Oklo Inc., founded in 2014, is a company that has been working on advanced nuclear reactor technology, specifically, compact fast reactors. The company aims to develop and commercialize advanced nuclear reactors that are safe, efficient, and sustainable. Their focus is on small modular reactors that can provide clean and reliable energy.
Oklo’s Aurora reactor concept is a compact fast reactor (microreactor) that is liquid metal-cooled and metal-fueled with a maximum power level of 15 MWe. It will use recycled fuel from previously operated reactors, along with fresh HALEU (high assay low-enriched uranium).
Recently the Air Force announced plans to make Fairbanks, Alaska home for an Oklo Aurora microreactor to provide power and heat at the Eielson Air Force Base. This makes it the 4th planned site for the Oklo Aurora Powerhouse design.
Oklo’s first announcement occurred when the advanced reactor developer received a site use permit (2019) from the Department of Energy, as well as a fuel award (2020) from the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to build its initial facility at the INL Site (targeted for 2026 / 2027).
The other two locations are near Piketon, Ohio, and were recently announced in May 2023 as part of an agreement with the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI), a community-reuse organization, to deploy two 15-MWe plants on land owned by SODI at their Portsmouth site.
Note that in January 2022, the NRC denied Oklo’s application for their initial reactor (1.5 MWe) at the INL due to the company’s failure to provide sufficient information on several crucial topics regarding the Oklo Aurora design. At this time, no projected dates for these four advanced reactors have been established, as Oklo is actively engaged with the NRC as it prepares to submit a new application by 2025.