NUHOMS DPX: New Nuclear Fuel Storage Option Features Duplex Stainless Steel

AREVA NUHOMS DSSAREVA TN’s new used nuclear fuel storage option resolves concerns of canister aging and chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking (CISCC) during long-term storage by incorporating Duplex Stainless Steel (DSS) in its NUHOMS® canisters.

We understand the concerns of the public and the industry about the continued delay in finding a permanent used fuel storage solution, so we’ve been developing new inspection tools and researching durable materials to enhance the long-term safety of our advanced NUHOMS® horizontal storage systems.

The two-phase (austenite and ferrite) micro-structure of duplex stainless steel and its alloy content (including chromium, molybdenum, nitrogen and nickel) are especially suited for long-term nuclear fuel storage and provide numerous benefits including:

  • Superior strength when compared to austenitic stainless steel
  • Resistance to chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking, pitting and crevice corrosion (common causes of deterioration in non-duplex stainless steel pipes and containers in aggressive marine environments)
  • Proven resistance in marine environments, including exposure to high chloride levels and high temperatures

Duplex stainless steel will further enhance the performance of our NUHOMS® canisters for our customers in marine environments where susceptibility to CISCC is increased.

Using duplex stainless steel is an important first line of defense when fabricated as part of our high-performance double-welded canisters, and forms a significant and redundant layer of protection when placed inside our thick-walled, steel-reinforced concrete NUHOMS® storage modules.

“We are continuously improving our dry storage solutions for our customers,” stated Mike McMahon, Senior Vice President, AREVA TN North Americas, “and are pleased to now offer NUHOMS canisters fabricated with duplex stainless steel as part of our product line. This is part of a focused and aggressive effort to ensure safe and continued high performance of our used fuel storage systems well into the future.”

Watch the video showing how used nuclear fuel is transferred from the reactor to an above-ground horizontal storage module, check the FAQs for your questions about high burn-up or damaged fuel storage, and examine an illustration of a NUHOMS® independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI).