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Transport of Radioactive Materials

Fuel Cycle Transport

Nuclear fuel cycle transports are commonly designated as either front-end or back-end. The front-end covers all the operations from the mining of uranium to the manufacture of new fuel assemblies for loading into the reactors. The back-end covers all the operations concerned with the spent fuel which leaves the reactor for reprocessing and the subsequent transports to interim or final disposal e.g. into a deep geological repository.

Essenmotion provides technical and design services to the development of packages for the transport, storage and disposal of radioactive materials with in-depth knowledge of the regulatory requirements, expertise in advanced numerical simulation tools and a thorough understanding of package behavior in different transport scenarios.

From the application of the non-linear finite element technique, to the simulation of flask behavior in impact events, Essenmotion is recognized as a specialist in the use of advanced numerical simulation methods to assess the behavior of radioactive material packages in normal transport, subject to fire or impact and to support the package safety cases for authorizing transport by demonstrating safe containment in normally ventilated environments and under the extreme conditions generated by accident events.

Non-Fuel Cycle Transport

Each day thousands of shipments of radioactive materials are transported around the world. These consignments which are carried by road, rail, sea and inland waterways can range from smoke detectors, cobalt sources for medical uses, to nuclear fuel cycle materials for electricity generation.

Nuclear power is not the only industry which relies on the transport of radioactive materials. In fact, the vast majority of transports, around 95%, are not fuel cycle related. Radioactive materials are used extensively in medicine, agriculture, research, manufacturing, non-destructive testing and in the exploration of minerals.

All these industries are becoming increasingly global in terms both of products and services. Safe and secure national and international transport of radioactive materials by all modes of transport is essential to support them.

Both for storage and transport, requirements of safe management and strict safety considerations should be given to the dynamic and static loads resulting from the handling and stacking of the radioactive transport packages. The wall thickness of the containers, their filled weight and the stacking orientations should be taken into account at early containment & transport design stages.