February 2, 2005
Norcross, Georgia—Successful completion of several important spent fuel storage and transportation projects and steady progress in licensing its promising new MAGNASTOR® technology have NAC International looking to the future with optimism, NAC Vice President Charles Pennington told a nuclear industry conference last week.

Speaking before the Spent Fuel Management Seminar in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, Pennington reviewed key developments in 2004, which included NAC’s acquisition in November by USEC Inc. (NYSE: USU), the Bethesda, Maryland-based uranium enrichment firm. Key NAC achievements included:

  • loading of 52 NAC concrete multipurpose canister systems (MCS) by U.S. utility customers during 2004 (50% of all concrete MCS loaded in the United States last year);
  • bringing the total of NAC concrete MCS loaded to 132 (about 45% of all installed concrete MCS in the United States);
  • completion of a number of domestic spent fuel shipments, enabling NAC to maintain its position as the U.S. leader in commercial spent fuel transportation; and
  • continued implementation of the foreign research reactor fuel return program in support of U.S. government nonproliferation initiatives.

Also on the international front, NAC’s STC spent fuel transport casks were used for four spent fuel shipments in China. The utility customer used the casks for a 2,500-mile transport of pressurized water reactor spent fuel assemblies from the Daya Bay nuclear plant to the Lanzhou Nuclear Fuel Complex.

“NAC is pleased to have its proven spent fuel rail transport cask technology deployed in a transportation program such as the China project, which is remarkably similar to what will be required by the Department of Energy for moving U.S. spent fuel to Yucca Mountain,” Pennington reported.

Pennington also described NAC’s new MAGNASTOR spent fuel technology, which is under review for certification by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The MAGNASTOR System offers key design improvements over existing technologies, such as increased fuel assembly storage capacities (37 for pressurized water reactors; 87 for boiling water reactors), capability to handle enrichment assays of up to 5%, and storage and transport of high burnup fuel with short cooling times. Certification is expected by 2006.

“The new MAGNASTOR technology will accommodate the evolving needs of our utility customers,” Pennington said. “We expect its expanded capacities, new design features, and optimized loading operations will increase productivity, improve costs and personnel exposures, and save time.”

Pennington added, “The MAGNASTOR System perfectly positions us for the anticipated expansion of nuclear power, and our recent acquisition by USEC sets the stage for our future growth.”

Since 1968, NAC has been a leader in providing solutions and services to the nuclear industry throughout the world, working with both government and commercial organizations. NAC specializes in nuclear fuel transport, spent fuel management technology, and fuel cycle consulting. NAC maintains its Corporate Headquarters in Norcross, Georgia, and has offices in Moscow, London, Tokyo, Pleasantville, New York, and Aiken, South Carolina. NAC is a subsidiary of USEC Inc., the world’s leading supplier of enriched uranium fuel for commercial nuclear power plants.