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Doosan Enerbility Wins Spent Nuclear Fuel Cask Project With its Homegrown Technology

2023. 11. 02

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- Contract signed to perform overall design of spent nuclear fuel dry storage system
- Korean market for spent nuclear fuel cask forecast to grow to KRW 8 trillion+ and collaboration to be pursued with 140 small-to-medium sized partners in nuclear sector

Doosan Enerbility recently won a project for the storage and transportation cask of spent nuclear fuel using its homegrown technology.

On November 2nd, Doosan Enerbility announced that it had signed a contract with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) to carry out the overall design of a spent nuclear fuel dry storage system. By winning this contract for which the winner was determined via international competitive bidding, Doosan Enerbility will be completing the design work and obtaining certification by 2027 for the dry storage system, which includes the cask for storing and transporting spent nuclear fuel.

The spent nuclear fuel generated from nuclear power plants will be cooled down by having it stored in a water-filled pool for the first five years, after which it will be removed from the pool and moved outside for dry storage. As the casks used in this process need to be designed to ensure safety and protection from radiation and heat, the highest level of design and manufacturing expertise is required.

The nuclear industry estimates that approximately 2,800 casks will be needed for the dry storage and interim storage facilities in the Korean market, leading to the forecast that the market will grow to the size of approximately KRW 8.4 trillion 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.

“This contract holds huge significance as it was won with our locally-developed cask and this essentially laid the foundation for our Korean-standard spent nuclear fuel storage & 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 spent nuclear fuel.”

Doosan Enerbility signed a technology cooperation agreement with the U.S. NAC(Nuclear Assurance Corporation) in 2015, after which a wide-ranging cask line-up applicable to various environments in the Korean and global market was developed. Doosan and NAC jointly developed a Korean-type metal storage overpack(MSO) to be applied to a Korean project and for which design certification was obtained from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission(NRC).  In 2019, Doosan accomplished the feat of becoming the first Korean company to win a spent nuclear fuel cask supplier contract for the Three Mile Island(TMI) Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1. This was followed by another subsequent win in 2021 of the cask contract for Unit 2 of the TMI Nuclear Power Plant and for which development is currently underway.

Photo showing the manufacturing process of the cask for the TMI Nuclear Power Plant in the U.S.Photo showing the manufacturing process of the cask for the TMI Nuclear Power Plant in the U.S.