SOSNY C168 Packaging for Land SNF Shipments

The SOSNY C168 packaging was designed to transport irradiated fuels for examination in the shielded cells at the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE).

The SOSNY C168 packaging can transport the spent uranium dioxide and mixed oxide (MOX) fuel assemblies and rods of research, experimental, commercial fast, and thermal reactors.

SOSNY С168 package is a Type B(U) package designed for the road, rail, and water shipments in compliance with the NP-053−16, SSR-6, TS-R-1, and GB 11806-2004 (Chinese equivalent of TS-R-1) requirements.

The package allows shipment on the customized transport frame having a base similar to that of a 20ft ISO container. This design enables transporting SOSNY С168 package on a conveyance for a standard 20ft ISO container without any additional tie-downs.

The SOSNY С168 packaging is a shielding cask with shock absorbers containing a SFA basket or a fuel rod basket. Two types of fuel rod canisters were designed: tight and untight.


SOSNY C168 design: 1 – rotary gate, 2 – cask body, 3 – lead shielding, 4 – fuel rod (or SFA) basket, 5 – fuel rod canister, 6 – shock absorber

The cask body is a lid-covered, tight, thick-walled, cylindrical vessel.  The cask bottom has a penetration to insert a push rod for unloading the contents out of the cask into the shielded cell. Besides, this penetration is used to drain water from the cask when retrieving it from the pool. This penetration is tightly plugged during transportation.

A lead tube inside the cask body and lead inserts at the basket bottoms serve as biological shielding. The cask body has a polyethylene neutron shielding layer from the outside.

A rotary gate at the top of the cask protects the personnel during the cask loading\unloading and serves as biological shielding of the cask top end.

The SFA basket accommodates one SFA. Interchangeable inner cans fitted inside the basket can accommodate SFAs of various types. The outer surface of the basket has a neutron absorber layer (boron carbide).

The fuel rod basket can accommodate five tight or untight canisters, with each canister having a removable separator dividing the canister space into four fuel rod cells. The tight canister has a draining system to remove the water after fuel loading. The dry canister is filled with helium. Sealing rings on the canister lid ensure the canister tightness. The lid and the bottom of the untight canister have drain holes. 


Main specifications of SOSNY С168 package:

   length (with shock absorbers)  5886 mm 
   outer diameter (with shock absorbers)  1450 mm 
   outer body diameter  790 mm 
Internal cavity (diameter x length)   221x4836 mm 
Thickness of steel shielding  88 mm 
Thickness of lead shielding  minimum 140 mm 
Weight of SOSNY C168 packaging  maximum 21900 kg
Gross weight  maximum 22000 kg 
Gas medium inside (with SNF)  air and helium mixture (at least 90 % helium) 
Operating pressure of gas medium during transport  Atmospheric 
Structural material 12Х18Н10Т corrosion-resistant steel 
Material of energy-absorbing components of shock absorbers  Steel 09Г2С 
Biological shielding  Lead С3 
Neutron shielding  Polyethylene 
Safety class   3 to NP-016-05 



SOSNY С168 packaging is supplied with auxiliary equipment for shipment and handling the cask as well as with tools and spare parts.

The auxiliary shipment equipment comprises the transport frame for a horizontal arrangement of the package on a conveyance and sheltering the package from weather impacts during transportation and storage.

Auxiliary handling equipment comprises:

  • a 25-ton lifting beam to lift and transport the package in the vertical position,
  • a basket fixing rack to secure the baskets in the pool when loading SFAs or canisters with fuel rods,
  • a tool to remove water from tight fuel rod canister,
  • a push rod to facilitate the package contents loading\unloading in the shielded cell,
  • a cask lid remover and a guide pin,
  • a canister grapple to install the canister lid and to handle the canister,
  • a canister holder to secure the canister when loading it with fuel rods,
  • a cask base support to secure the cask upright in the pool when loading/unloading the baskets,
  • a drying system to remove water from tight fuel rod canisters, dry and fill them with helium. It is also used to dry and fill the cask with helium,
  • a leak test system for the cask,
  • a basket grapple for remote handling in the pool,
  • a canister lid unfixing unit to open canisters in the shielded cell,

and other devices.

The safety class of the auxiliary handling equipment is 3 to NP-016-05.

The safety class of the drying and leak test systems is 4 to NP-016-05.

The cask and the auxiliary equipment can be decontaminated with the decontaminating solutions.


In 2019, a Russian certificate of approval RUS/3251/B(U)F‑96 for the package design and shipment was issued for the SOSNY C168 package containing the SNF of the Chinese CEFR, CARR, CFR 600, and PWR reactor types.

The certificate of approval RUS/3251/B(U)F‑96 allows the following radioactive contents of the SOSNY C168 package:

  • one SFA of CEFR and CARR type reactors with overall dimensions up to 74´2592 mm, with UO2, MOX, U3Si2 fuel enriched up to 64.9 % in U-235 (with PuO2 contents in MOX fuel up to 25.2 %), and burnup up to 60 MW×day/kgU,
  • up to twenty damaged or intact fuel rods of CFR 600 type reactor with overall dimensions up to 15´3000 mm, with UO2, MOX fuel enriched up to 30 % in U-235 (with PuO2 contents in MOX fuel up to 31.3%), and burnup up to 120 MW×day/kgU,
  • up to twenty damaged or intact fuel rods of PWR type reactors with overall dimensions up to 15´4550 mm, with UO2 fuel enriched up to 5 % in U‑235, and burnup up to 70 MW×day/kgU.

If necessary, the SOSNY C168 package design safety analysis can be performed and a certificate of approval can be obtained authorizing the shipment of irradiated fuel assemblies and rods from other (including Russian) research and commercial fast and thermal neutron reactors with the overall dimensions up to 200´4550 mm and a wide variety of fuel compositions, enrichments, and burnups.



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