Orano and Urenco have announced the signing of a consortium agreement for testing and development of the new 30B-X cylinder designed to transport uranium enriched up to 20%. The 30B-X cylinder equips the innovative DN30-X packaging.
This new cylinder is designed in light of future LEU+/HALEU fuel transport. For the upcoming new fuel designs and the evolution of the Small Modular Reactor market, solutions will be required for the transport of uranium enriched to up to 20 %, as they are not currently available on the market.
This DN30-X packaging combines the properties of the existing DN30 overpack with the new 30B-X cylinder into which is inserted the Criticality Control System (CCS) to ensure transport safety thanks to control rods with neutrophilic characteristics.
Two versions of the 30B-X cylinder are available for optimized transport capacity depending on the level of uranium enrichment, with a different number of CCS control rods: one model with a capacity of 1,460 kg of uranium enriched up to 10%, and a second with a capacity of 1,271 kg of uranium enriched up to 20%.
The DN30-X package was licensed in March 2023 by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Licensing in France is in progress and is expected in the second semester of 2024. Licensing for other countries will follow upon request.
The Urenco Group is a British-German-Dutch nuclear fuel consortium operating several uranium enrichment plants in Germany, the Netherlands, United States, and United Kingdom. It supplies nuclear power stations in about 15 countries.
(Source: Orano – Image: handling nuclear cyinders at Urenco’s Capenhurst facility, UK)