Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has recently begun manufacturing a dry cask for Shikoku Electric Power Co’s Ikata NPP in Ehime Prefecture. The cask will be used to transport and store used fuel. The power plant plans to install and start operation of a dry storage facility for 45 dry cask units on the premises by February 2025. MHI will deliver 15 dry cask units for the initial construction. They will be manufactured in sequence at MHI’s Kobe Shipyard.

MHI said its dry cask has four safety functions – confinement, criticality prevention, shielding and heat removal. Safety verification tests include a nine-metre tilt drop test and long-term soundness tests of materials including aluminium alloys and resins. The cask has a 60-year life, ensuring a high degree of safety and reliability, MHI noted. “In addition, we have established a mass production supply system for high-quality casks with short delivery times and excellent economic efficiency by establishing a dedicated cask assembly factory with highly automated manufacturing and inspection while making use of our know-how in manufacturing nuclear equipment.”