The used nuclear fuel bundles will arrive at the used fuel packaging plant (UFPP) in transportation containers. The UFPP will be designed to receive and repackage used nuclear fuel into long-lived, corrosion-resistant used fuel containers (UFCs) for placement in the repository.
Fuel bundles will be transferred from transportation containers into UFCs using remote-controlled equipment in protected areas called "hot cells". Workers will work behind shielded walls to perform the various processing steps necessary for fuel transfer, and UFC assembly and inspection.
Shielded frames on automated guide vehicles will move the used fuel containers within the packaging plant to the various processing stations. These processing stations include:
- A closure weld station to seal the lid to the used fuel container;
- A weld machining station to machine the weld area smooth on the container;
- A weld inspection station;
- A copper cold spray station to apply copper over the closure weld;
- A copper coating inspection station; and
- A non-destructive testing station to ensure the requirements of the container are met for placement in the repository.
Once the containers have been inspected to ensure they do not have any unacceptable defects or features, they are moved to a storage cell for filled containers before going to a dispatch hall for transfer to the repository.
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