Spent fuel transfer system


This system is designed to evacuate spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants and EPRs.

After deactivation in the pool, this system allows the fuel to be transferred to the secure transport container and then to remove this container from the power plant for reprocessing or storage.

Key figures


Systems in service


EPR equipped



A reliable, precise, robust system

Our spent fuel transfer systems measure approximately 7m x 5m x 7m and weigh approximately 90 tons (110 to 130 tons loaded). The lifespan is around 60 years.

They are characterized by very strong earthquake resistance and a high level of radiation protection. Their design ensures perfect sealing of the nuclear installation during fuel transfer.

The positioning accuracy under the pit is high: +/- 3 mm.


Caption to photo : Diagram of the system within the nuclear power plant

Each system is made up of:

- A mobile container carrying trolley,

- An infrastructure enabling the various functions necessary for the cycle to be ensured (movement and positioning of the trolley on running and guide rails, removal of the container cap, opening of the pool bottom cover, circulation of fluids, biological protections against radiation),

- A secure control system.



Photo caption : Load test with a mock-up of a container

An international experience

CNIM Systèmes Industriels equipped 7 power plants in the French fleet, i.e. 16 reactors, from 1980 to 1996. The systems are still in operation. Then since 2004, our teams have designed spent fuel transfer systems for the EPRs of Taishan (China), OL3 (Finland) and now Hinkley Point (UK). Our customers include AREVA, CNPEC, EDF and NNB.


Photo caption : Production underway of the system for the OL3 EPR (Finland)

The strength of our teams is based on the following elements:

- Strong feedback

- A design taking into account international regulations and the highest manufacturing standards (Codes KTA, RCC-M, EN13480 and EUROCODE 8, etc.)

- A vertically integrated approach: we control everything, from design to qualification tests and commissioning.


Photo caption : Commissioning in progress with our team present