The Orano used fuel loading team offers a comprehensive solution to ensure utilities manage their used fuel efficiently and cost-effectively with minimal risk.
Orano has a proven track record on independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) startup projects, and has participated in campaigns at more than 20 U.S. sites.
The team has moved more than 20,000 fuel assemblies without incident and has more than 80 consecutive loadings on schedule and on budget.
Orano's innovative TEAM (Transnuclear Enhanced and Agile Management) approach brings an unprecedented level of control over safety, performance, risk and outcome. Orano streamlines the pool to pad program with a synchronized and highly-trained team of expert planners and supervisors that executes the project for you. Results are proven… with 'as promised' delivery of incident-free loadings time and time again. Our permanent in-house team is coached in all of the 'what ifs' that can occur on a specific site. We also test and train our customer teams with life-size mock-ups at our NUHOMS® University. When the loading teams finish their five-week program they have performed every aspect of loading in real time, real life scenarios.
As an OEM we know the technical specifications of the storage equipment, the support equipment and the transfer equipment along with the procedures… forward and backward. Our skill set is applicable at all plants regardless of orientation, with welding, vacuum drying and heavy loading pros who are used to working as a team with the traditional Orano esprit de corps.
Plus our global network of expertise and tried and true Performance Safety Quality tools mean that you can count on one thing… when you work with the Orano Pool to Pad TEAM... safety, schedule confidence and 'as promised' performance.
One key to our success is the training program at NUHOMS® University that brings in utilities, Orano partners, and other team members to participate in a five-week training course.
Each element of the used fuel storage process is practiced in real time with life-size models. Classroom training is enhanced by this live training, which includes the insertion of potential trouble areas that could arise, thus students graduate from the 'U' well-prepared to handle their loading. This maximizes Human Performance Excellence in the used fuel loading and transfer arena.
As a result, our PWR and BWR teams have consistent error-free, low dose loadings – setting the bar high for the industry!
In October 2019, Orano began a closely coordinated project with OPPD to completely transfer the used nuclear fuel at the shutdown Fort Calhoun reactor from the storage pol to onsite interim dry storage. This press release describes the achievement.
Expertise and site teamwork help complete fuel transfer from storage pool to dry storage on budget and more than two weeks ahead of schedule.
BETHESDA, Md. – With 18 days to spare, Orano TN recently completed the two-year dry storage system installation and pool-to-pad campaign at the shutdown Fort Calhoun Nuclear Generating Station in Blair, Nebraska. The team achieved an
average 4-day loading cycle for each used fuel canister—one of the industry’s fastest times—and a total project dose less than the stringent target goal.
Under the 2018 contract with Omaha Public Power District, Orano’s scope included expanding the site’s existing NUHOMS® dry storage system and performing all pool-to-pad transfer services. In addition, Orano conducted an extensive inspection of the emptied used fuel pool with underwater cameras and radiation detectors to ensure that all fuel debris had been collected and loaded into the NUHOMS canisters.
The 32 NUHOMS horizontal dry storage modules were cast on site in only eight months using local providers for thousands of yards of concrete, machine shop fabrication, and many other project services. With a strong focus on safety and quality during all the onsite activities, including the casting and pool-to-pad activities, more than 100,000 man-hours were completed without a personnel safety incident.
“Completing this project safely, on-time and on-budget required a true collaborative effort between OPPD and Orano TN,” said Tim Uehling, Senior Director, Fort Calhoun Station Decommissioning. “This major accomplishment demonstrates the care and commitment of all those involved throughout the project. OPPD’s customer-owners can be assured of the continued safe, secure storage of fuel in the robust dry storage system provided by Orano TN.”
By completing the loading campaign earlier than scheduled, the shutdown site can begin reducing significant costs associated with managing used fuel in wet storage and to initiate the next stages in the site’s decommissioning.
“The keys to the success of this loading campaign were the strong working relationship between the Fort Calhoun and TN teams, and the certainty provided by our efficient NUHOMS technology,” said Amir Vexler, U.S. president of Orano TN. “The teams’ exceptional coordination, initiative, and professionalism overcame some unusual challenges, including flooding from the Missouri river during the training and dry run sessions in 2019, severe winter storms, and implementing pandemic safety requirements.”
With the completion of the Fort Calhoun loading campaign, Orano has successfully performed the most total pool offloads in the U.S. industry, representing work at three shutdown reactors, and all of these offloads were completed ahead of target schedules
and without regulatory issues.
The NUHOMS dry storage canisters were manufactured in the U.S. at Orano’s TN-Fabrication facility in Kernersville, North Carolina.