Holtec Announces Dry Storage Milestones And MOU Signing

[UPDATED] Holtec International reported Tuesday that it had documented new record lows in curie content and heat load using multi-purpose canisters (MPCs) in HI-STORM vertical ventilated modules at numerous nuclear plant sites for both Pressurized Water reactors and Boiling Water Reactors. 

Holtec signing ceremonyOut of the total of 170 HI-STORM systems loaded thus far, 135 have been loaded by Holtec’s own site services group, the company said. (The total number of Holtec systems loaded globally to date stands at 1235.)

The nuclear units that have increased their dry storage population of HI-STORM vertical ventilated systems (VVMs) in 2018 include Browns Ferry, Callaway, Clinton, Comanche Peak, Dablo Canyon, D.C. Cook, Farley, Pilgrim, SONGS, Vermont Yankee, Vogtle and Watts Bar. These plants are operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority, Ameren, Exelon, Luminant, (Pacific Gas & Electric, American Electric Power, Southern Nuclear, Entergy, Southern California Edison, Entergy, and Southern Nuclear.

Of the loadings this calendar year listed above, Callaway is a subterranean (below-ground) storage system known as HI-STORM UMAX, which is also designated as the storage technology for the consolidated interim storage facility named HI-STORE CISF. HI-STORE CIS is being licensed with support from the Eddy Lea Energy Alliance (ELEA) representing the counties of Eddy, Lea and the cities of Hobbs and Carlsbad in southeastern New Mexico. 

D.C. Cook tops the list of operating plants for loading the most MPCs in one campaign (16) and TVA claims the top billing for loading the maximum heat load canister at 29.90 kW. The crew dose came in at or below the target at nearly every plant, with Exelon’s Clinton Station performing the best in this category, approximately 75 percent below the estimated dose.

Vermont Yankee’s loading was its last with its entire in-pool inventory of used fuel placed in dry storage in preparation for decommissioning. A total of 45 MPCs were loaded in VY’s “whole pool de-fueling” campaign completed this summer.

Pilgrim, also scheduled to be decommissioned, still has 2,378 fuel assemblies in the pool, which will be transferred to dry storage shortly after its shutdown in mid-2019.

Thus far, 29 MPCs have been loaded at SONGS with the loading of the remaining 44 scheduled to be completed by mid-2019.

On the international front, inaugural MPC loading campaigns are imminent at South Texas Project and Laguna Verde in Mexico. Ukraine’s national nuclear utility, NAEK Energoatom, is poised to begin operating the world’s first functioning Consolidated Interim Storage Facility utilizing Holtec’s VVER Canisters in HI-STORM vertical ventilated storage modules beginning in Spring 2020. South Africa’s Koeberg Nuclear Power Station will also begin its dry storage deployment using HI-STAR 100s next year. Within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, there are currently more than 22,000 RBMK assemblies from the long-shuttered Chernobyl reactors stored at an aging wet spent fuel storage facility called ISF-1. Holtec is in the final phases of completing the construction, testing and commissioning of dry storage facility called ISF-2ISF2 includes world’s largest “hot cell” for segmentation of RBMK fuel assemblies. The dismembered fuel assemblies will be stored in Holtec’s patented Double Walled Canisters(DWCs).           

“A relentless drive to make fuel loadings safe and efficient, to reduce radiation dose to the workers and the environment, and to make dry storage systems an invincible fortress of safety, are all core undertakings of our Company. Lessons learned from ongoing operations are continuously leveraged to further strengthen our dry storage program across the 16 countries where we have the privilege to serve,” says Holtec’s Chief Communications Officer, Ms. Joy Russell. 

In earlier news from Holtec, the company announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Holtec Asia to establish a manufacturing facility that would give India autonomous capability to produce systems and components to support the country’s planned expansion of nuclear generation. While the plant, to be potentially named “Holtec Heavy Manufacturing Division” (HHMD), primarily intended to fabricate complex and safety-related equipment for the nuclear power plants, it will also be equipped to meet the heavy weldment needs of petroleum, chemical, aerospace and other industries. The plant will operate under Holtec’s corporate nuclear and personnel safety programs which are applied uniformly across Holtec’s global operation centers in the US and abroad. 

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