Fwd: FYI, Group press release on NRC’s rejection of the Okla mini-reactor COL license

28 Groups Previously Petitioned the NRC to DenyOklo’s Application Due to Information Gaps Over a Range of Safety Issues: “We Can’t Afford For The Next Theranos Or Boeing 737 MAX To Be A Nuclear Power Plant.”
WASHINGTON, DC – January 10, 2022 – On Thursday, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) formally rejected the application by OkloPower to build the first so-called “advanced” nuclear reactor in the United States. Silicon Valley-based Oklo Power, a privately funded enterprise receiving tax-payer backed grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, had initially submitted their application in June of 2020 to build the Aurora design micro-reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls, ID. 
The NRC stated: “Based on Oklo’s failure to provide the NRC with necessary information on its reactor… the NRC staff has insufficient information to establish a schedule or conduct a full review of the Aurora custom combined license application.”
The much-hyped Silicon Valley startup, Oklo, has claimed its micro-reactor design can meet power needs for utilities as well as industrial sites, large companies, and college and university campuses. Further, they stated that the micro-reactors could take “less than a year to construct”.  
In July 2020, 28 national and regional environmental and civic organizations, had petitioned the NRC to suspend its call for public hearing requests on Oklo’sAurora application because the application was “so grossly gap-filled” that it was impossible for the public to evaluate it. But the NRC rejected the petition, insisting that the public proceeding must go forward despite the application’s deficiencies.  
Diane Curran, the attorney representing the 28 groups in the petition, applauded the NRC’s denial of Oklo’s application, stating: “My clients’ deep concerns about this license application are vindicated. We said from the beginning that this supposed technological Emperor was all talk and no clothes. By validating our concerns, the NRC’s decision shows the importance of public oversight and involvement in the so-called ‘advanced’ reactor licensing decisions.” 
Tim Judson, executive director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (one of the 28 groups) added: “Nuclear speculators are trying to take the ‘fake-it-till-you-make-it’ business model into the business of nuclear power. That was a health risk to people with Theranos’ blood testing gimmick, and it is an outrageously dangerous gambit when it comes to unproven nuclear power plant designs that do not even have regulations. We are grateful NRC nipped Oklo’s scheme in the bud, but there were more holes than Swiss cheese in the company’s design to start with. There is too much pressure on NRC to ‘streamline’ approvals for many more such scam reactor designs, and we can’t afford for the next Theranos or Boeing 737 MAX to be a nuclear power plant.”
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists’ (not among the 28 filing groups) director of Nuclear Power Safety, Edwin Lyman: "The NRC staff did the right thing in rejecting Oklo's application. Oklo simply refused to give the NRC the basic information that the agency needs to assess compliance with its regulations and its legal mandate to protect public health, safety, and the environment. The company asserted that its reactor was so small and so safe that it didn't need to play by the same rules as those used to license larger reactors. But the fact remains that even a very small reactor contains enough highly radioactive material to cause significant radiological contamination in the event of an accident or a terrorist attack. The NRC cannot determine if the risk to the public is sufficiently low from those scenarios if the applicant does not provide credible and detailed technical analysis."
MEDIA CONTACT: Parke Qua, (216) 276-2476 or parkequa01@gmail.com.