US Fortis wagon

USA: The Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy has awarded ENSCO a contract to manufacture and test a prototype eight-axle heavy duty wagon branded Fortis for the transport of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

Commercial spent nuclear fuel is packaged in containers weighing 70-190 tonnes. This is beyond legal weight limits for road transport, making rail the preferred mode for moving containers to disposal and storage facilities.

ENSCO will work with Kasgro Rail, Oak Ridge Technologies and RailcarCo to deliver the prototype Fortis wagon and testing equipment to DOE, which is to provide the design. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will provide technical support.

Testing will be conducted at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colorado, which ENSCO manages under contract to the Federal Railroad Administration.

‘Our team of scientists, engineers and partners will work together to construct a prototype vehicle and conduct all testing required to secure Association of American Railroads approval for use of the vehicle to move radioactive materials safely and efficiently throughout the US’, said ENSCO President Jeff Stevens.