An Innovative Cask for Transporting Defense High-Level Waste

by F. P. Falci, U.S. Dep of Energy, United States,
G. C. Allen, U.S. Dep of Energy, United States,
A. Zimmer, U.S. Dep of Energy, United States,
K. G. Golliher, U.S. Dep of Energy, United States,
M. M. Madsen, U.S. Dep of Energy, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1990


In the early 1980s, the U.S. Department of Energy/Defense Programs (DOE/DP) initiated a project to develop a safe and efficient transportation system for defense high-level waste (DHLW). Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) provides technical oversight and test support and General Atomics provides the design and safety analysis of the shipping system. The specific activities include designing, testing, certifying and fabricating a legal-weight truck cask system for DHLW canisters that are expected to be first produced by the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) at the Savannah River Plant (SRP) in South Carolina and later produced by facilities in Washington and Idaho. A truck cask was selected in order to provide a flexible capability for transporting vitrified waste to support a variety of expected experimental program needs. The first planned shipping campaign was to transport a limited number of DHLW canisters from South Carolina to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico. However, changes in experimental program plans, the passage of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act in late 1982, and the subsequent decision to have DHLW permanently placed in the eventual civilian repository resulted in revisions to the mission of the cask development program funded by DOE/DP. Given the deferral in the startup of the civilian repository and the potential for the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) to develop higher capacity rail casks for DHLW shipments, the truck cask development project is currently focused on the more limited shipment needs of the 1990s. These include having the capability to be able to transport DWPF canisters for experimental and examination program needs as they arise and to potentially assist in the early decommissioning of the Nuclear Fuel Services Reprocessing plant in West Valley, New York.

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