Innovation

Our commitment to innovation

innovation_davit-crane1Holtec International has a long and storied history of developing and implementing innovative solutions to overcome technical challenges faced by our clients around the world. When confronted with unique and unprecedented challenges, Holtec’s cadre’ of experienced engineers and designers dedicate themselves to devising safe, effective, feasible, and cost efficient solutions that work within the physical and architectural constraints of the plant. Time and again, the results have been astonishingly creative and elegant in their simplicity.

A great majority of innovative solutions developed by Holtec in the past have provided our clients with flexible alternative strategies for implementing our systems, eliminating the need for costly plant modifications and upgrades. Some notable examples:

  1. Holtec’s patented Davit Crane, pictured to the right, prevented PG&E’s Humboldt Bay nuclear power plant from performing a major structural rebuild of the fuel building and the building crane. Holtec developed the “Davit Crane” to operate within the restrictions of the client’s existing building, ultimately saving the utility tens of millions of dollars while safely and effectively implementing the plant’s de-fueling.
  2. The problem of inordinately long drying times for waterlogged fuel at Trojan was solved by the Forced Helium Dehydrator (patented) which cut the drying times by a factor of four or more. This technology has since been deployed at over 20 nuclear units including at Chernobyl in Ukraine.
  3. The problem of restricted roll-up door openings at Perry (First Energy) and Salem (PSEG) was overcome by the device called Zero Profile Transporter (patented) which moves the cask with less than 1/2 inch clearance from the truck bay slab.
  4. The Variable Elevation Cask Pedestal (VECASP, patented) devised to permit the cask crane’s hook from being wetted by the (potentially contaminated) pool water has been summoned to protect the crane block at many plants, including Byron, Braidwood, Waterford, and Callaway.
  5. The Holtec Earthquake Response Mitigator (HERMIT) (patented) has been used to stabilize free standing casks during short term operations at numerous nuclear plants that must contend with large design basis seismic accelerations because of their slender building structure’s response exacerbated by the soil-structure interaction effects. Over a dozen nuclear units, starting with the Columbia Generating Station in 2002, rely on HERMIT for demonstrating safety under postulated earthquakes.

The spirit of innovation permeates our work force which has propelled Holtec to the forefront of technical leadership in our industry. The intellectual property behind those innovations that have a limited commercial market is protected through proprietary safeguards; those that have a large commercial potential are subjected to the patenting process. Our patent portfolio of granted, pending, and provisional patents, attests to intellectual dynamism that characterizes Holtec International. In each of our fields of activity, our patent portfolio is easily the largest in the industry; in some cases, such as dry storage, it is larger than the rest of our peer companies’ combined total.

Continuous investing in research and development to grow our stock of innovative technologies and manufacturing processes has been and will continue to be the key driver to meet our clients’ emerging needs and to sustain our growth and our success.