Equipment for the Transfer, Loading and Transportation of Radioactive Materials

In 2020-2021, the Sosny R&D Company developed and fabricated process equipment for handling and transporting radioactive materials and ionizing sources. The equipment was designed under contract with Mashtek LLC for the National Research Centre Kurchatov Institute.

It includes:

  • a TUK-167 packaging comprising a cask and a canister for radioactive contents;
  • a transfer cask for transferring the canister with radioactive contents from the cask to a shielded cell at the Kurchatov Institute;
  • a support for fastening the shipping or transfer cask in a 40-foot open top freight container 1AA;
  • a yoke for handling the protective and transfer casks;
  • auxiliary equipment for handling the protective and transfer casks (slings, guide rods, wrenches, etc.).


TUK-167 is a Type B(U) packaging for transportation of radioactive materials by road, rail, and water as per the NP-053-16 and SSR-6 requirements.

The equipment ensures low radiation exposures to the personnel during loading/unloading of ionizing sources and operation of the casks.

The TUK-167 package with radioactive contents is transported in a designated 40-foot open top freight container 1AA. There are several possible layouts of the equipment in the freight container:

  • up to three TUK-167 casks on supports,
  • up to two TUK-167 casks and the transfer cask on supports.


TUK-167 packaging


The orientation of the TUK-167 cask during loading/unloading and transportation is vertical.

TUK-167 is designed for use in a temperature range from – 40°C to + 38°С. A temperature increase of up to 50о C inside the container is allowed during transportation in the 40-foot open top freight container 1AA.

TUK-167 withstands multiple decontaminations with solutions used at nuclear facilities.


Specifications of the TUK-167 packaging:

Type  B(U) 
Safety class   1 as per NP-033-16 
Dimensions (height×width×length)  1350×730×9147 mm 

Design weight:




3800 kg

3930 kg 
Cask wall thickness  minimum 225 mm 
Cask capacity  one canister with radioactive contents 
Canister inner dimensions (height×diameter)  850×182 mm 
Maximum total length of the items transported in one canister  760 mm 
Maximum weight of radioactive contents  100 kg 
Maximum activity of ionizing source  2.1·1013 Bq 
Structural material  Steel 12Х18Н10Т
Design service life  30 years 



The TUK-167 cask is a tight vessel consisting of a body with trunnions, internal and external lids. The yoke supplied together with the packaging is used to install and remove the internal cask lid. The guide rods of the cask ensure positioning of the lids during their installation.

When transported in the cask, the canister for ionizing radiation sources does not provide shielding and cannot be used beyond protective structures (storage facilities, hot cells, casks, etc.).

Sealing rings made of radiation resistant rubber IRP-1338 Rad tighten the joints in the cask and the canister. The material for the sealing rings is chosen based on the many-years’ experience in its use for SNF shipping casks and canisters. The operating temperature range for the IRP-1338 Rad rubber rings varies from -60 °C up to +250 °C.


TUK-167 cask: 1 – body; 2 – trunnion; 3 – internal lid; 4 – external lid



The remotely controlled transfer cask is designed to transfer the canister with radioactive contents from the cask to the shielded cell at the Kurchatov Institute.

The transfer cask has an internal cylindrical cavity to accommodate the canister. There is a gamma gate with an electric drive in the lower part of the body. The canister is transferred by its pintle with a grapple and a winch with a load cell; the readings of the load cell are displayed on the panel of the control cabinet.

The transfer cask is operated with a remote control.


Transfer cask

Transfer cask: 1 – gamma gate; 2 – electric drive; 3 – lug; 4 – trunnion; 5 – body; 6 – grapple; 7 – winch


Specifications of the transfer cask:

Safety class  1 as per NP-033-16 
Overall dimensions with the winch installed (length×width×height)  950×950×2110 mm 
Winch lifting capacity  200 kg 
Design mass  5300 kg 
Capacity   one canister 
Minimum steel wall thickness  225 mm 
Hoisting speed   3–5 m/min 
Structural material Steel 12Х18Н10Т, Steel 20 



Handling operations with TUK-167


The development of the complex of equipment included safety and performance calculation justifications. The work incorporated:

  • design justifications of the TUK-167 cask and auxiliary equipment;
  • calculations of radiation levels from TUK-167 with radioactive materials;
  • calculations of radioactive releases from TUK-167 under normal and accident conditions of transport;
  • thermal analysis of the package for normal and accident conditions of transport,
  • calculations of radiolytic gas accumulation rate in TUK-167 during transportation.

The design of the equipment was found to comply with regulatory requirements. The results of the analyses were verified by independent expert organizations and a certificate of compliance and a certificate of approval were issued for the package design.


In 2021, the Sosny R&D Company manufactured five casks, ten canisters, one transfer cask, five supports, and two trunnions for the NRC Kurchatov Institute.



  • Nuclear power plant (the consignor’s site),
  • Research reactor facility (the consignor’s site),
  • Carrier of radioactive material,
  • NRC Kurchatov Institute (the consignee).



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