Doosan Enerbility to design used fuel storage system

06 November 2023

South Korean engineering firm Doosan Enerbility has signed a contract with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power to carry out the overall design of a used nuclear fuel dry storage system.

The manufacturing process of the cask for the Three Mile Island plant in the USA (Image: Doosan Enerbility)

The contract - awarded following an international competitive bidding process - will see Doosan Enerbility completing the design work and obtaining certification by 2027 for the dry storage system, which includes the cask for storing and transporting used nuclear fuel.

"This contract holds huge significance as it was won with our locally-developed cask and this essentially laid the foundation for our Korean-standard used nuclear fuel storage and transportation cask business, for which we forecast there will be new orders amounting to trillions of Korean won in the future," said Jongdoo Kim, CEO of Doosan Enerbility's Nuclear Business Group. "By working together with our small-to-medium sized local partners in Korea, we aim to do our utmost to enhance our manufacturing competitiveness, as we seek to also venture into the areas of interim storage and permanent disposal of used nuclear fuel."

According to Doosan Enerbility, the nuclear industry estimates that some 2800 casks will be needed for dry storage and interim storage facilities in the Korean market, leading to the forecast that the market will grow to the size of about KRW8.4 trillion (USD6.2 billion) by 2060.

Upon winning the manufacturing contract, Doosan Enerbility plans to work in collaboration on the related processes with its 140 small-to-medium sized partner companies spread across the various regions in an effort to promote the Korean domestic nuclear power industry.

In October 2015, Doosan and NAC International of the USA announced the signing of a cooperation agreement for the joint development of a used nuclear fuel storage system to be deployed in Korea.

In 2017, Doosan completed development of the DSS-21, a dry storage system that has the capacity to safely store and transport up to 21 used fuel assemblies. Since then, the DSS-24 and DSS-32 models, upgraded versions with larger storage capacities, were developed, along with the DPC-24, a cask that can be used for both storage and transporting of used fuel.

In 2021, Doosan became the first Korean company to export used fuel storage casks to the USA, supplying five sets of a vertical concrete cask to the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania.

A metal overpack for cask storage of used nuclear fuel, jointly developed by Doosan Enerbility and NAC, received design certification from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in January this year. The MSO-37 was conceptualised by NAC and Doosan Enerbility for international applications and applies to the Korea Dry Cask Storage industry as an alternative to concrete storage systems. According to Doosan Enerbility, it was the world's first metal overpack to have obtained design certification from the NRC.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News