Oklo has signed an agreement designating Siemens Energy as preferred supplier for rotating equipment of the power conversion system (conventional island) for the Aurora powerhouse.
Oklo’s Aurora design is a fast neutron reactor that would transport heat from the reactor core to a power conversion system and is designed to run on material from used nuclear fuel known as HALEU, or “high assay, low-enriched uranium.” The reactor builds on the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II and space reactor legacy.
Oklo said through this partnership it would would gain access to a well-established supply chain for essential components, a key catalyst for scaling up and improving the reliability of its fission power plants. Siemens Energy would also provide consulting to support Oklo in the design work of the conventional island.
Oklo plans to commercialize its liquid metal fast reactor technology with the Aurora powerhouse, which is designed to produce up to 15 MW of electricity on both recycled nuclear fuel and fresh fuel. Oklo said its fission technology first was demonstrated by the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II, which sold and supplied power to the grid and showed waste recycling capabilities over 30 years of operation.
The company also has secured a site use permit from the U.S. Department of Energy and a fuel award from the Idaho National Laboratory for a commercial-scale advanced fission power plant in Idaho, which is targeted to go online in 2026 or 2027.
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Last year, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) rejected Oklo’s application to build and operate the company’s Aurora compact fast reactor in Idaho. Oklo submitted the application in March 2020 and sought an NRC license for the 1.5 MW reactor to be built at the Idaho National Laboratory. The license application was accepted in June of that year.
Although NRC said that Oklo submitted supplementary information on several topics in both July and October, it found the information remained insufficient.
Oklo’s application contained “significant information gaps” in its description of Aurora’s potential accidents as well as its classification of safety systems and components, the NRC said. Although the gaps prevented further review, NRC said it was prepared to re-engage with Oklo if the company submits a revised application.
Later in 2022, Oklo submitted another licensing project plan to the NRC, and said the plan outlines future licensing activities and aims to support an “efficient and effective review process.”
Earlier this year, Oklo announced it would build its second and third plants on land owned by the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI). The land will host two commercial 15-MWe Aurora powerhouses (30 MWe total) and over 50 MW of clean heating, with opportunities to expand.
Also this year, the U.S. Air Force, through the Defense Logistics Agency, said it intends to award a contract to Oklo to install its nuclear microreactor for power and heat at the Eielson Air Force Base. The award comes from the Air Force’s microreactor pilot program. Oklo would obtain a license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), construct the plant and operate it under a long-term power purchase agreement.
In July, Oklo announced it would be acquired by AltC Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, and would seek a listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “OKLO.”
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