Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32726
Automated Buffer Box Assembly Cell Concept for the Canadian Used Fuel Packing Plant

Authors: Dimitrie Marinceu, Alan Murchison


The Canadian Used Fuel Container (UFC) is a mid-size hemispherical headed copper coated steel container measuring 2.5 meters in length and 0.5 meters in diameter containing 48 used fuel bundles. The contained used fuel produces significant gamma radiation requiring automated assembly processes to complete the assembly. The design throughput of 2,500 UFCs per year places constraints on equipment and hot cell design for repeatability, speed of processing, robustness and recovery from upset conditions. After UFC assembly, the UFC is inserted into a Buffer Box (BB). The BB is made from adequately pre-shaped blocks (lower and upper block) and Highly Compacted Bentonite (HCB) material. The blocks are practically ‘sandwiching’ the UFC between them after assembly. This paper identifies one possible approach for the BB automatic assembly cell and processes. Automation of the BB assembly will have a significant positive impact on nuclear safety, quality, productivity, and reliability.

Keywords: Used fuel packing plant, automatic assembly cell, used fuel container, buffer box, deep geological repository.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 990


[1] Nuclear Waste Management Organization. 2005. Choosing A Way Forward: The Future Management of Canada’s Used Nuclear Fuel – Final Study. Issued by NWMO to the Minister of Natural Resources Canada in November 2005, Toronto, Canada.
[2] SNC Lavalin “Deep Geological Repository Design Report, Crystalline Rock Environment”, 0206-06-6100-REPT-0001, Toronto, Canada.
[3] D. Marinceu, A. Murchison, C. Hatton – “Robots Usage into a Canadian Used Nuclear Fuel Plant”, CARPI 2012, Zurich.
[4] C. Medri, Internal document: “Scoping Estimates of UFC Shielding Thickness Requirements”, APM-CALC-04330, NWMO, April 2012.
[5] Z. G. Keszthelyi, D. Morikawa - “The CANDU 9 Fuel Transfer System”, First Conference on CANDU Fuel Handling Systems”, May 1996, Toronto.