Key Projects

Waste Treatment Plant/Fuel Transfer System


This project consisted of the design, fabrication, assembly, testing, and delivery of two spent nuclear fuel handling systems and their associated spare parts. The systems were installed in the K-East and K-West storage basins in the 100 area of the Hanford site.

The RFQ provided the initial concept of a rail transfer cart and vertical lift elevator to transport the loaded shielded transfer cask from its below-water loading station in K-East to the truck/trailer, which is then driven to K-west basin for further processing.

All detail design work (including seismic analysis and calculations) was accomplished by Petersen Inc. to interface with the existing facilities dimensions, plumbing, power, load capacities, and DOE operational requirements. The detail design package included the development of a complete facility mock-up representing all interfaces to the actual facility that was fabricated and installed in our facility to accomplish the final acceptance testing. This completed customer approved design package was fabricated and machined in our facility including all material requisitioning, process planning, fabrication, assembly, inspection and verification. The completed components were assembled into the mock-up using installation procedures developed as part of our efforts to allow for all door opening, ceiling height, crane capacity, floor handling limits, transportation limits, and nuclear safety requirements. After the assembly was completed and approved, the functional acceptance testing was accomplished to demonstrate compliance with the performance specification and suitability of the equipment for the movement of spent nuclear fuel at Hanford. Disassembly, packaging, and shipping, as well as installation support at Hanford completed our successful delivery of the fuel transfer system.

This system included a 21-foot vertical elevator to lift the transfer cask out of a water filled storage basin. The transfer cask weighed over 20 tons with its spent nuclear fuel payload and required positioning within 0.010-inch true position to accomplish the transfer operations.  The transfer carts used to move theses transfer casks in and out of the facility operated on precision wheel systems with redundant control systems to ensure safe operation. The rail structures provided over 90 feet of precision aligned travel for these carts to operate on.