Nuclear Spent Fuel Storage

Nuclear Industry

Summary

A nuclear plant using the NUHOMS® system for spent fuel storage uses Wheelift transporters to simplify and shorten the campaign work process of spent fuel moves into ISFSI facilities.

Challenge.

Provide a common integrated system for handling, transporting, and loading spent fuel transport casks into NUHOMS® Horizontal Storage Modules (HSM) at 3 existing ISFSI locations.

Solution.

Wheelift engineered and built weatherized, diesel-powered, 12-axle, omni-directional transporters with oversized wheels that provided key efficiency, reliability, and security improvements for the facilities.

Features.

  • 135 ton capacity
  • Infinitely variable travel speed up to 110 FPM
  • 10” vertical lift
  • 6% (3.44°) automatic tilt correction
  • <500 PSI tire contact pressure for travel over existing paved roadways
  • Wheelift Transporter Equalizing Suspension

    Unlike many heavy load transportation methods, Wheelift transporters have the capability to handle bumps and cracks while maintaining load balance and stability.

  • Precise NUHOMS Storage at ISFSI Facility

    ​Casks are placed with precision thanks to Wheelift’s steering and lift accuracy.​

  • Wheelift Travel Flexibility

    Wheelift transporters can travel on existing terrains—around corners, at angles, and over bumps.

  • Spent Fuel Cask Transporter

    A Wheelift transporter specifically made to move spent fuel casks safely.

  • Safely Transporting Nuclear Spent Fuel Casks

    Wheelift transporters safely move nuclear casks at NUHOMS spent fuel facilities.

  • Hydraulic Ram Cylinder Droop Control

    Wheelift transporters provide much improved “droop control” for the hydraulic ram cylinder. A lift cylinder mounted at the front of the cylinder barrel precisely controls the natural “droop” of the extended telescoping cylinder rod.

  • Wheelift transporters maneuver safely outdoors with equalized suspension to maintain load balance.

  • Wheelift Transporter Operator Remote

    Wheelift transporters are fully operated from a wireless belly pack. Control direction, speed, multi-mode, and more.

  • Wheelift Wheel Module

    A close-up view of the Wheelift wheel module that allows omni-directional travel, lift for self-loading, equalized suspension, and more.

  • Headed Wheelift Nuclear Transporter

    Carrying heavy loads at an angle isn’t easy, but it is with Wheelift. Our transporters can travel up or down slopes, with specific angles depending on number of axles, horsepower, and other factors.

  • Wheelift Transporter Maneuverability

    With omni-directional steering, Wheelift transporters can maneuver in and out of smaller spaces.

About the Product.

A set of Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) facilities that use NUHOMS system for spent fuel storage looked to Wheelift to integrate handling, transporting, and loading spent fuel at 3 locations. Wheelift’s transporters greatly simplified processes and helped the energy producer gain innumerable efficiencies.

Previously, the facilities used trailer-mounted transfer cask skids to transport spent fuel. Because those transporters had to make turns into the alleys, the space between HSMs had to be 60’. Wheelift’s omni-directional travel capabilities allowed the ISFSI pad to be redesigned with 36’ access aisles. Instead of turning, a Wheelift transporter can rotate its axles 90° to crab sideways down the alley—allowing the facilities to cut alley width almost in half and greatly increase room for additional HSMs. These Wheelift transporters are operated through a wireless belly pack pendant with a joystick that facilitates precision control for the vehicle.

Exposure is an important measure of safety at ISFSI facilities. When the Wheelift transporters were used for a dry shielded canister (DSC) transfer during 4 fuel moves, data showed that total (gamma + neutron) dose was consistently less than one-tenth (1/10) the total dose of the most efficient DSC transfer at a sister site that used conventional trailer equipment.

In addition, the ISFSI facilities that implemented Wheelift transporters saw operational benefits:

  • Simplified cask alignment and shortened work schedule, which reduced campaign labor cost reductions
  • Significant reliability improvements over traditional industry standard processes
  • Enhanced security through tight process control and reduced clutter
  • Year-round transporter usage flexibility for additional heavy load move requirements

Interested in improving your NUHOMS® facility? Contact us.

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