Orano to transfer used fuel to storage at Diablo Canyon

11 April 2022

Orano has been contracted to transfer used fuel to storage at Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in California (Photo: Orano)Orano USA announced that, following a competitive bid process, its subsidiary, TN Americas, was selected by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to offload and transfer all used nuclear fuel and Greater than Class C (GTCC) waste into interim onsite dry storage at Diablo Canyon nuclear plant after nuclear operations cease in August 2025.

Orano’s scope includes engineering and licensing to implement Orano’s Extended Optimised Storage (EOS) NUHOMS system at Diablo Canyon, design of a new GTCC dry storage facility, fabrication of storage canisters at Orano’s manufacturing facility in North Carolina, construction and installation of concrete storage modules, and conducting the pool-to-pad transfer operations for both the used fuel and GTCC waste.

Using Orano’s EOS NUHOMS dry storage system with its advanced capabilities and horizontal orientation, the offload of used nuclear fuel from both plant units is scheduled to be completed in approximately two years after the reactor shutdowns. Implementing Orano’s dry storage system Diablo Canyon does not require any major modifications to the existing storage pad or transfer path, and the technology will meet the site’s geologic and environmental conditions.

By transferring the used fuel pool inventory from wet to dry storage, the plant can begin reducing significant costs associated with managing used fuel in wet storage. 

The two 1100MWe pressurised water reactors (PWRs) at Diablo Canyon began operation in 1985 and 1986, and produce 9% of the state's electricity. In 2018 PG&E announced the units would close when their operating licences expire.


Photo: Orano has been contracted to transfer used fuel to storage at Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in California (Photo: Orano)

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