After a few years, the fuel used in a nuclear reactor can no longer produce energy efficiently, and becomes spent nuclear fuel (SNF). A key concern for nuclear power-producing countries is the management of this fuel. The closure of NPPs, together with the lack of final repositories and limited countries with reprocessing facilities forces NPP operators to store the SNF in the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installations (ISFSIs) of the plant with two currently available solutions:
- Dry Storage in Dual-Purpose (storage and transportation) metallic casks: the reduced dose mitigation implies the construction of a cover to the ISFSI to create an additional shield.
- Dry Storage in concrete casks: not valid for transportation and weight restrictions.
In response to this market need, INGECID is now developing (currently at TRL6) the Auxiliary Shielding Module (ASM). ASM consists of 4 rings which are located surrounding the metallic container. The structural part of each of the rings is made by stainless steel and consists in an inferior flange, and two ferrules (interior and exterior). The inside is filled by concrete to assure the radiological function.
ASM offers a completely new solution for open-air SNF dry storage with a unique conjunction of features that are no found in any other commercially available solution:
1. Cost-competitive: ASM means a fraction (20%) of the cost of a covered ISFSI..
2. Light weight:. Optimal solution for ISFSIs with weight restrictions.
3. Dose reduction in one magnitude order for each container.
4. Additional protection shield against overturns, accidents, impacts or seism.
5. Ease of use: Installation with the same crane used for the manipulation of the metallic casks.
6. No need of construction of additional facilities within the NPP, (no EIA needed).
7. Provide an additional dose mitigation of the metallic casks during its lifetime (storage and transport).
8. Flexibility: ASM thickness customized attending Client requirements.
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