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TCRY teams with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on rail transport project

TCRY NEWS: Today’s modern energy creates the need for transportation of highly sensitive materials, often through densely populated areas. Rail transportation has a proven history of being a cost effective and the safest means to transport hazardous cargo.

The question remains: How do you protect the public while transporting these materials?

TCRY has contracted with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in an innovative testing program to identify and address potential hazards of such complex transport. TCRY is working in collaboration with PNNL to answer such questions as overall railcar stability and the effects of shock and vibration on sensitive cargo being transported by rail.

PNNL’s contract with the Department of Energy is to provide development of the technical bases needed to justify very long-term storage of used nuclear fuel and associated transportation. The objectives of the transportation activities are to address identified high priority technical issues. For FY14, this includes developing a test plan and associated test design information for determining the response of a nuclear fuel assembly to rail transport. The rail testing is to be conducted on the TCRY track system and facilities and will include collaboration with Transportation Technology Center Inc.

TCRY is providing technical assistance in development of the test plan, including selection and placement of instrumentation and development of test protocols during normal shock and vibration testing.

TCRY is responsible for locomotive and rail car availability, the types of trucks used on the railcars, types of the draft gears to be used, handling of the large mass, crane capabilities, installation of various features on the TCRY tracks including rail joints, switch points, frogs, railroad crossings and highways grade crossings.

TCRY is also determining the viability (cost and schedule) of using tracks owned by outside entities (other railroads) for specific transport tests. TCRY is proud to play a part in developing safer and more efficient ways for the rail transport of highly sensitive materials.

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