AREVA Federal Services (AFS), an AREVA subsidiary, has been awarded an $8.6 million (approximately 8 million euros) contract by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the design and fabrication of prototype railcars for nuclear material transportation. These railcars will be used for large-scale transport of used nuclear fuel and other high-level radioactive material (HLRM) to interim and eventual permanent storage facilities.
This contract includes the conceptual design and dynamic modeling of HLRM transport casks cars as well as buffer cars, which provide spacing between the cask railcars and the locomotive.
Once the concepts are certified by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) for HLRM transport, AREVA will begin the fabrication of the prototype cask and buffer railcars.
“Safe and reliable transportation is a vital component of our country’s integrated nuclear waste disposition program,” said Tom Franch, president, AREVA Federal Services. “With more than 50 years of international experience in nuclear material transportation, we have the resources and expertise to support the DOE’s effort to plan and to develop options for execution of this program.”
AREVA Federal Services will lead a team that includes KASGRO Rail, the fabricator of the only cask car currently certified for HLRM transport, and Transportation Technology Center, Inc., a railcar dynamic modeling and testing facility. Stoller Newport News Nuclear and MHF Services will support conceptual design reviews.
The nuclear transport railcar concepts are an integral part of the DOE’s Strategy for the Management and Disposal of Used Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste. This outlines a first step in the path to pilot the operation of a national consolidated interim storage facility by 2021 and to site and to license a larger national consolidated interim storage facility by 2025.