In all German nuclear power plants GNS deploys its own loading teams for the loading of CASTOR® casks with spent fuel elements and the preparation for the subsequent interim storage. More than a 1000 casks have already been loaded in German NPP so far. This may even include the packaging of damaged fuel rods, which are stored in the pool, into the integrated quiver system GNS IQ®. This system developed by GNS allows the complete defueling of shut-down plants and thus the start of decommissioning.
The loading schedule for the deployment of the teams is determined up to three years in advance. As a rule, eight months before the actual container loading and dispatching, the project management team begins its work and, in addition to scheduling and cost planning and control, also takes on the coordination with all involved parties such as the client, authorities, experts and subcontractors. The project management also provides proof of the storage capability of the fuel elements and the compilation, review and adaptation of the documents to be submitted for loading.
Loading campaigns usually last two to three months with running plants. The tasks of the GNS team during a campaign include work on the cask sealings, drying, moisture measurement and filling of the cask cavity, monitoring the handling and dispatch of the casksfor compliance with the associated cask-specific documents, preparation of the measurement and inspection records as well as preparation and inspection of the loading documentation. Due to the accelerated shutdown of the German nuclear power plants, more and more continuous campaigns with a duration of up to two years have been already been executed and are planned.
With its own loading teams, GNS offers a worldwide unique service. Abroad, loading is usually carried out by employees of the nuclear power plant. The necessary training of the power plant personnel is also offered by GNS.