Primary Inventor: Krishna P. Singh
Contributing Inventor(s): Joseph Rajkumar
Date: Jun. 4, 2019
Status: Granted
Jurisdiction: US
Assignee: Holtec International, Inc.
Equipment Type: HI-WEST
Patent No.: US 10,311,987 B2
Application Number: 14817885
Docket Number: HOL-089-US

Prior Publication Data: US 2016/0035444 A1

Related US Application Data: Provisional application No. 62/032,946, filed on Aug. 4, 2014.

European Patent No.: EP 3 195 325 B1
Date: May 22, 2019

Abstract: An autonomous facility for storing spent nuclear fuel in one embodiment includes a building forming an enclosed interior space containing a water-filled spent fuel pool. The pool includes fuel racks containing spent fuel assemblies which heat the water via radioactive decay. A passive cooling system includes a submerged heat exchanger in the pool and an air cooled heat exchanger located in ambient air outside the building at a higher elevation than the pool heat exchanger. A heat transfer working fluid circulates in a closed flow loop between the heat exchangers via unpumped natural gravity driven flow to cool the fuel pool. The air cooled heat exchanger may be enclosed in a concrete reinforced silo adjoining the building for impact protection. The building may include a cask pit formed integrally with the pool to allow fuel assembles to be removed from a transport cask and loaded into the fuel rack underwater.