Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
1996 International RERTR Meeting
DRY SPENT FUEL TRANSFER TECHNOLOGY
Thomas A. Shelton, Manager Cask Operations
James P. Malone, Vice President International Sales
John R. Patterson, Director, DOE Field Office Operations
For more than ten years NAC International (NAC) has designed, fabricated, tested and operated a variety of Dry Transfer Systems (DTS's) to transfer spent nuclear fuel from facilities with limited crane capabilities, limited accesses or limiting features to IAEA and USNRC licensed spent fuel transport casks or vice-versa. These DTS's have been operated in diverse environments in the United States and throughout the world and have proven to be a significant enhancement in transferring fuel between spent fuel pools, dry storage and hot cell facilities and spent fuel transport casks. Over the years, NAC has successfully and safely transferred more than two thousand fuel assemblies in DTS's.
Our latest generation DTS incorporates years of extensive design and operating experience. It consists of a transfer cask with integrated fuel canister grapple, fuel canisters, and facility and cask adapters as well as a complement of related tools and equipment. The transfer cask is used to move irradiated HEU and LEU MTR fuel onsite in those instances where direct loading or unloading of the shipping cask is not possible due to dimensional, weight or other restrictions. The transfer cask is used to move canisters of fuel from the fuel storage location to the shipping cask. Adapters are employed to ensure proper interfacing of the transfer cask with fuel storage locations and shipping casks (NAC-LWT and NLI-1/2). Our existing fuel storage location adapter is designed for use with a storage pool; however, site or equipment specific adapters can easily be developed to allow interfacing with virtually any storage facility.
Prior to movement of the first fuel canister in the transfer cask, the shipping cask is prepared for loading by proper set up of the base plate, shipping cask and shipping cask adapter. The fuel canisters are loaded with fuel and then retracted into the transfer cask via the fuel storage location adapter. The transfer cask is then moved to the shipping cask. The loaded transfer cask is then placed upon the adapter and the fuel canister is transferred into the cavity of the shipping cask. This operation is repeated until the shipping cask is completely loaded. Once completed, the shipping cask is prepared for shipment in the normal manner. One significant advantage of utilizing this technology is the minimization of cask decontamination efforts which are typically time consuming following wet loading.
DTS equipment has been used with research reactor and MTR fuel assemblies in Taiwan, Iraq and Greece over the past several years. The handling of canistered fuel has enabled NAC to standardize the canister handling equipment and transfer system. The entire process has proven to be a straightforward and direct approach in solving facility interface problems in the spent fuel transportation arena. NAC completed DTS operations at the Neeley Nuclear Research Center on the Georgia Tech campus prior to the Olympic Games.
The DTS was most recently used at the La Reina reactor in Santiago, Chile and will be used to load the fuel at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in late 1996 or early 1997, depending on DOE's schedule.
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Mr. James Malone
655 Engineering Drive, 2nd Floor
Norcross, GA 30092 USA