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Title: Development of a conditioning system for the dual-purpose transport and storage cask for spent nuclear fuel from decommissioned Russian submarines

Abstract

Russia, stores large quantities of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) from submarine and ice-breaker nuclear powered naval vessels. This high-level radioactive material presents a significant threat to the Arctic and marine environments. Much of the SNF from decommissioned Russian nuclear submarines is stored either onboard the submarines or in floating storage vessels in Northwest and Far East Russia. Some of the SNF is damaged, stored in an unstable condition, or of a type that cannot currently be reprocessed. In many cases, the existing Russian transport infrastructure and reprocessing facilities cannot meet the requirements for moving and reprocessing all of this fuel from remote locations. Additional transport and storage options are required. Some of the existing storage facilities being used in Russia do not meet health and safety and physical security requirements. The U.S. has assisted Russia in the development of a new dual-purpose metal-concrete transport and storage cask (TUK-108/1) for their military SNF and assisted them in building several new facilities for off-loading submarine SNF and storing these TUK-108/1 casks. These efforts have reduced the technical, ecological, and security challenges for removal, handling, interim storage, and shipment of this submarine fuel. Currently, Russian licensing limits the storage period of the TUK-108/1more » casks to no more than two years before the fuel must be shipped for reprocessing. In order to extend this licensed storage period, a system is required to condition the casks by removing residual water and creating an inert storage environment by backfilling the internal canisters with a noble gas such as argon. The U.S. has assisted Russia in the development of a mobile cask conditioning system for the TUK-108/1 cask. This new conditioning system allows the TUK 108/1 casks to be stored for up to five years after which the license may be considered for renewal for an additional five years or the fuel will be shipped to 'Mayak' for reprocessing. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with the U.S. DOD Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR), and the DOE's ORNL, along with the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, worked closely with the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation (RF) to develop an improved integrated management system for interim storage of military SNF in Russia. The initial Project activities included: (1) development of a prototype dual-purpose, metal-concrete 40-ton cask for both the transport and interim storage of RF SNF, and (2) development of the first transshipment/interim storage facility for these casks in Murmansk. The U.S. has continued support to the project by assisting the RF with the development of the first mobile system that provides internal conditioning for the TUK-108/1 casks to allow them to be stored for longer than the current licensing period of two years. Development of the prototype TUK-108/1 cask was completed in December 2000 under the Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation (AMEC) Program. This was the first metal-concrete cask developed, licensed, and produced in the RF for both the transportation and storage of SNF from decommissioned submarines. These casks are currently being serially produced in NW Russia and 108 casks have been produced to date. Russia is using these casks for the transport and interim storage of military SNF from decommissioned nuclear submarines at naval installations in the Arctic and Far East in conformance with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II). The design, construction, and commissioning of the first transshipment/interim storage facility in the RF was completed and ready for full operation in September 2003. Because of the RF government reorganization and changing regulations for spent fuel storage facilities, the storage facility at Murmansk was not fully licensed for operation until December 2005. The RF has reported that the facility is now fully operational. The TUK-108/1 SNF transport and storage casks were designed to have a 50-year storage life. Current RF practice is not to condition the submarine SNF or cask during the cask loading. Current RF regulations allow up to 4 mm of residual water (up to 3.2 liters) to remain in the casks. It has been determined that allowing this amount of residual water to remain untreated for a period longer than two years can produce hydrogen gas through hydrolysis which will increase the risk of explosion and could cause some corrosion of internal components. A solution to this problem was to develop and utilize a cask conditioning system to remove the residual water and create an inert storage environment in the cask by back-filling the internal cask cavity with an inert gas, such as helium or argon. This system is compatible with the existing TUK-108/1 design and is mobile for use at multiple submarine dismantlement sites. The RF has required that this cask conditioning system be tested and commissioned at the 'Zvezda' Shipyard in the Far East near Vladivostok, one of the major RF submarine fuel off loading and storage facilities. Currently, the fuel cannot be transferred to 'Mayak' for reprocessing until the completion of the 20 km railroad connector between 'Zvezda' and the main rail line to 'Mayak'. The cask conditioning system will allow extension of the currently-stored casks for an additional three years, at which time the rail connector line should be completed. The current license to store these casks at 'Zvezda' was scheduled to expire on 31 Dec 2006. Without the cask-conditioning system, the license could not be extended, no more fuel could be off-loaded from the decommissioned submarines, and the START objectives could not be met at 'Zvezda'. Completion of this cask conditioning system has removed a significant bottleneck for the completion of the Russian submarine decommissioning program under the START II Agreement. (authors)« less

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]; ;  [3]
  1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington D.C. (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN (United States)
  3. Special Mechanical Engineering Design Bureau (KBSM), St. Petersburg (Russian Federation)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
WM Symposia, 1628 E. Southern Avenue, Suite 9 - 332, Tempe, AZ 85282 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
21290850
Report Number(s):
INIS-US-09-WM-07259
TRN: US10V0175038261
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM'07: 2007 Waste Management Symposium - Global Accomplishments in Environmental and Radioactive Waste Management: Education and Opportunity for the Next Generation of Waste Management Professionals, Tucson, AZ (United States), 25 Feb - 1 Mar 2007; Other Information: Country of input: France; 11 refs
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; CASKS; CORROSION; DECOMMISSIONING; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; RADIOACTIVE WASTE STORAGE; REPROCESSING; RUSSIAN FEDERATION; SPENT FUEL STORAGE; SPENT FUELS; STORAGE FACILITIES; SUBMARINES; TRANSPORT; WASTE TRANSPORTATION

