We are pleased to announce the start of manufacturing of the latest Holtec nuclear storage and transport container, a version designed for Ukraine, christened the Double Wall Canister (DWC). Start of manufacturing was recently approved by the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant after the Ukrainian nuclear regulator issued a “no-objection” certificate of Holtec’s design for DWC deployment at the Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility-2 at Chernobyl. The DWC, shown in a dissected cutaway view in the figure below, is composed of two concentric stainless steel canisters that provide two non-degradable barriers against leakage of radioactivity to the environment. While the outer canister bears the brunt of the aggressive elements in the surrounding environment, the inner canister, protected from the ambient on both its inside and outside surfaces, can be counted on to last for centuries as a leak tight confinement vessel. As a result, the DWC has emerged in certain regulatory circles as the dream embodiment for extended interim (a century or longer) storage of used nuclear fuel. The initial manufacturing authorization is for five (5) DWCs with 231 DWCs ultimately being supplied by Holtec to store all of Chernobyl’s in-tact spent nuclear fuel. The manufacturing of the DWC for Ukraine’s Chernobyl plant (see photo of the shop bay below) is expected to be soon followed by a parallel program that will produce DWCs for EDF Energy’s Sizewell B Plant, located on the east coast of the United Kingdom.
“The DWC meets and exceeds the high bar of safety demanded both by the customer and regulator here in Ukraine. We are honored to have served as the catalyst for bringing forth this new milestone technology to the global dry storage industry. It should be re-assuring to the people of Ukraine that Chernobyl’s used nuclear fuel will reside in the most robust and impregnable containers deployed in the world at this time,” says Mr. Riaz Awan, Holtec’s VP in charge of Ukraine & Eurasia, based in Kiev, Ukraine.