Ensa collaborates in an international project to study the behavior during transportation of spent fuel assemblies in its cask ENUN 32P

The tests performed aim to validate that the spent fuel maintains its integrity during normal conditions of transport

Maliaño, November the 17th, 2017.- Equipos Nucleares SA, SME participates in an international and pioneer project to study the behavior during different transportation modes of the nuclear fuel assemblies in its ENUN 32P cask,  licensed for both storage and transportation purposes. This is the first time that a test of this nature is performed to verify the integrity of spent fuel in real transport conditions.

The cantabrian company has collaborated with the spanish companies Enresa and Enusa, the US laboratories: Sandia National Laboratories and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and with several organizations in South Korea .

This collaborative project has used the ENUN 32P cask, loaded with 3 surrogate fuel assemblies supplied by Enusa, Sandia and Kepco, which were instrumented with gauges and accelerometers to measure the stresses during cask loading movements in the nuclear power plants, as well as during the different transportations carried out: by road, by sea along the coast and across the Atlantic Ocean and by railroad.

Railway transportation tests

The rail transportation tests carried out on the ENUN 32P Ensa cask aims to validate the initial hypothesis that spent fuel maintains its integrity during normal t conditions of transport.

The tests have been carried out by Sandia National Laboratories and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories at the Transportation Technology Center in Colorado where the data was collected, obtaining around 8 terabytes of information.

The ENUN 32P has been subjected to various railway tests such as twist and roll, pitch and bound, dynamic curving, coupling impact, among others.

Preliminary analyses of the data suggest that the real stresses fuel due to vibrations and shock during normal transportation are far below the yield and fatigue limits of the fuel cladding.

Ensa will supply Enresa with 10 ENUN32P casks for Trillo and Almaraz, two spanish nuclear power plants.