Orano to supply dry storage systems to Xcel Energy

31 January 2024

TN Americas - a subsidiary of Orano USA - has been awarded a contract by Xcel Energy to provide NUHOMS dry fuel storage systems to the Monticello and Prairie Island nuclear power plants, both in Minnesota.

Representatives from Orano and Xcel Energy at the signing of the fleet contract (Image: Orano)

Under this multi-year contract, Orano will manufacture and deliver the selected NUHOMS dry storage systems for the secure interim storage of used nuclear fuel assemblies. The NUHOMS dry storage canisters will be manufactured at Orano's TN Fabrication facility in North Carolina.

"Using Orano's NUHOMS systems for both Monticello's boiling water reactor and Prairie Island's pressurised water reactor ensures high-quality dry storage performance and transport-ready technology for future offsite removal," Orano said.

The Orano NUHOMS system securely stores the dry fuel storage containers in a horizontal position within a sturdy, low-profile, reinforced concrete structure (Image: Orano)

This contract award continues the long-term dry fuel storage management partnership between Orano and Xcel Energy in place for 18 years at Monticello and 33 years at Prairie Island.

"We appreciate Xcel Energy's confidence in us and the selection of our NUHOMS storage system following a comprehensive review of competing technologies and offers," said Jean-Luc Palayer, CEO of Orano USA and President of Orano TN Americas. "The combination of our experienced team, proven technology, and reliable performance provides the certainty sought by our customers for successful and safe project delivery."

Dry cask storage allows used fuel assemblies that have already spent some time cooling in ponds to be stored in dry casks or vaults, typically with air circulation inside concrete shielding. It has been used at US nuclear power plants since 1986, and according to World Nuclear Association, at least one-third of the USA's total used fuel is now in dry storage casks.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News