Citation Formats

Dyer, R S, Barnes, E, Snipes, R L, Guskov, V, and Makarchuk, T. Development of a conditioning system for the dual-purpose transport and storage cask for spent nuclear fuel from decommissioned Russian submarines. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Dyer, R S, Barnes, E, Snipes, R L, Guskov, V, & Makarchuk, T. Development of a conditioning system for the dual-purpose transport and storage cask for spent nuclear fuel from decommissioned Russian submarines. United States.
Dyer, R S, Barnes, E, Snipes, R L, Guskov, V, and Makarchuk, T. 2007. "Development of a conditioning system for the dual-purpose transport and storage cask for spent nuclear fuel from decommissioned Russian submarines". United States.
@article{osti_21290850,
title = {Development of a conditioning system for the dual-purpose transport and storage cask for spent nuclear fuel from decommissioned Russian submarines},
author = {Dyer, R S and Barnes, E and Snipes, R L and Guskov, V and Makarchuk, T},
abstractNote = {Russia, stores large quantities of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) from submarine and ice-breaker nuclear powered naval vessels. This high-level radioactive material presents a significant threat to the Arctic and marine environments. Much of the SNF from decommissioned Russian nuclear submarines is stored either onboard the submarines or in floating storage vessels in Northwest and Far East Russia. Some of the SNF is damaged, stored in an unstable condition, or of a type that cannot currently be reprocessed. In many cases, the existing Russian transport infrastructure and reprocessing facilities cannot meet the requirements for moving and reprocessing all of this fuel from remote locations. Additional transport and storage options are required. Some of the existing storage facilities being used in Russia do not meet health and safety and physical security requirements. The U.S. has assisted Russia in the development of a new dual-purpose metal-concrete transport and storage cask (TUK-108/1) for their military SNF and assisted them in building several new facilities for off-loading submarine SNF and storing these TUK-108/1 casks. These efforts have reduced the technical, ecological, and security challenges for removal, handling, interim storage, and shipment of this submarine fuel. Currently, Russian licensing limits the storage period of the TUK-108/1 casks to no more than two years before the fuel must be shipped for reprocessing. In order to extend this licensed storage period, a system is required to condition the casks by removing residual water and creating an inert storage environment by backfilling the internal canisters with a noble gas such as argon. The U.S. has assisted Russia in the development of a mobile cask conditioning system for the TUK-108/1 cask. This new conditioning system allows the TUK 108/1 casks to be stored for up to five years after which the license may be considered for renewal for an additional five years or the fuel will be shipped to 'Mayak' for reprocessing. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with the U.S. DOD Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR), and the DOE's ORNL, along with the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, worked closely with the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation (RF) to develop an improved integrated management system for interim storage of military SNF in Russia. The initial Project activities included: (1) development of a prototype dual-purpose, metal-concrete 40-ton cask for both the transport and interim storage of RF SNF, and (2) development of the first transshipment/interim storage facility for these casks in Murmansk. The U.S. has continued support to the project by assisting the RF with the development of the first mobile system that provides internal conditioning for the TUK-108/1 casks to allow them to be stored for longer than the current licensing period of two years. Development of the prototype TUK-108/1 cask was completed in December 2000 under the Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation (AMEC) Program. This was the first metal-concrete cask developed, licensed, and produced in the RF for both the transportation and storage of SNF from decommissioned submarines. These casks are currently being serially produced in NW Russia and 108 casks have been produced to date. Russia is using these casks for the transport and interim storage of military SNF from decommissioned nuclear submarines at naval installations in the Arctic and Far East in conformance with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II). The design, construction, and commissioning of the first transshipment/interim storage facility in the RF was completed and ready for full operation in September 2003. Because of the RF government reorganization and changing regulations for spent fuel storage facilities, the storage facility at Murmansk was not fully licensed for operation until December 2005. The RF has reported that the facility is now fully operational. The TUK-108/1 SNF transport and storage casks were designed to have a 50-year storage life. Current RF practice is not to condition the submarine SNF or cask during the cask loading. Current RF regulations allow up to 4 mm of residual water (up to 3.2 liters) to remain in the casks. It has been determined that allowing this amount of residual water to remain untreated for a period longer than two years can produce hydrogen gas through hydrolysis which will increase the risk of explosion and could cause some corrosion of internal components. A solution to this problem was to develop and utilize a cask conditioning system to remove the residual water and create an inert storage environment in the cask by back-filling the internal cask cavity with an inert gas, such as helium or argon. This system is compatible with the existing TUK-108/1 design and is mobile for use at multiple submarine dismantlement sites. The RF has required that this cask conditioning system be tested and commissioned at the 'Zvezda' Shipyard in the Far East near Vladivostok, one of the major RF submarine fuel off loading and storage facilities. Currently, the fuel cannot be transferred to 'Mayak' for reprocessing until the completion of the 20 km railroad connector between 'Zvezda' and the main rail line to 'Mayak'. The cask conditioning system will allow extension of the currently-stored casks for an additional three years, at which time the rail connector line should be completed. The current license to store these casks at 'Zvezda' was scheduled to expire on 31 Dec 2006. Without the cask-conditioning system, the license could not be extended, no more fuel could be off-loaded from the decommissioned submarines, and the START objectives could not be met at 'Zvezda'. Completion of this cask conditioning system has removed a significant bottleneck for the completion of the Russian submarine decommissioning program under the START II Agreement. (authors)},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/21290850}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2007},
month = {7}
}

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