The Vertical Cask Transporter Design Evolution Reaches the Plateau of Maturity & Versatility

The New Generation Vertical Cask Transporter (HI‐LIFT) Positioned Over a HI‐STORM 100 Cask
The New Generation Vertical Cask Transporter (HI‐LIFT) Positioned Over a HI‐STORM 100 Cask

We are pleased to report that the fifteen yearlong campaign to improve the heavy haul transporters used to move dry spent fuel storage casks has now reached a level of maturity that rivals other Holtec ancillary equipment used to load spent fuel into casks. In the photos below we show the recently designed vertical cask transporters, sold under the trade name HI-LIFT. HI-LIFT is co-produced by the Holtec Manufacturing Division (HMD, Pennsylvania) and J&R Engineering (Wisconsin). The first units entered service in mid-2013 and have fully lived up to industry’s expectations of ruggedness and versatility.

HI‐LIFT in Retracted Position
HI‐LIFT in Retracted Position

This new generation of transporters (HI-LIFT) are qualified to be seismically stable under the strongest Design Basis Earthquake postulated for any nuclear plant in the US, meet or exceed the strength provisions of NUREG-0612 and ANSI N14.6 and satisfy the stress limits of the relevant subsections of the ASME code. They are engineered to preclude failure from brittle fracture and fatigue and are manufactured as an Important-to Safety component. Most importantly, HI-LIFT has a sufficiently large vertical stroke to enable MPC transfer in a deep pit known as the “Canister Transfer Facility” devised by Holtec to harden the canister transfer operations against severe earthquakes (Holtec Patent Number US7139358B2 (2006)). HI-LIFT is single-failure proof and emulates the critical safety features called for in ASME’s NOG-1 to prevent an accidental load drop.

HI‐LIFT in its Fully Extended Position
HI‐LIFT in its Fully Extended Position

Rendering uncontrolled lowering of the canister carried by the HI-LIFT non- credible under all operation modes is essential to the viability of underground storage technologies licensed as HI- STORM 100U (Holtec Patent Number US7330526 (2008)) and its successor HI- STORM UMAX (Holtec Patent Numbers US7933374B2 (2011) and US7676016B2 (2010)). Like HI-STORM UMAX, which is designed to store any canister presently in use in the United States, the new generation of transporters will handle any canister supplied by any cask certificate holder to a nuclear plant. Thus both HI- STORM UMAX and HI-LIFT are universal devices engineered to serve the entire global dry cask storage industry.

HI‐LIFT and HI‐STORM Prior to Transport to an ISFSI Pad
HI‐LIFT and HI‐STORM Prior to Transport to an ISFSI Pad

Capable of being assembled and disassembled within hours, a single HI-LIFT can be used as a traveling transporter serving multiple nuclear plant sites hundreds of miles apart. Five HI-LIFTs are currently in fabrication including an ultra-heavy unit for a large dry spent fuel storage project in Europe.

Media Files: HH 29.03

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.