NAC International Inc. (NAC) announced that a second model of its versatile OPTIMUS® transport packaging system has received certification from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). Known as the OPTIMUS-H version for its capability to accommodate high activity nuclear waste, the system is now approved under CNSC Certificate Number CDN/2098/B(U)F-96 (Rev. 0) effective August 18, 2021.
Last year, NAC received certification from the CNSC for its lighter version OPTIMUS-L packaging, designed for contact handled-transuranic waste (TRU), intermediate-level waste, low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel wastes, and other low activity contents that require shipment as Type A(F) or Type B. The new model OPTIMUS-H is a highly shielded version that permits a broader range of Type B contents, including Type B&C, Greater than Class C (GTCC), remotely handled-TRU, spent fuel, and other intermediate-level and high-level wastes.
The CNSC certification allows for the use of OPTIMUS to transport nuclear materials and waste in support of NAC customer projects in Canada and opens the door for NAC to seek other international Competent Authority validations. NAC is also pursuing OPTIMUS certification in the U.S. to support NAC’s waste packaging and transportation programs.
Kent Cole, NAC’s President and CEO said: “Certification in Canada of our OPTIMUS-H expands packaging options for customers seeking more versatile and lower-cost solutions to transport nuclear materials safely and efficiently. The smaller size and greater adaptability of the OPTIMUS transportation packaging designs makes them economical choices for transporting a wide variety of waste materials.”
The NAC OPTIMUS (U.S. Patent Application Pub. No. 2019/0066858A1) stands for OPTImal Modular Universal Shipping, developed to provide a better, more adaptable, and economical solution for radioactive materials transportation campaigns that until now had limited options for packaging and were transported in large casks. The smaller modular OPTIMUS systems provide versatility for shipping a range of nuclear materials and superior economics.
In addition, the OPTIMUS system infrastructure for both the L and H versions rely on the same containment vessel design, enabling an integrated waste management approach that leverages standardization for packaging and shipment of a range of waste materials associated with a single project.
NAC unveiled its first OPTIMUS to the public at the Waste Management Symposium 2020, held March 8-12, 2020 in Phoenix. NAC is currently delivering both OPTIMUS-L and OPTIMUS-H packagings to a large decommissioning project in Canada. In addition, NAC is producing additional OPTIMUS packages to support NAC’s routine packaging and transportation projects.