U.S. Army’s Missile Launcher Strikes HI‐STAR 180 with Pinpoint Accuracy: A Red Letter Day for Holtec’s Transport Cask Program

August 29, 2013, U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Grounds: As engineers from Axpo Power AG (Holtec’s client), the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI), the Swiss Association for Technical Inspections (SVTI) and Holtec watched, the U.S. Army’s missile launcher delivered a picture perfect strike to a scaled model of the HI-STAR 180 transport cask, sending it tumbling into a catch box just as intended by our test engineers. In accordance with the Swiss regulator’s storage certification requirement, this missile test was designed to simulate the impact of a crashing aircraft on the HI-STAR 180 transport cask while in use as a spent fuel storage device. The missile was designed by Holtec’s engineers to deliver the “design basis impulse” using LS-DYNA. Calibration of the missile’s kinetic performance was calibrated over a year ago at the Aberdeen facility by hurling the missile against a “rigid” wall serving as the target. The data collected from the cask test showed that the missile struck the cask at a velocity exceeding 600 miles per hour which was over 17% greater than the target value and the location of impact was precisely that determined to impart the maximum stress levels on the containment boundary and to conservatively challenge the cask containment (to induce leakage of the cask’s contents) by parametric simulations on LS- DYNA.