Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center Spent Fuel Shipment
STS was the prime contractor responsible for assisting the Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center (RINSC) to ship their spent fuel elements to a U.S. government facility.
This project required STS to assist the RINSC with obtaining a quality assurance program approval from the U.S. NRC, as well as to help develop all of the site work, safety, and quality assurance procedures for this project. The RINSC project also required a complex rigging system to maneuver a 32,000 lb nuclear fuel cask into their facility due to some unique challenges relating to the floor of their reactor bay.
An engineering study of the main floor of the RINSC building showed that it was unable to support the weight of the nuclear cask except along two narrow corridors intended for truck tires that had been reinforced from the underside sometime in the past. A smaller nuclear cask could have been driven directly into the facility on the back of a tractor trailer, but this particular trailer was taller than the loading bay door.
How we completed the project
STS had to design a rigging system and subcontracted a local rigging company to move the heavy package off the tractor trailer and into the reactor bay while maintaining a safe weight distribution on the floor.
The solution that we created was a system of tracks that were laid on top of the shoring corridors and evenly distributed the weight of the cask between them. The cask was then rolled into the facility on a set of rollers until their gantry crane was able to lift it. We were able to meet all regulatory requirements, pass a rigorous inspection process, designed and completed the rigging safely, and ultimately the project was a complete success.