Orano packaging model receives US approval

28 November 2023

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved Orano's TN Eagle nuclear packaging model for the transport and dry storage of used fuel.

The TN Eagle cask concept (Image: Orano)

Orano's latest generation packaging model has an innovative design and modular structure, which meets the different needs of power plant operators by improving safety and competitiveness, the company said. It was approved in 2020 by the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), in accordance with the latest regulations from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), after "rigorous testing" to demonstrate its robustness and resistance to extreme transport conditions. However, the format for storing used fuel in canisters in the USA meant the design has had to be adapted for use there.

"NRC approval is a key step allowing us to continue our developments in the transport of used nuclear fuel in the United States," Frédéric de Agostini, senior executive vice president of Orano's Nuclear Packages & Services activities, said. "The result of the innovative design of the Orano teams allows us to divide the number of the transport packaging parts by ten and significantly reduce manufacturing times while increasing safety and competitiveness. The TN Eagle is a real technological breakthrough compared to other models on the market."

Construction began in February 2023 of a new factory at the port of Cherbourg in France to manufacture the TN Eagle, with the support of the France Relance investment fund. Commissioning of the TN Eagle 4.0 factory is expected to take place in 2024, the company said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News