Peachtree Corners, GA, December 21, 2021 – NAC International Inc. (NAC) announced today it has received U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) certification for the OPTIMUS®-L version of its versatile OPTIMUS® (OPTImal Modular Universal Shipping) transport packaging system. The OPTIMUS-L is now approved under NRC 10 CFR Part 71 with Certificate of Compliance (CoC) USA//B(U)F-96, effective December 16, 2021. This new certificate follows recent licensing approvals under Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) certifications for the OPTIMUS system in Canada, where NAC has delivered systems in support of an important nuclear decommissioning project.
The OPTIMUS-L was designed to accommodate low activity nuclear waste and fuel contents, such as low-level wastes, mixed wastes, contact-handled transuranic waste (TRU), lower activity intermediate-level waste, low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel materials, and other low-activity contents normally requiring shipment under a Type A(F) or Type B packaging requirements. The OPTIMUS-L U.S. certification expands NAC’s transport packaging portfolio in North America and opens the door for NAC to seek other international Competent Authority validations where U.S. NRC reference approval is highly desired.
“This certification in the U.S. expands packaging options for U.S. commercial customers and government programs seeking more versatile and lower-cost solutions to transport nuclear materials safely and efficiently. The smaller size, modular packaging options, and greater adaptability of the OPTIMUS-L transportation packaging systems makes them economical choices for transporting a wide variety of waste materials that until now were considered orphan and stranded wastes,” said Kent Cole, NAC’s President and CEO. “Both the OPTIMUS-L and OPTIMUS-H packages are now licensed and being deployed in support of our customer projects in Canada, and with this U.S. Certification of the OPTIMUS-L, we complete a key milestone for OPTIMUS to support a wide variety of packaging and transportation projects in North America.”
NAC is also planning to seek U.S. NRC certification approval for the highly shielded version of the OPTIMUS packaging known as the OPTIMUS®-H, capable of shipping low-level type B and C waste, Greater Than Class C (GTCC) waste, remotely handled-TRU, used fuel debris and other intermediate-and high-level wastes. A license application submittal to the U.S. NRC for the OPTIMUS-H model certification is expected in the near future.
The OPTIMUS system (U.S. Patent Application No.17/147,368) was developed to provide a better, more adaptable, and economical solution for non-typical radioactive materials transportation campaigns that until now had limited options for packaging and were inefficiently transported in larger casks. The smaller modular OPTIMUS systems provide versatility for shipping a range of nuclear materials and superior economics by allowing optimization of content shielding, payloads, and shipping configuration for a specific project. 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 materials associated with a single project.
In addition, the packaging certificate can be amended in the future to include new contents to support R&D of advanced reactor fuels, such as those containing High Assay Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU) in several forms and other nuclear materials derived from research of accident tolerant fuels (ATF) and advanced reactor waste forms.
NAC unveiled its first OPTIMUS to the public at the Waste Management Symposium 2020 in Phoenix. Since then, NAC has delivered 18 OPTIMUS-L and 5 OPTIMUS-H packagings to a large decommissioning project in Canada. In addition, NAC is producing additional OPTIMUS packages to support NAC’s packaging and transportation projects.
Please visit https://www.nacintl.com/solutions/transportation/transportation-systems/optimus for more information on OPTIMUS system.
About NAC International
NAC International (www.nacintl.com) is a diversified company specializing in developing and licensing technology and providing full scope services for used nuclear fuel and radioactive materials packaging, storage, transport and management. 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 has been contracted to supply more than 680 used fuel dry storage cask systems worldwide and has completed more than 3,750 used fuel shipments. NAC provides a broad range of fuel cycle related consulting and information services to clients worldwide. NAC maintains its corporate headquarters in Peachtree Corners, GA. NAC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Zosen Corporation, a global leader in design and construction of environmental systems, industrial plants, industrial machinery, process equipment, infrastructure-related equipment, disaster prevention systems, and precision machinery.