Thru-Wall Data and Power Transmission System for Monitoring Nuclear Waste Storage Cask Internals

Period of Performance: 06/13/2016 - 03/12/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

CM Technologies Corporation
1026 Fourth Avenue Array
Coraopolis, PA 15108
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


The development of a permanent national repository for storing the spent nuclear fuel generated by our nuclear power plants has taken longer than initially predicted by the US DoE. As a result, the licensees have been required to keep their spent fuel in the spent fuel pools or in an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI). The ISFSI contents are externally monitored for changes, but the internal contents of a cask cannot be directly monitored since electrical penetrations are not available. The ability to perform internal monitoring has become important to the NRC as the ISFSIs operate under extended licenses. How This Problem is Being Addressed under This Project: The starting point for this Phase I project is a data/power transmission technology, based on ultrasonics, that was originally developed to pass signals through a submarine’s hull without the need for any wires or penetrations. The goal of Phase I is to implement this technology, along with various sensors, into a design of a modified shielding cap. Our team includes consultants from one of the world’s leading fuel cask manufacturers to help ensure the new design is 100% compatible with the fuel cask industry standards and the handling equipment used by the customer base. Phase II is straightforward; the objective is to manufacture the modified shielding cap, perform functional testing, and complete the environmental qualification with our fuel cask manufacturer partner. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The obvious commercial application are the commercial utility operators who maintain ISFSIs; the majority of the domestic NPPs. Other applications include the chemical processing industry, US military systems, gas/oil industry and the security industry. Key words: ISFSI monitoring; wireless; spent fuel cask instrumentation package