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Aalo prepares for US licensing of microreactor

July 10, 2024

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

In May, Aalo announced it had completed the conceptual design of the Aalo-1 – a factory-fabricated 10 MWe sodium-cooled microreactor that uses uranium zirconium hydride (UZrH) fuel elements. It plans to construct a full-scale, non-nuclear prototype of the reactor that will be used to test and refine its technology, ensuring that Aalo-1 meets its technical, regulatory, and economic targets.

The company also said in May that it had signed a siting memorandum of understanding with the Department of Energy (DOE), marking the first step towards deploying its first Aalo-1 reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) site in Idaho. “While not yet confirmed, Aalo intends to leverage this siting MoU towards locating the first Aalo-1 reactor at the Central Facilities Area site within INL, a location chosen to collocate with newly constructed megawatt-scale electrolysers, and INL’s upcoming hydrogen motorcoach fleet,” Aalo said.

It plans to submit a combined construction and operating licence application (COLA) for the project in 2026.

In December last year, Aalo was among the first FY2024 recipients announced for GAIN vouchers. The federally funded vouchers aim to accelerate the innovation and application of advanced nuclear technologies by providing companies access to the extensive nuclear research capabilities and expertise of the US Department of Energy’s national laboratory complex.

GAIN – Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear – is an initiative launched in 2016 by the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy which helps businesses overcome critical technological and commercialization challenges of nuclear energy technologies through a voucher system, giving stakeholders access to the DOE’s R&D facilities and infrastructure to support the cost-effective development of innovative nuclear energy technologies. All awardees are responsible for a minimum 20% cost-share, which could be an in-kind contribution.

Image: Aalo Atomics
Image: Aalo Atomics
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