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Transnuclear Inc. Introduces First-of-a-Kind Inspection Tools for Used Fuel Storage Canisters

Press Release

August 02, 2012

BETHESDA, Md., August 2, 2012 - Transnuclear, Inc. (TN), an AREVA company, has unveiled an innovative set of inspection tools to assess the condition of used fuel dry storage canisters in coastal environments.

TN is leading the industry response to concerns about extended storage and has developed three tools for use by U.S. nuclear utilities.

  • Remote deployment of SaltSmart™, a measuring instrument developed initially for the Navy to check surfaces for chlorides before painting. In addition to developing the deployment tool, TN contracted with the manufacturer to modify the measurement instrument for the higher chloride concentrations that might occur after long-term storage in a coastal atmosphere.
  • A tool to collect heavier surface deposits, especially those located near the top surface of the canister by combining a mild abrasive with filter felt and a vacuum.
  • A tool to capture remote direct contact thermocouple readings of surface temperatures.

TN identified inspection methods, verified their applicability for a range of temperatures and chloride levels, developed deployment tools and operations methods, and provided training for the tools at TN’s NUHOMS® University facility in Aiken, S.C.

"We are pleased to be leading the industry in this important effort, dry cask storage is an integral part of an overall strategy for safe used fuel management," said Michael McMahon, CEO of Transnuclear, Inc. "We look forward to partnering with utilities and the industry to ensure the safety and reliability of used fuel storage canisters for extended periods of time and in all types of environments."

The tools were delivered to the first partner utility and were successfully used to inspect canisters that had been placed in service in the 1990s. The first deployment was witnessed by representatives of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy, NUHOMS®utility users, and users of a competing dry storage system. These are the first data ever collected on the surface temperature and chemical conditions for in-situ used fuel dry storage canisters.

Transnuclear, Inc. provides services for the nuclear fuel cycle including transportation, storage, and handling of used nuclear fuel, radioactive waste, and other radioactive materials. As a subsidiary of TN International and part of the AREVA Group, the world leader in nuclear technology, Transnuclear offers the industry an unsurpassed level of experience and cost effective solutions.


Michael French
Tel.: (301) 841-1702