Eletronuclear of Brazil has begun transferring used fuel assemblies into dry storage at Angra unit 1 as part of a process that will make space in the reactor's used fuel pool for the next five years of operation.

The storage facility at Angra. A cask with fuel assemblies from Angra 1 is seen on a transport hauler (Image: Eletronuclear)

Known as the Irradiated Fuel Dry Complementary Storage Unit, the facility at Angra was brought into operation after a 2017 contract between plant owner Eletronuclear and US supplier Holtec International.

Eletronuclear said it had loaded two Holtec HI-STORM FW casks with 37 fuel assemblies each from Angra 1 and transferred them to the storage site using a specialised Holtec hauler. They join nine casks placed there last year, each containing 32 used fuel assemblies from Angra unit 2. While the Holtec casks are outwardly the same, their internal structures differ to accommodate the different fuel designs: Angra 1 is a Westinghouse-designed 609 MWe pressurised water reactor (PWR), while Angra 2 is a Siemens-designed 1275 MWe PWR.

Eletronuclear said the 37 fuel assemblies were the first of 222 from Angra 1 which will be stored in this way and that this will free up enough space for the next five years of operation. The transfers are done by specialists from Holtec under Eletronuclear's supervision.

The company said that the dry storage site has capacity for up to 72 casks, enabling operation of the power plant until 2045. Brazil lacks a policy for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel, either to reprocess and recycle it or to dispose of it.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Tuesday, 22 February 2022
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Used-fuel-in-motion-at-Angra