Commissioning of drying station for spent nuclear fuel completed at encapsulation plant


The drying station for spent nuclear fuel became the first commissioning process in the equipment installation subproject to be completed with regulatory approval at Posiva's encapsulation plant. The drying of spent fuel is an important phase of the encapsulation process, designed to ensure the long-term safety of the nuclear fuel in the canister.

The fuel handling cell at the encapsulation plant is the place where the spent nuclear fuel is for the first time lifted out of water since it was loaded in the reactor pressure vessel and then placed in a water pool to cool more than 40 years earlier.

The drying station was supplied by Platom Oy and the Site Acceptance Test (SAT) was completed successfully with Project Manager Markus Forsberg and Systems Specialist Jarkko Tamminen from Posiva as well as the entire Posiva Project Team working in close collaboration with Platom's Project Manager Janne Matilainen and EIC's Lead Designer Matti Toikkanen. As the responsible licensee, Posiva is responsible for the long-term safety of the drying station.

The equipment project started in April 2020 and the Site Acceptance Tests were completed in October 2022.

- The tests proceeded without any issues and the drying system operated as planned. The licensing process of the system is quite complex, as YVL Guides pertaining to several fields of technology need to be complied with and the system comprises components of different safety classes. The fuel rack (photo), for example, is assigned to safety class 2, explains Markus Forsberg from Posiva.

Text: Pasi Tuohimaa, photo Markus Forsberg