TN Fabrication Facility


Located in Kernersville, North Carolina, Orano's TN Fabrication (TNF) facility includes 80 employees at two manufacturing workshops: an assembly and welding workshop for the manufacture of canisters for NUHOMS dry storage modules and a second workshop dedicated to manufacturing the UX30 and the DN30 for the transport of enriched uranium (UF6).

In 2018, Orano’s strategic decision to in-source all of its heavy manufacturing led to the establishment of its TN Fabrication facility in Kernersville. During 2019-2020, Orano consolidated all NUHOMS canister fabrication for U.S. customers to this single site, while maintaining its global supply chain for surge resources, and upgraded the domestic production processes.

The TNF facility has been specifically tuned to manufacture Orano’s latest and most advanced dry fuel storage system: NUHOMS EOS™. The EOS (Extended Optimized Storage) system consists of a large-diameter stainless steel canister with customizable length, an internal metal alloy “egg-crate” basket to hold up to 37 PWR or 89 BWR rectangular used fuel assemblies, and coated carbon steel shield plugs.

In tandem with implementing the facility’s new manufacturing capabilities, Orano’s EOS engineers created an interlocking basket design that eliminated all welds from the basket fabrication process. With this innovation, EOS basket production is four-times faster than legacy product rates, significantly improving the overall manufacturing line.

Orano’s advanced EOS technology is licensed by the NRC for used fuel storage heat loads of up to 50 kW per canister, the highest in the industry, and is the only high-capacity system in the U.S. market that has loaded customer used fuel close to this level.

These EOS system capabilities allow reactor owners to transfer hotter fuel assemblies and fuel cooled for less time from a reactor’s wet storage pool into secure dry storage. This benefits operating nuclear facilities by simplifying the management of the pools and continuously reducing the wet-stored inventory of high heat and short-cooled fuel assemblies.

The benefit is even greater for shutdown reactor sites. The EOS system allows a shutdown site to accelerate the transfer of used fuel from the pool to a dry storage facility, enabling the site to shorten its transition period and accelerate regulatory updates to the facility’s emergency response plan—both actions significantly reducing costs.

Along with the TNF canister facility, the large concrete EOS Horizontal Storage Modules for storing the canisters are also manufactured in North Carolina at Orano’s precast concrete facility in Moyock. These modules are engineered to provide maximum physical protection from external events, facilitate the highest heat load dissipation capability at 50kW, and ensure the lowest radiation dose—representing nearly half the dose rate of a vertical module system.

Learn more about Orano's Canisters & Casks

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