In a massive effort to change out spent fuel at Koeberg Power Station in the Western Cape of South Africa, Eskom imported 14 nuclear waste casks from the United States of America. Contracted directly by the manufacturer and Eskom to handle the entire project, Vanguard was tasked with transporting the 14 casks, each weighing around 100-tons from the manufacturing facility in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and presenting them one at a time into the fuel hall at Koeberg, South Africa. Once filled with spent fuel, Vanguard will then need to take them underground to the long-term storage bunker onsite.
The freight management of this project was particularly critical given the nature of the cargo, there was an intensified need to reduce handling intervals and deliver as direct as possible.
Unfortunately, no marine liner service exists between the east coast of America and Cape Town. Further to this, Cape Town Harbour does not have the onshore capabilities for discharging 100-tons from an incoming break bulk vessel. In order to facilitate this route, Vanguard partnered directly with the owners of some of the largest RoRo Vessels in the world and was able to induce vessels into Cape Town Harbour, specifically for this project. “To see a vessel of that size squeezing into the Cape Town port on Vanguard’s order was definitely the highlight of the job”, remarked Dale Huddy, Senior Manager at Vanguard in charge of the project.
The spent fuel change out process is currently underway, following which Vanguard will need to relocate the now 133 ton casks into the long-term storage facility at Koeberg Nuclear Power station. This project is a 4-year long process that is currently 50% complete.