First Class Graduates from Full-scale Used Nuclear Fuel Training Center | AREVA North America: Next Energy Blog


Transnuclear Inc., an AREVA company, graduated the first class of trained operators from the newly upgraded NUHOMS® University (NU) training center; the first used fuel storage training facility in the United States to use full-scale, working casks and trailers for training.

The center, located in Aiken, SC, hosts a five-week INPO-certified basic training course to qualify utility, contractor and other field services personnel to safely use the dry storage industrial equipment prior to site work. Upon completing the course, students earn certification necessary to ensure proficiency with both NUHOMS® and safety culture principles.

Mike Williams, Director of Transnuclear’s Field Services and Operations group, shared his experience at NUHOMS® University:

What is it like to train with the full-scale equipment?
When dealing with very heavy components, the vehicles and tools (like trailers and casks) can behave differently when not fully loaded and, in some cases, not require as much skill or care. With us using full-scale equipment, trainees get a feel for how the equipment will operate when moving “live” systems loaded with used nuclear fuel. The net result is a higher level of confidence in the crews successfully performing the operation, resulting in less time required to perform the function and less associated dose.

How does this training compare with other available training?
NUHOMS® University is the first of its kind to allow crews to be trained on all aspects of the dry fuel storage system processing. It’s relatively easy to train on some of the processes, but with the addition of the ISFSI Pad in our Aiken Facility, nothing can compare.

What is your favorite thing about the NU training facility?
My favorite thing about the NU training facility is hearing from the trainees how much they are learning … even the continuing training operators.

Why does hands-on training matter?
The consistent message is how this training will “stick” with the crews as a result of the amount of time they have been able to be with the real equipment. There’s no simulation here at NU – it’s as close as you can get to the real thing!

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