Some of the compelling features of the HI-STORE CISF that speak to its transformative benefits and underlie its enthused acceptance by the nuclear savvy New Mexico’s populace are abstracted below.
Zero Radiological Release to the Environment
The HI-STORE CISF is environmentally benign, releasing no effluents or emissions. The radiation dose at the site boundary computes to a small fraction of the cosmic radiation that our planet receives from the sun.
Visually Inconspicuous Design
The HI-STORE CISF’s profile is less than 610 mm (2 ft.) tall, making it a less visible target from the air and less visible from public land. There are no areas on the ISFSI where a person may hide, making breach of security nearly impossible.
No Adverse Effect on Wildlife Forms
As illustrated in an environmental report prepared for the HI-STORE CISF, the facility will have negligible impact on the local vegetation, animals and other lifeforms that inhabit the land. Additionally, there is no possibility of contamination of groundwater.
Will Shrug off the Strongest of Earthquakes
In due deference to natural disasters, the design Basis seismic intensity level assumed for the facility corresponds to a 10,000-year -return Earthquake. (Typical for the presently operating nuclear plants is 100-year-return Earthquake).
Safe and Secure
The HI-STORE CISF utilizes Holtec’s HI-STORM UMAX vertical ventilation dry storage system, which is engineered to be immune to extreme environmental phenomena, such as hurricanes, floods, tornados, and earthquakes. The canisters are stored in underground, concrete and steel cavities making them essentially impenetrable. HI-STORE CISF is designed to withstand a crashing aircraft or an unlikely on-site fire without any radiological impact. Already in use at two sites in the U.S., the HI-STORM UMAX is a system that provides the utmost protection to the environment and superior radiation protection to the workers and the public. The HI-STORM UMAX system embodies four decades of progress in used fuel storage technology culminating in subterranean vault storage, reduction of emitted dose to minuscule levels, well below the cosmic radiation that envelopes us and incomparable resistance to disruptive events. In fact, as an industrial installation HI-STORE CIS employing the HI-STORM UMAX technology would be among the most fortified structures in the nation.
Modest Land Area Requirement
Up to 10,000 storage cavities will be enclosed in a rectangular area of 110 acres. Another 178 acres is needed for ancillary buildings and facilities such as a double fence security system, a batch plant for concrete mixing, the cask receipt and transfer building, a parking lot and roadways. The entire HI-STORE CISF will occupy 288 acres out of 1045 acres allotted to Holtec by ELEA.
Minimum Radiation Dose to Plant Personnel
HI-STORM UMAX is engineered to maximize safety of the workers, who will be local residents, and minimize the radiation dose to the environment. The storage cavities at the HI-STORE CISF can emptied of its canisters (defueled) with maximum safety and the utmost ease. With appropriate ancillaries on hand, a canister in the HI-STORE CISF can be safely placed into storage, or safely removed from storage in less than eight hours.
All-Welded Canisters Made to the Most Stringent Codes
The fuel is contained inside all-welded stainless-steel canisters (no bolted joints) that allow no pathway for the radiological matter to escape to the environment. Several measures are taken during the fuel loading process to ensure there will be no need to re-open a welded canister. It is filled with an inert gas, such as Helium, a gas that does not chemically react and that prevents any corrosion. Each canister is also leak-tested prior to use to ensure the space around the stored fuel inside the canister will remain reliably inert. The inert atmosphere prevents the stored spent fuel from degrading and eliminates the need to inspect the fuel or the interior of the canister.