USA-based diversified energy technology company Holtec International has bought a self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) from heavy lift systems specialist Enerpac Heavy Lifting Technology. The SPMT600 hauling transporter is being used to move spent nuclear fuel to EDF Energy’s new dry store at the Sizewell B nuclear facility in the UK.

Image 1 enerpac spmt600 for sizewell b

The Enerpac SPMT600 hauling transporter

Spent nuclear fuel is sealed in Holtec double wall, multi-purpose canisters (MPCs) and placed within Holtec’s Hi-Storm casks. These are overpacks which contain MPCs and are licensed worldwide. Holtec double wall MPCs stored within Hi-Storm overpacks provide multiple barriers against threats and accidents of all kinds and represent the state-of-the-art in the industry for long-term interim spent fuel storage, said Enerpac. The Sizewell B dry fuel store is designed to provide safe, onsite storage of a lifetime’s spent fuel. With this facility, the power station can continue to generate electricity until at least 2035, and potentially for a further 20 years beyond that, subject to life extension, Enerpac said.

The Enerpac SPMT600 hauling transporter transfers the casks from the generating facility to the dry store. Its has a slim design and a low height which is suitable for operating in confined spaces, the company claimed. The SPMT provides 360-degree steering, and can also steer in ‘crab’ mode. The steering angle of all wheel sets can be precisely adjusted, allowing the hauling transporter to make any desired movement, Enerpac stated.

Image 2 enerpac hauling transporter at the dry fuel store

The Enerpac hauling transporter at the dry fuel store

The Holtec cask hauler comprises five trailers and two hydraulic power packs and, for safety reasons, is limited to a maximum speed of 0.8 m/s. Wheel propulsion is by hydraulic drive motors; all wheels have individual drive motors to provide maximum traction. With three-axles per trailer, steering is by slewing drive. 

The flexibility of the SPMT600’s modular configuration allows the end-user to use the hauling transporter for a range of tasks at Sizewell B, Enerpac claimed, and one trailer can support a 60 tonne load. The SPMT is controlled using the wireless Intelli-Drive Remote Controller. Enerpac said this means one person can operate the transporter remotely for greater safety. The versatile SPMT is also designed and used to transfer the large Sizewell B cask lifting transporter, Enerpac added.

Image 3 holtec historm cask image

Holtec Hi-Storm casks

“The Enerpac SPMT is an important addition to our transportation capability when handling Hi-Storm casks, the site Lifting Transporter, and other major and heavy ancillary pieces of equipment,” commented Holtec vice president, Thomas Marcille. “It is easy to use and performed flawlessly during the successful completion of the first spent fuel loading campaign for Sizewell B’s dry store.”

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