First successful transport for the TN®LAB, a new multimodal package dedicated to Hot Labs transports, from Germany to Belgium! On mid-November it has conducted its first Hot Lab transport from the JRC Karlsruhe to SCK-CEN in Mol in Belgium.
Being able to share specimens of radioactive materials, in particular irradiated nuclear fuel, among research facilities is an important element enabling cooperation, integration of specialized capabilities and optimization of cost to perform R&D activities e.g. on fuel safety, high level waste and spent fuel management in view of final disposal. Transportation of irradiated fuel/materials requires specially designed containers, and is typically expensive. In some cases, the containers available are oversized (hence “over-expensive”) with respect to the needs of small sample sharing to perform scientific investigations.
A few years ago, the “HOTLAB” network (Hot Laboratories and Remote Handling), which includes JRC Karlsruhe and the main nuclear research organizations operating laboratories for the study of irradiated fuel and materials, identified the necessity of having a relatively light and versatile container to transport small amounts of irradiated fuel at reasonable cost as a priority to ensure that collaborative projects among the research organizations could be sustained in the future.
Making use of the input by the HOTLAB network, the Orano company has designed a new irradiated fuel and materials transport package. This package, named TN®LAB, is suitable for transportation by road, sea and also by air (which makes it rather unique), hence its nickname "Flying Pig".
After several years of design and implementation, during the month of November 2021 the TN®LAB was used for the first time at the premises of JRC Karlsruhe for transporting some fuel specimens to SCK-CEN, Belgium. This is a world first for the new container.
- Publication date
- 8 December 2021