Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved of a licensing Orano USA's NUHOMS dry storage systems, that will permit "significantly shorter cooling times—as short as two years—and higher decay heat" the company announced.
The higher heat dissipation capabilities of the NUHOMS system will allows the short-cooled assemblies to be stored in configurations in the canisters in a manner that maximize shielding while maintaining safe temperatures, even under extreme conditions, Orano said.
The reduced cooling time creates "significant operational flexibility" with regard to spent fuel pool to storage pad transference at both operating and shutdown nuclear reactor sites.
The greatest advantage to the new license can be realized at reactor sites scheduled for permanent shut down. These sites can now initiate "pool-to-pad transfer years sooner." Completing this milestone earlier reduces site emergency planning requirements and costs, while enabling the site to accelerate plant decommissioning and achieve partial license termination. The amended NUHOMS license also authorizes the canisters to store and transport used nuclear fuel assemblies with increased burnup levels, rod and assembly damage, higher enrichment content, additional advanced cladding materials, and new fuel assembly designs. “This approval recognizes the additional capabilities inherent in the advanced engineering of our NUHOMS dry storage designs,” said Greg Vesey, Senior Vice President of Orano TN.
Orano’s NUHOMS systems have securely stored used nuclear fuel in the United States for nearly three decades, with installations at more than 30 sites around the country.
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