expectations for the timeline for these types of reviews compared with the more traditional nuclear technologies? 

Dan Yurman's picture
Dan Yurman on Mar 17, 2020

Faster. A review of a COL for an LWR can take 42 months. Oklo would be less but hot much so depends on the quality of their license documents. NRC is will working on an acceptance review. Until the application is actually accepted the clock isn't running.

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