Nuclear Transportation Services - Back End

Edlow International Company's extensive experience in transportation, regulatory issues, and import/export licensing makes it uniquely qualified to address the growing need for transport of spent fuel. Movement of spent fuel has long been a part of Edlow International's activities, and we are well-equipped to provide both the technical expertise and political sensitivity necessary to carry out shipments. Hundreds of spent fuel shipments have been successfully managed by Edlow International.

We have been actively engaged in aspects of the design, licensing, and fabrication of spent fuel casks since the 1950's, including the construction and certification of the first 100-ton spent fuel shipping cask in the United States (U.S.). Edlow International also managed the first shipment of spent fuel to the U.S. under the "Atoms for Peace Program" in 1963 and obtained the first U.S. retransfer approval for spent fuel. Ongoing activities include numerous spent fuel shipments between the U.S. and foreign countries for Research and Development, as well as spent fuel shipments from foreign countries to the U.S. Department of Energy under the U.S. "Off-Site Fuels Policy" for return of U.S.-origin spent fuel from foreign research reactors.

Edlow International provides services that cover the full range of packaging, transport, regulatory and public relations concerns associated with spent fuel shipments. These services include:

  • Managing arrangements for commercial or chartered ocean vessels, airliners, trucks, or rail cars to transport spent fuel;
  • Assisting with procurement of spent fuel packages and suitable baskets for a variety of fuel types;
  • Obtaining regulatory approvals for spent fuel packages;
  • Developing Transportation Programs and Transport Plans that address issues of project management and organization, physical protection, quality assurance, and emergency response;
  • Coordinating all transportation logistics between ocean carriers, port authorities, customs services, inland carriers, and regulatory authorities, including the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and U.S. Department of Transportation;
  • Handling all required notifications and licenses, including import and export licenses, in conjunction with applicable national and international regulations;
  • Providing for the physical protection of the material throughout the entire transport process;
  • Arranging for loss and damage, war risk, and nuclear liability insurance.

Specialized Issues

Transport Arrangements:
Edlow International has established an extensive global network of carriers which allows us to identify the most qualified, secure, and cost-effective services available for each spent fuel shipment. We have strong ties to providers of commercial ocean vessels and vessel chartering companies, including operators of vessels built specifically for the movement of irradiated nuclear material. Where applicable, Edlow International also arranges for the use of vessels meeting the requirements of the International Maritime Organization's Irradiated Nuclear Fuels Code. Edlow International provides for all physical protection requirements and escort services necessary for individual shipments. We have also purchased and refurbished a railroad caboose, specifically for use by escort personnel who are required to accompany rail shipments of spent fuel within the United States.

Regulatory Concerns:
Regulatory requirements for the transportation of spent fuel are especially stringent to reflect the sensitivities associated with this type of shipment. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and foreign governments have strict requirements regulating the shipment and handling of spent fuel. Edlow International ensures that shipments moving through all jurisdictions satisfy all documentation, insurance, transit approval, and marking requirements.

Political Concerns:
Edlow International not only ensures that spent fuel shipments meet the requirements of national and international laws, but that political sensitivities are addressed in advance of and during shipment. Our strong relationship with regulatory authorities - both in the United States and internationally - provides us with insight into the political process and allows us to anticipate areas of potential political concern.

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