Nucleoeléctrica Argentina SA (NA-SA) has completed construction of a used fuel dry storage facility at unit 1 of its Atucha NPP. “Once the construction of the storage building was completed and the electromechanical installations were completed, the transfer of the fuel elements to the building where they will be housed was started on 27 August,” NA-SA said.

“Completion of this challenge marks a new milestone for the company and consolidates its ability to carry out complex engineering projects, as it did in the past with the completion of the Atucha 2 nuclear plant and the life extension of the Embalse NPP,” NA-SA noted, adding that it “positions the Argentine nuclear industry as an engine of innovation and development of the scientific-technological capacities of the country”.

NA-Sa said the work required investment of approximately ARS6,000 million ($43m) and generated employment for more than 200 qualified workers, in addition to increasing the knowledge and experience of 100 NA-SA staff. The project also involved local companies such as Consulper (civil construction), RAFA (electromechanical assembly), UZWIL (metal structures), Tecniark (panel engineering), Alsintec, (process and control engineering), Conuar (assembly of silo components), Fuego Red (fire prevention system), and SECIN (construction of used fuel containers).

The used fuel storage capacity at Atucha I required expansion as it is in the process of undergoing a 20-year life extension, which will see it operating until 2044. The new building is attached to and integrated with the existing building housing the used fuel pool. It will be able to hold 2,844 fuel elements.

Image: The dry fuel store at unit 1 of the Atucha NPP (courtesy of NA-SA)