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Regulatory Approval Shortens Timeline for Transferring Used Nuclear Fuel into Orano TN Dry Storage Systems

Press Release

April 09, 2019

Washington, D.C.

Orano TN received approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a licensing amendment on a number of NUHOMS® dry storage systems, allowing these systems to store used nuclear fuel with significantly shorter cooling times—as short as two years—and higher decay heat. The higher heat dissipation capabilities of the NUHOMS system allows these short-cooled assemblies to be stored in configurations in the canisters that maximize shielding while maintaining safe temperatures, even under extreme conditions.

The reduced cooling time creates significant operational flexibility for transferring used nuclear fuel from storage pools to dry storage pads at both operating and shutdown nuclear reactor sites. The most significant advantage is realized by reactor sites scheduled to permanently shut down, which can now advance the fuel’s pool-to-pad transfer years sooner. Completing this milestone earlier reduces site emergency planning requirements and costs, while enabling the site to accelerate plant decommissioning and achieve partial license termination.

“These important evolutionary steps in our dry fuel storage technologies address the changing needs of the nuclear energy industry and deliver solutions that maximize value for all stakeholders,” said Sam Shakir, CEO of Orano USA. “This expanded capability is another step forward in responsibly and safely managing used fuel while enabling shutdown reactors to efficiently transition into accelerated decommissioning.”

The amended NUHOMS license also authorizes the canisters to store and transport used nuclear fuel assemblies with increased burnup levels, rod and assembly damage, higher enrichment content, additional advanced cladding materials, and new fuel assembly designs.

Combined with Orano’s MATRIX two-tiered concrete storage module, the NUHOMS system continues leading the industry in providing the highest heat load, lowest dose rates, and the most compact footprint of any onsite storage system, while meeting all safety and security requirements.

“This approval recognizes the additional capabilities inherent in the advanced engineering of our NUHOMS dry storage designs,” said Greg Vesey, Senior Vice President of Orano TN. “Our systems’ flexibility and certainty are relied upon by our customers, and are two hallmarks of our reputation for dry storage and loading expertise.”

Additional information and the updated fuel qualification tables are in the NRC document: List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: TN Americas LLC, Standardized NUHOMS System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, Renewed Amendment No. 15.

Orano’s NUHOMS systems have securely stored used nuclear fuel in the United States for nearly three decades, with installations at more than 30 sites around the country.

Learn more about Orano’s NUHOMS storage system.

Orano USA, a subsidiary of the global company Orano, is a leading technology and services provider for decommissioning shutdown nuclear energy facilities, used fuel management, federal site cleanup and closure, and the sale of uranium, conversion, and enrichment services to the U.S. commercial and federal markets. Orano Med is also developing anti-cancer treatments using radioisotopes. With its parent company Orano, Orano USA has more than 30 years’ experience in decontaminating and dismantling nuclear facilities, and more than 60 years’ experience securely transporting and storing used nuclear fuel.


Orano USA Press Office

Curtis Roberts
Press Officer
Orano USA
(202) 969-3254