FENOC and Holtec Successfully Complete Wet Storage Expansion of Beaver Valley Unit 2 Spent Fuel Pool

We are pleased to announce the successful completion of the Beaver Valley (BVPS) Unit 2 rerack project. Beaver Valley Unit 2 is owned and operated by FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC). This wet storage expansion project involved the removal of 17 existing Boraflex spent fuel racks from the spent fuel pool and replacement with 15 new high density racks, utilizing the Holtec proprietary MetamicTM poison material. As a result, the Unit 2 spent fuel pool capacity was increased by nearly 600 storage locations.

Earlier in the project, the FENOC and Holtec licensing team overcame a rigorous regulatory review and approval process, paving the way for implementation of the recently developed Mixed-Zone Three-Region storage array now being utilized at Beaver Valley to maximize efficiency of the high density spent fuel racks.

Because of the complexity of the project, overall duration of the site work was more than a year, with more than 35,000 man hours invested by the Holtec field crew. The field team including Holtec and FENOC support staff comprised approximately 18 personnel. The following table provides data on key performance goals versus actual field performance:


“The team performed extremely well over the last 18 months. The project safety record was very good,” said Beaver Valley Site Vice President Eric Larson. “The team continuously incorporated lessons learned from challenges during the implementation of the project, and driving productivity improvement. We appreciate the work done by Holtec and FirstEnergy personnel to complete this project in a safe manner.”

“This was one of the most complex projects in the history of rerack projects. We are proud of our team for successfully carrying it out with great success in safety and ALARA,” commented Holtec’s Vice Presidnet of Operations for North America, PK Chaudhary.

Removal of the spent fuel racks from the constrictive work areas at BVPS Unit 2 required several first-of-a-kind custom tools. Due to minimal lifting clearances and a lack of crane access, a new engineered lifting system was created utilizing a refurbished temporary gantry crane (from Unit 1) and a specially designed set of ANSI N14.6 compliant low profile lifting rigs. To supplement the lifting equipment, a rugged cask pit cover was provided to protect an installed cask pit rack in the event of failure and subsequent drop of the existing cask crane block.

Load Drop Protective Cask Platform
Load Drop Protective Cask Platform

The field team also employed multiple custom tools for removal of existing hardened stainless steel anchorage (16 bolts per rack), which was completed with entirely remote processes despite the tendency to gall.

Installation of the Temporary Crane
Installation of the Temporary Crane

With guidance from the exemplary FENOC Radiation Protection and Site Safety groups, the Holtec site team executed the work below the target project dose and most importantly, with zero safety incidents, OSHA recordables, or injuries.

The spent fuel pool densification project at BVPS Unit 2 was representative of nearly every challenge that can arise during spent fuel pool reracking efforts. It is with great pride that we can announce that the Holtec International and FENOC team has risen to the challenge and executed the undertaking of 100% rack replacement at Unit 2.

New High Density Rack A1 Installed
New High Density Rack A1 Installed
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Written by Amy Grant

Amy Grant is a graphic designer and web developer. She is the founder of the Southwark Historical Society, a volunteer based group that studies the Southwark Historical District located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.