US-based Dominion Engineering Inc (DEI) said on 12 July that it has been awarded a contract to supply vacuum canister fuel sipping equipment and services at nuclear reactors in South Korea and will cooperate with Kepco Nuclear Fuel (KNF) for domestic market development and delivery. Joint services will initially focus on vacuum canister fuel sipping to support spent fuel storage and refuelling activities in Korea. Based on an agreement previously executed by DEI and KNF in 2019, joint services may be later expanded to overseas markets in which KNF is responsible for supply of nuclear fuel and components.
DEI will supply its patented Smart-Sip™ fuel sipping system, which uses a proprietary fission gas removal technology to achieve enhanced fuel leak detection compared to traditional vacuum canister sipping equipment. This ensures detection of small leaks that may otherwise go undetected using conventional vacuum canister sipping equipment. Smart-Sip™ system can be used for verifying the integrity of older fuel bundles with low leak signals prior to dry fuel storage and for effectively identifying and isolating fuel bundles with tight leaks during refuelling outages.
"Smart-Sip™ represents a significant advance in the state-of-the-art of fuel sipping equipment and technology," said DEI President Mike Little. "We are excited to be working with KNF, a long-time partner, to enhance fuel safety and reliability through the provision of this innovative nuclear fuel service to joint clients in Korea and globally."