Equipos Nucleares (Ensa) and General Electric-Hitachi GEH have developed a technological solution for the processing of the control rod blade and fuel channels sementation technology. This solution is applicable to the dismantling phase and during the operation of the plants, because the segmentation technology permits to perform the work reliably and safely, avoiding the release of gases, such as boron carbide or tritium.
With this new technology of cutting it is possible to reduce the volume of waste and maximize the storage capacity of spent fuel pools.
During its application in Cofrentes nuclear power plant in Valencia, a significant reduction in the volume occupied by the control rods and irradiated fuel channels has been achieved, which will allow the plant to continue operating without space problems during the coming years: in particular, a total of 120 positions have been released on the hangers of the control rods and 12 positions on the fuel storage racks.
In addition, the equipment is modular, allowing its installation in areas of reduced space, and carrying out cutting activities in parallel with other plant operation activities.