In operating plants, discharge of used fuel is needed every year to maintain full reactor core discharge capability. The excess used fuel is thus transferred into approved canisters for interim storage. The same applies after final plant shutdown when the spent fuel pool must be emptied for pursuing the decommissioning activities. Realizing maximum efficiency and minimum costs requires teams that are qualified to perform multiple activities during the canister processing (welding, ancillary equipment and crane operations, fuel handling and nondestructive examination activities).
Westinghouse has qualified personnel and tooling for executing these multiple activities to the highest standards. Westinghouse can provide utilities with all of the services necessary to transfer commercial spent nuclear fuel (SNF) from spent fuel pools to a dry cask storage system. These services can include complete turnkey responsibility for a canister loading/transfer campaign, to niche services such as fuel-handling operations and canister-closure welding. This allows the utility to lower costs by offsetting increased short-term manpower and training costs for performing canister loading in house.
Spent Fuel Interim Storage
Westinghouse has extensive experience in all the fields required to properly handle spent fuel, including fuel design, fuel handling, waste management and plant design. We have the capabilities necessary to cover all processes involved in spent nuclear fuel handling, nuclear waste treatment, engineering and management. Westinghouse has extensive experience in the development, design and construction of facilities and equipment for spent fuel handling and intermediate wet or dry storage.
Terminator™ Canister Welding System
Westinghouse developed the Terminator™ Canister Welding System to better serve customers in the nuclear industry when providing canister loading and closure support.The canister welding system is a multi-axis manipulator that incorporates two separate manipulator arms mounted on a common rotational base. The base is capable of continuous 360-degree rotation, without the necessity of rewinding the welding cables. Each arm can be independently operated and has 10 inches of radial travel. The welding system can be adapted to any commercially available spent fuel canister on the market. Westinghouse utilizes either a cold or hot-wire approach, depending on estimated time-to-boil factors.