Earlier this month, the Holtec dry cask loading crew at Southern Nuclear’s Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant placed the eighth and final cask of the 2014 campaign on the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) pad. This accomplishment set a Southern Nuclear Operating Company fleet record for the most casks loaded in a single Used Fuel Loading Outage (UFLO). What’s more, Farley achieved a record lowest dose-per-cask accumulation in the fleet and earned a position in the industry’s top quartile (see the table below). This was Farley’s seventh UFLO campaign. The initial UFLO campaign was in 2005 and currently there are 29 HI-STORM systems with 928 fuel assemblies safely stored on the Farley ISFSI pads. All of the dry storage equipment in use at Plant Farley is manufactured at Holtec Manufacturing Division (HMD) located in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania.
We are pleased to announce that Holtec International is entering into an agreement with the State of New Jersey to build a world class, state-of-the-art Technology Center which would include a massive manufacturing complex, a reactor test loop facility, and a corporate engineering building. The Center, which is expected to cost over $260 million and will take up to four years to build, represents the largest single investment of private capital in the history of Camden.
A milestone has been reached for Holtec International’s Site Services group as they successfully completed the single largest delivery, preparation, and finishing of HI-STORM 100 systems to date. Holtec Site Services, in conjunction with Cook Nuclear Plant, overseen by Manager of Dry Cask Operations Paul Carteaux, successfully loaded, delivered, and assembled a record breaking twelve HI-STORM overpacks.
We are pleased to report that the NRC’s triennial inspection of the Company’s Quality Assurance Program at the Corporate Technology Center in Marlton, New Jersey, was concluded on June 27, 2014. During the exit interview, the NRC inspection team cited NO violations. The weeklong audit by four NRC inspectors evaluated the processes and implementation of various aspects of the Company’s QA Program including engineering design and analysis, configuration and process control, corrective action, audits, training and 10CFR72.48 implementation. In the close-out meeting, the inspection team praised several elements of our quality program including the composition and comprehensiveness of the technical reports and the corrective action program as well as our document control system.
Protecting used fuel from damage during periods of operations involving high thermal or mechanical loadings is a key challenge in devising dry storage and transport systems.
Maintaining the fuel in an undamaged state is important to assuring that, in the future, it can be retrieved from storage, if need be, by normal means. As is well known to dry storage specialists, the greatest risk of damage to used fuel occurs during its transition from the wet to the dry state when it is often subjected to intense heat to extract its moisture. As reactor operators have, in recent years, gained improved power generating efficiencies by driving fuel to higher burnups – meaning that it is subject to the effects of bombardment by a greater number of neutrons – increased attention has been placed on the challenge of maintaining fuel integrity after it leaves the reactor.
The Presidents of Holtec International, Dr. Kris Singh, and NAEK Energoatom, Yuriy Nedashkovskiy, signed an amendment to the Contract for construction of the Central Storage Facility for spent nuclear fuel on 24 June 2014 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
The president of the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia presented the George Washington Medal to Holtec’s CEO Dr. Kris Singh, at a luncheon on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at the Sonesta Hotel in downtown Philadelphia, PA. The George Washington Medal, established by the Club in 1967, is awarded to an individual for outstanding contribution to technological progress through engineering management.
We are pleased to report that the construction of a 48-cavity HI-STORM UMAX storage facility at Ameren’s Callaway nuclear plant is proceeding apace. The photograph below shows the status of civil construction work. The first loading campaign, consisting of six MPC-37 canisters, is scheduled to begin in mid-June 2015. The site construction is expected to end in January 2015 and the dry run is scheduled for April-May 2015.
We are pleased to announce that Holtec’s engineers have succeeded in designing SMR-160 into a “walk-away” safe nuclear power plant, which means that if a calamity were to strike – similar to the tsunami that devastated Fukushima ̶ the plant will passively (without human intervention) switch to and remain in a safe shutdown and cooled configuration for an unlimited period. Faced with an extenuating event, the reactor will automatically shut down and all of the plant’s fuel – both in the reactor and the spent fuel pool ̶ will remain in a safely cooled state without the need for electric power. Unlike its peers, which all have limited duration coping periods, requiring water make-up after a specific number of hours or days, the SMR-160 plant is designed to remain passively cooled indefinitely, without requiring any operator activity.
Ukraine, Europe’s third largest nuclear operator, has finally taken concrete steps to re-start its long stalled project to establish a domestic interim storage facility for housing its used fuel. On April 24, the nation’s Cabinet of Ministers approved the allotment of 45 hectares in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone to the national utility, Energoatom, to establish an autonomous state-of-the-art fuel storage facility to initially serve nine of the country’s 15 reactors [seven VVER 1000s and two VVER 440s located at three sites: Rivne (four), South Ukraine (three) and Khmelnitsky (two)].