On November 18, Chornobyl NPP stepped to a new quality level of spent nuclear fuel management: in a new storage facility (ISF-2), the first double-wall shielded canister (DWC) filled with 93 spent fuel assemblies was placed for the one-hundred-year storage.
This activity was carried out by ChNPP personnel under the expert supervision of the IAEA, the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine and Holtec.
Deputy Head of the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management, Mr. Maksym Shevchuk, thanked the international partners, who are the donors of the Nuclear Safety Account administered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, for financial assistance to Ukraine during ChNPP decommissioning and Shelter transformation into an environmentally safe system. In addition, he wished Chornobyl NPP complete the hot tests and continue to operate ISF-2 successfully and trouble-free.
Mr. Volodymyr Pieskov emphasized that notwithstanding tough epidemic situation in the world and in Ukraine, caused by COVID-19 coronavirus spread, on September, 2020, the SSE ChNPP commenced the ISF-2 hot testing with use of spent fuel assemblies (SFAs). As of October 21, 2020, 93 SFAs were transported from the old storage facility to ISF-2. They were successfully divided into fuel bundles that were put into fuel tubes and in turn inserted in DWC.
Following these operations and in line with spent nuclear fuel management technology at ISF-2, ChNPP staff sealed the DWC: welded the internal lid, performed gas and vacuum drying, filled the canister with helium, sealed the internal lid, welded the external lid, filled the space between DWC shells with helium and sealed the external lid of the canister.
In the course of all these operations, the quality of sealing weld joints was continuously monitored by visual check and liquid penetrant test of weld joints. Following the DWC filling with helium, the DWC vessel internal and external shell air-tightness was checked.
The today’s event demonstrates for sure that spent nuclear fuel management process in Ukraine can be in compliance with the strictest modern requirements of the IAEA and can ensure environmental safety for the areas where it is performed.
Watch a video of the event below, courtesy of ChNPP;
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