The US Department of Energy Nuclear Energy Administration awarded ENSCO a contract to manufacture and test a prototype Fortis eight-axle heavy-duty wagon for transporting spent nuclear fuel and highly radioactive waste. It is reported by the Railway Supply magazine with reference to the Railway Gazette.


Spent nuclear fuel is packed into containers weighing 70-190 tons. This exceeds legal weight limits for road transport, making rail transport the preferred way to move containers to disposal and storage facilities.

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ENSCO will partner with Kasgro Rail, Oak Ridge Technologies and RailcarCo to supply a prototype Fortis wagon and test equipment to the Department of Energy. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will provide technical support. The tests will be conducted at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colorado, operated by ENSCO under contract with 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.

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