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Orano Completes Delivery of the Most Advanced Used Fuel and Radioactive Waste Transport Cask in the United States

Press Release

November 06, 2019

MP197HB added to Orano’s fleet of transport casks to safely and efficiently transport radioactive materials.

Washington, D.C., November 6, 2019

Orano TN delivered its first production of the most advanced and versatile shielded transport cask in the U.S. designed to move used nuclear fuel assemblies and Low Level Waste (LLW). The NUHOMS® MP197HB transport cask will be deployed by Orano later this year to move LLW generated from the ongoing decommissioning of Vermont Yankee to the Waste Control Specialists waste disposal site in Texas.

This NUHOMS MP197HB is also the only transport cask in the U.S. available today to transport high burnup and damaged used nuclear fuel. This cask was initially licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in October 2011, with nine subsequent revisions upgrading its capabilities to cover a wide variety of payloads. The first production unit is now fabricated, certified, delivered, and currently being deployed for its first mission.

“The versatility of Orano’s MP197HB cask to transport low level radwaste from decommissioning sites today and to become the workhorse cask for securely moving a variety of used fuel canisters is critical for our industry,” said Sam Shakir, CEO of Orano USA. “This versatility helps reduce decommissioning complexity and costs, simplify transport planning, and maintain commitments to the host communities for the safe management of radioactive materials.”

For transporting LLW waste, the cask’s extra-large interior space helps limit the number of offsite shipments needed to remove material generated during the decommissioning of shutdown sites’ reactor vessels and large components.

The MP197HB cask is an integrated element of Orano’s NUHOMS dry storage system, which has been used for storing used nuclear fuel and GTCC waste for decades at more than 30 U.S. reactor sites. This same proven system is part of the planned Interim Storage Partners consolidated interim storage facility undergoing NRC licensing review.

The MP197HB seamlessly interfaces with the storage systems used on reactor sites to load the used fuel canisters. The cask is loaded using a secure direct horizontal transfer, where the canisters are never lifted or suspended from a crane or a lifting device, and are never without the full protection of the robust MP197HB cask. The same horizontal transfer operation is conducted in reverse at the future ISP CISF for unloading.

This new cask is an important addition to Orano TN’s owned and operated fleet of U.S. transportation casks, including the TN RAM and the TN-LC.

With more than 50 years of experience in nuclear materials transport around the globe, Orano TN has established the gold standard for transportation protocols, regulatory compliance, and the most comprehensive emergency planning and response capabilities. Today, Orano TN carries out 5,000 shipments each year for its customers, including nuclear energy facilities, fuel manufacturers, fuel cycle facilities, and research institutions. More than 200 of these annual shipments annually are of used nuclear fuel from various points around the globe to Orano’s La Hague reprocessing facility in Normandy, France.

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.


A Texas sunrise highlights Orano’s new MP197HB shielded transport cask during training exercises at Waste Control Specialists. Image: © Orano.

Onsite at the Vermont Yankee accelerated decommissioning project, Orano’s MP197HB shielded transport cask is one several methods for waste packaging and transport, according to the content’s characteristics.  Image: © Orano, Warren Wright.

Orano USA Press Office

Curtis Roberts
Press Officer
Orano USA
(202) 374-8766