Containers for the transport of radioactive waste

ATB Group has worked in cooperation with ORANO TN in the development and production of a new generation cask for the transport of nuclear fuel.

English Italian Spanish
Project: Casks
Company: ATB Riva Calzoni
Category: Nuclear Project
Customer: Orano TN
Period: 2018-2021

By the end of 2018 ATB Group is officially one of the world’s leading manufacturers of the most sophisticated and safest technology for the transport of spent radioactive fuels. 

New materials and construction technologies as well as new radiation protection concepts were developed to provide the principal the best performance in terms of safety and durability. These containers constructed based on an Orano TN design weigh about 80 tonnes each. Solidity and resistance are the most important production characteristics.

Te "Transportation Casks" is an high-tech container suitable for transport nuclear fuel (NF) and for depleted or exhausted nuclear fuel.

Dimensions: the cask has a length of about 6 meters with a diameter of about 2.5 meters

Weight: the weight of the cask complete with closures is about 100 tons

Composition: it is basically composed of a hollow body and two closures, primary cover and secondary cover

Materials: the main structure is made using forged steel with low Cobalt content. The external structure is made using copper, aluminum and resin components.

Fabrication: The main structure is fabricated by welding together forgings with very high wall thicknesses. These welds are made with a special technique in order to avoid any distortion of the material. Upon completion, the welded structure is heat treated to eliminate any internal tension

Special processes: the manufacture, assembly and welding of the external copper structure is carried out through a welding process qualified by ATB. This technique is of great importance in consideration of the peculiarities of the material, copper with important thicknesses.

Final tests: at the end of manufacturing, the cask is tested with tightness tests using helium as test gas. The use of this gas confirms the severity of the required acceptability criteria

Equipment: the manufacture of nuclear cask requires the availability of important equipment starting from what is needed for handling, overhead cranes over 100 tons of capacity, up to machine tools, boring machines and large numerical control lathes. A separate discussion concerns the definition and qualification of the welding processes necessary for manufacturing for which ATB has a dedicated facility with a laboratory equipped with cutting-edge equipment.

With this type of production, ATB Group enhanced its experience in the nuclear industry, which it began in 2009.