System and Method for Preparing a Container Loaded with Wet Radioactive Elements for Dry Storage

Primary Inventor: Krishna P. Singh
Contributing Inventor(s):  John D. Griffiths
Date of Patent Issuance: October 20, 2015
Status: Granted
Jurisdiction: USA, UA
Equipment Type: FHD
Docket Number: HOL-002
Publication Number: US 2014/0047733 A1
Application Number: 14/060,384
Patent Number(s): US 9,165,690 B2UA 99941

Related US Application Data:

  • Division of Application No. 12/342,002, filed on December 22, 2008, and now Patent No. US 8,561,318

Abstract: A system and method for preparing a container holding high level radioactive waste for dry storage. In one aspect, the invention is a method of preparing a canister having a cavity loaded with wet radioactive elements for dry storage, the method comprising: (a) providing a gas circulation system comprising a condensing module, a desiccant module, a gas circulator module; (b) connecting the gas circulation system to the canister so as to form a hermetically sealed closed-loop path that includes the cavity; (c) filling the hermetically sealed closed-loop path with a non-reactive gas; (d) circulating the non-reactive gas through the hermetically sealed closed-loop path until the condensing module is no longer removing substantial amounts of water from the circulating non-reactive gas, wherein the desiccant module is sealed off from the hermetically sealed closed-loop path during step (d); and (e) adding the desiccant module to the hermetically sealed closed-loop path and continuing to circulate the non-reactive gas through the hermetically sealed closed-loop path, the desiccant module dehumidifying the circulating the non-reactive gas. In another aspect, a system and method is disclosed wherein the second phase of drying is performed by a vacuum module rather than the desiccant module to achieve the desired dryness level, the vacuum module being switched into the closed loop after the first phase of drying is completed.