Machine installs NUHOMS-type spent fuel casks

31 May 2011

Wheelift Systems announces increased levels of safety and efficiency available for spent fuel cask transport and alignment for NUHOMS-type interim spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI).

Wheelift SPMT for NUHOMS canisters
Wheelift SPMT for NUHOMS canisters

The Wheelift self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) reduces worker exposure by requiring fewer persons to operate align and insert the cask. Only one person is needed to operate the transporter from as far as 30 to 50 feet away. The transporter’s omni directional steering and ten inch lift capability allows the same operator to perform alignments remotely to within 1/32nd of an inch and eliminates the need for an independent leveling and alignment system. The transporter uses an on board diesel driven generator to supply the transporter’s electric power. This on-board generator also provides power for the transfer cask ram’s hydraulic power unit. An alternative shore power connector is available as a back-up system while aligning and loading spent fuel.

The Wheelift transporter utilizes a custom designed cask support skid atop its deck with the push cylinder fitted with an electrically-actuated grapple to eliminate the industry norm’s possibility of a broken hydraulic line that could potentially contaminate the HSM.

Constellation Energy’s Ginna Nuclear Plant in upstate New York was the first to use the Wheelift transporters in their NUHOMS spent fuel storage operations.

In addition to time and space savings achieved, greater efficiencies are gained in the spent fuel storage process. The Wheelift SPMT’s omni-directional travel capability allows increased maneuverability in tight spaces. Because each axle and wheel is independently controlled, the transporter can travel forward, backward, laterally, obliquely and rotate about any point fully loaded. This capability allows for greater storage density and utilization of the space needed for ISFSI storage facilities without losing the ability to easily align the NUHOMS casks with the HSM. Tug and trailer technology typically requires 70 feet of space between the HSM modules. Wheelift’s SPMT’s can operate in 35-40 feet allowing greater storage efficiency for both current and future storage needs.

The transfer cask can be removed from the Wheelift transporter deck to allow the unit to perform other heavy haul tasks as needed. This multi-task versatility can augment or eliminate other heavy lifting equipment such as cranes.

The Wheelift heavy transporter and trailer capability group is part of the Doerfer Companies’ TDS Automation group, headquartered in Waverly, IA.

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