ISSN 2330-717X

US DOE Gets Approval To Build And Test Railcar To Transport Used Nuclear Fuel

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) has been given approval by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) to begin building and testing the Fortis specialised railcar for the transportation of used nuclear fuel. Fortis is one of two railcars being developed by DOE and could be operational within the next five years.

Fortis is an eight-axle, flat-deck railcar that will be able to transport large containers of used nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste, with high-tech sensors and monitoring systems that will report 11 different performance features back to the operators in real-time. The railcar design was completed earlier this year, with technical support from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

DOE may now begin fabricating and testing the prototype in compliance with rail industry standards for railcars transporting used nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

The DOE’s 12-axle railcar to transport larger containers of high-level radioactive material, Atlas, is currently undergoing single-car prototype testing in Pueblo, Colorado. Together, Atlas and Fortis will provide more flexibility when transporting used fuel and high-level radioactive waste to disposal and storage facilities, DOE said.

AAR is responsible for setting safety, security and operating standards across the USA’s 140,000-mile freight rail network. Both DOE railcars are expected to be approved for operation by AAR by the mid-2020s.

World Nuclear News

World Nuclear News

World Nuclear News is an online service dedicated to covering developments related to nuclear power. Established in 2007, WNN has grown rapidly to welcome over 40,000 individual readers to the website each month, while its free daily and weekly emails both reach more than 16,000 people. These figures represent a broad audience that includes not only nuclear professionals but also journalists, researchers, opinion leaders, policy-makers, and the general public.

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