Cask for storage and transport of radioactive material. Type of container for the transport and interim storage of spent fuel elements and vitrified high active waste. All CASTOR® types have the same basic concept. The transport container is a thick-walled (approx. 450 mm) body of cast iron with spheroidal graphite. This material is characterized by its extremely high strength and toughness. The cast body wall is provided with through axial boreholes filled with plastic rods. These plastic inserts are used as a neutron shield. The bottom and cover also have such inserts. The fuel elements are held in a rack of boron steel, a neutron absorbing material. The container is closed by a multiple cover system. This consists of an approx. 340 mm thick primary cover and an approx. 130 mm thick secondary cover made of special steel. The two overlying covers are bolted firmly to the container body. The sealing effect of the covers is ensured by special metallic packings. A protective steel plate screwed over the cover system protects this against mechanical impacts and humidity. Lifting lugs are attached to the top and bottom of the container. The safety of the fuel element containers of the CASTOR® type was verified by the following tests:

  • A drop from a height of 9 m onto a practically inflexible foundation (concrete base of 1,000 t, covered with a 35 t heavy steel plate). These crash tests were partly carried out with containers cooled to minus 40° C. The material is less resistant at this low temperature. During the crash tests from 9 m height onto the practically inflexible concrete-steel base the containers are subjected to loads which are extremely unlikely during actual transport. Therefore, the tests are representative for a crash from far higher altitudes onto a real base, e.g. a street or ground and for loads occurring in the most serious traffic accidents.

  • Fire tests at a temperature of more than 800° C for half an hour,
  • Simulation of an aircraft crash by bombardment with a missile weighing approx. 1 t at almost sonic speed.