Holtec International delivered the first five of 15 modules for an on-site used fuel dry storage facility to Brazil's Angra nuclear power plant last week. The new storage facility, set to be commissioned at the end of this year, will create space in the almost full storage pools of units 1 and 2, allowing their continued operation.

One of the first five modules is delivered to the Angra plant (Image: Eletronuclear)

Under a turnkey contract signed in 2017, Holtec of the USA is supplying Brazilian nuclear operator Eletronuclear with HI-STORM FW systems and related equipment for dry storage of used fuel from Angra 1 and 2. Angra 1 is a Westinghouse-designed 609 MWe pressurised water reactor, while Angra 2 is a Siemens-designed 1275 MWe PWR. The units have different architectures and licensing bases, adding to the complexity of the project. Holtec is modifying their respective cask handling cranes and equipment for loading the fuel into the multi-purpose canisters and for moving the canisters to the dry storage facility.

Last week, the first five modules for the new storage facility were delivered to the Angra plant site. These cylinders will be filled with concrete to make the radiological shielding of the canisters in which the used fuel elements will be inserted.

Subcontractor Cardan Engenharia is carrying out the civil works for the dry storage facility. This work is scheduled to be completed in November. Until then, concreting the slab, building the warehouse and installing a security fence, external lighting and a guardhouse will be carried out. Temperature and radiation monitoring systems will also be installed.

All the equipment for the new facility - such as the canisters and fuel equipment and the remaining 10 storage modules - is due to arrive at Angra by July.

In August, Holtec will train Angra 1 and 2 operating and maintenance personnel. The following month, commissioning of the transfer equipment will begin, which will be conducted without using irradiated fuel elements. The transfer of used fuel from the storage pool of unit 2 will start in December.

The storage pools of Angra 1 and 2 scheduled to reach full capacity next year. In total, 288 fuel elements will be removed from Angra 2 and 222 from Angra 1, which will make room in the storage pools for another five years of operation for each unit. The dry storage facility can hold up to 72 modules until 2045.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Tuesday, 07 April 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Brazilian-used-fuel-store-set-for-year-end-complet