Multi-Purpose Canister (MPC-31) qualified to store and transport 31 VVER-1000 fuel assemblies

Ukraine’s National Energy Company, Energoatom, Reaches a Major Milestone Towards Implementing a Central Storage Facility for the Country’s Used VVER Fuel

RIVNE, UKRAINE, Dec 5, 2018; Representatives from Ukraine’s government, parliament, and various sectors of industry witnessed the culmination of a successful series of tests at the Rivne Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) that validated the various critical functions of Holtec-supplied equipment and systems for the country’s soon-to-be-operational Central Spent Fuel Storage Facility(CSFSF) (which is known as the “Consolidated Interim Storage Facility”in the United States). The first set of tests included successful verification of the functionality of the (patented) forced helium dehydration system, lift yokes, rail car, etc. – all supplied by Holtec International. The final test involved heavy load handling evolutions demonstrated by handling and maneuvering of the HI-TRAC transfer cask from the rail car to the main reactor hall of RNPP. Photos of various components are shown below. 

Main Skid of the Forced Helium Dehydrator (FHD)
Main Skid of the Forced Helium Dehydrator (FHD)

Visibly pleased with the performance of the equipment and systems, Energoatom’s President Mr. Yuri Nedashkovsky called the construction of the CSFSF to be the key project for energy independence of Ukraine, stating, “Today’s event is memorable since it is for the first time in Ukraine and the whole world that uniquely appropriate storage and transport equipment for hexagonal fuel of Russian design has been demonstrated. These modern casks developed by Holtec International have two barriers that meet and exceed international requirements on nuclear and radiation safety and are of dual-purpose genre’ as they are designed for both transportation and storage of used fuel. Moreover, the casks have a guaranteed service life of 100 years in storage. We are pioneers as this is the first solution in the world for reactors of VVER design. Today we witnessed the fulfillment of transport operations with real equipment, which starting from 2020, will be used for used fuel management.” 

Deputy Director Igor Orlov noted the Holtec multi-purpose canister (MPC) can accommodate 31 spent fuel assemblies (SFA) from VVER-1000 or 85 SFA from VVER-440 adding, “Spent nuclear fuel which will be stored at the CSFSF site is a strategic reserve of Ukraine which can be used in the future for generation of electric energy in reactor facilities of next generations.”

Multi-Purpose Canister (MPC-31) qualified to store and transport 31 VVER-1000 fuel assemblies
Multi-Purpose Canister (MPC-31) qualified to store and transport 31 VVER-1000 fuel assemblies

The multi-purpose canisters provided to Ukraine are indeed the highest capacity and highest heat load rated in the world for VVER fuel. These canisters will be packaged at individual nuclear plants and transported to the CSFSF facility in HI-STAR 190 transport casks (also pictured below). With CSFSF in operation, Ukraine will become a world leader in owning and operating a state-of-the-art centralized spent fuel storage facility.

Energoatom reports that, in addition to the construction of the CSFSF, a major effort to modernize three nuclear power plants – Rivne, Khmelnytskiy, and South-Ukraine is underway. This upgrade program has an ambitious agenda which includes modernization of refueling equipment and lifting cranes for large-scale and heavy equipment, strengthening of reinforced concrete structures, substantiation of seismic, nuclear and radiation safety, and site for CSFSF equipment maintenance, etc. 

“Ukraine’s nuclear power generation is critical to the energy security of the country providing as much as 60% of its power need. It is heartening to observe Energoatom emerge as a world leader in terms of reliability of its nuclear units and management of its used fuel,” said Dr. Kris Singh, President & CEO of Holtec International who serves on President Poroshenko ‘s National Investment Council.

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.