Dry storage industrial Holtec International said Monday it had secured rights to a contract awarded in Slovenia for a storage facility after a lengthy review by the country's National Review Commission.
The contract for the turnkey supply of a Dry Cask Storage Facility at Krsko Nuclear Power Plant was originally awarded in May 2016, but it was "strenuously protested by Areva leading to nine months of independent expert reviews,” Holtec said.
After coming out on top after the review process, Dr. Richard Springman, Holtec's director of International Project praised the countries “exhaustive and deliberative,” review process, but noted that the process – “exemplary in respect of fairness and transparency,” -- had the unfortunate effect of delaying the on-the-ground start to the contract. “Unfortunately, the project schedule has been admittedly strained,” Springman said.
The Krsko plant is a 696 MWe Westinghouse pressurized water reactor that entered commercial operations in 1983 following a construction start in 1975. It has been upgraded twice and been granted a license extension that will expire in 2035, contingent on two inspections, one in 2023 and the other in 2033.
The contract won by Holtec includes design and construction of a Dry Storage Building (DSB), replacement of the fuel handling building crane trolly, and supply of the needed equipment and services to “effectuate the dry storage implementation,” said Holtec.
The building envisioned will be equipped with canister/cask handling systems and a state-of-the-art temperature and radiation monitoring system. Additional equipment will focus on circumstantial contingencies, such as equipment required to triage casks in trouble – “systems to safety execute rarely needed activities, such as severing a welded canister lid,” said Holtec.
The casks and storage facility will be licensed in Slovenia based on the USNRC 10CFR72 regulations, with additional performance criteria imposed by NEK to demonstrate safety against severe environmental phenomena and other 21st century hazards. NEK’s safety demonstration requirements are among the world’s most stringent, such as assured radiation safety in the wake of a crashing military or commercial aircraft impacting the casks and a postulated earthquake of an intensity exceeding any ever recorded on earth without toppling the casks (2.1 g’s in three dimensions). The DSB itself is designed for passive ventilation, a seismic pedigree of 0.78 g’s, and resistance to a flood level of over 2 m. To our knowledge, the safety requirements for this project collectively represent the most exacting combination of design conditions ever imposed on a spent fuel storage facility, the company said.
Holtec will fabricate the majority of the equipment at the Company’s state-of-the-art Heavy Manufacturing Plant at the Company’s Technology Campus in Camden, NJ. Holtec has partnered with local companies familiar with the Krško plant and local codes and standards for the civil work, supporting construction services, and for the supply of miscellaneous manufactured equipment.
The value of the contract was not revealed.
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I wonder what the grounds might have been for AREVA's "strenuously protesting" the result of the tender. And what was the point?