Jun 27, 2019 | News

The DN30 Package is Getting Ready to Use.

With the issue of the French cer­ti­fi­cates of package approval the DN30 package, an advanced design for the safe transport of enriched UF6, is approa­ching its first use. The three cer­ti­fi­cates type AF, IF and B(U)F cover com­mercial grade and all repro­cessed enriched Uranium pro­ducts in use or to be used in the next decades for the manu­fac­turing of nuclear fuel.

The DN30 Pro­tective Struc­tural Pack­aging (PSP), deve­loped by Orano NCS GmbH located in Hanau, Germany, is a state-of-tech­nique design to protect any standard 30B cylinder against all mecha­nical and thermal impacts to be con­sidered under normal and accident con­di­tions of transport as defined in the inter­na­tional regu­la­tions SSR-6. Advanced safety fea­tures of the design ensure that the DN30 package fulfils not only current transport regu­la­tions but also the revision of the SSR-6 regu­la­tions coming into force in the next years.

The type AF cer­ti­ficate covers com­mercial grade UF6 with an enrichment in U-235 of up to 5 wt.%.

The 30B cylinders are per­mitted to contain any amount of UF6 between 0 and 2277 kg. Fre­quent refilling of heels cylinders without prior washing is allowed.
The type IF cer­ti­ficate covers con­tents of repro­cessed UF6 with a U-232 con­cen­tration of up to 60 ppb; the maximal U-235 enrichment is also 5 wt.%.
The type B(U)F cer­ti­ficate covers all con­tents of the type IF cer­ti­ficate as well as heels of repro­cessed UF6.

Special care has been taken in the defi­nition of the per­mis­sible heels to allow transport after emp­tying as soon as pos­sible and to avoid (excessive) storage periods of the heels cylinders before transport. For all con­tents, the cri­ti­cality safety index CSI is equal to zero, allowing any number of DN30 packages in a single conveyance.

The DN30 package is designed to with­stand a drop from 9 m height onto an uny­ielding target, fol­lowed by a drop from 1 m height onto a rigid iron bar, and a sub­se­quent fire with a tem­pe­rature of not less than 800°C and a duration of 30 min. The special safety fea­tures are e.g. a valve pro­tecting device, a rotation pre­venting device, a very robust closure system and a thermal pro­tection system. The plug pro­tecting device allows the use of 30B cylinders with any kind of plug design, either hex head plugs or socket head plugs. A sturdy sealing device faci­li­tates the use of high security seals

Care has been taken to keep the interface between transport means such as flat-racks and the DN30 package iden­tical to the interface of already existing PSP designs. Handling of the loaded and empty DN30 PSP is similar to existing designs. As a new feature, fork lifter pockets have been added to allow safe handling of the DN30 package with a fork lifter.

The French cer­ti­fi­cates of package approval are curr­ently being vali­dated in countries dis­patching, trans­ferring or receiving UF6, such as Brazil, Canada, Germany, Net­her­lands, Russia, Sweden and the UK. In the USA, a separate cer­ti­ficate of package approval has been applied for to allow US domestic trans­por­tation. For import and export pur­poses, the French type AF cer­ti­ficate will be vali­dated in the USA as well.

Manu­fac­turing of the first series of DN30 PSPs has already started. First units will be deli­vered to the cus­tomer in the 3. quarter 2019. It is expected to reach an output of approx. 100 units in 2019 and 200-250 units in 2020. Pro­viding transport capacity for the short term needs of the Uranium industry. In the medium and long term Orano NCS GmbH is ready to supply the industry with suf­fi­cient capacity to cover the world-wide demand in transport of com­mercial grade and repro­cessed UF6.