Packaging Radioactive Materials with Polyurethane Foams

Columbiana Hi Tech (CHT) has been lending support to the entire nuclear fuel cycle for the past 30 years, delivering specialized products and custom fabrication for the nuclear industry. Founded by Don Olson in the year 1985, the company offers a wide range of products; from the storage of nuclear materials to front-end and back-end transport.

New UX-30 with SST plate

Figure 1. New UX-30 with SST plate. Image Credit: General Plastics

They also provide equipment that is used for maintenance support during outages. Expert machining and welding services are also provided by CHT.

CHT offers the following services for the Nuclear Fuel Cycle:

  • Front End Transport
  • Reactor Services – Ancillary equipment
  • Back End Transport/Storage

The stringent quality regulations and requirements laid down by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the storage and transport methods of nuclear materials are met by CHT. According to NRC mandates, manufacturers involved in the transportation of nuclear materials or the production of transportation materials must acquire the necessary licensing or certificates as the case may be.

According to the ‘crash and fire protection’ regulations laid down by NRC, radioactive materials (RAM) packages need to withstand temperatures as high as 1,475 °F, 30 ft free drops, and 30-minute fire conditions. Figure 1 shows the new UX-30 with SST plate.

Columbiana Hi-Tech delivers products that are tailor-made to suit the design and requirements of the customer. Some of the products delivered include clamshells for pressurized water reactor (PWR) fuel assemblies and Traveler protective shipping containers (Figure 2).

High-density polyurethane foams and heavy gauge stainless steel are used to manufacture these products. The ability to absorb impact is provided by the polyurethane foam and structural strength is provided by the stainless steel.

Traveller protective shipping containers

Figure 2. Traveller protective shipping containers. Image Credit: General Plastics

FR-3700 Rigid Foam from General Plastics

CHT, the leading radioactive packaging manufacturer, is expected to meet the strict QA programs. The components used for manufacturing the packaging material also need to comply with stringent quality guidelines.

LAST-A-FOAM FR-3700 Performance Core Series from General Plastics are being used in all client projects of CHT for the past 15 years after it was confirmed that this foam material to a large extent meets the specifications set by NRC.

When the FR-3700 foam is subjected to fire an intumescent char is formed due to the inbuilt fire-retardant mechanism. The foam is a closed-cell, rigid polyurethane foam with a high strength-to-weight ratio which is resistant to many solvents and chemicals. There is a negligible influence of common petroleum products on the foam.

The foam is expected to maintain its physical properties during its normal life span for most of its applications. Tests conducted on the FR-3700 reveal that its compressive strength and char formation remain consistent even over long-term usage, unlike polymeric and wood materials.

The benefits of LAST-A-FOAM® FR-3700 include:

  • Adheres to radioactive material (RAM) regulations
  • Closed-cell foam exhibiting intumescent properties
  • High strength-to-weight ratio
  • Does not crack, swell,or split when exposed to water
  • Reliable long-term performance
  • Biologically inert
  • Resistant to most chemicals and solvents
  • Better performance than wood and other polymeric materials

Download the LAST-A-FOAM® FR-3700 datasheet

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by General Plastics Manufacturing.

For more information on this source, please visit General Plastics Manufacturing.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    General Plastics Manufacturing. (2020, December 21). Packaging Radioactive Materials with Polyurethane Foams. AZoM. Retrieved on April 16, 2024 from

  • MLA

    General Plastics Manufacturing. "Packaging Radioactive Materials with Polyurethane Foams". AZoM. 16 April 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    General Plastics Manufacturing. "Packaging Radioactive Materials with Polyurethane Foams". AZoM. (accessed April 16, 2024).

  • Harvard

    General Plastics Manufacturing. 2020. Packaging Radioactive Materials with Polyurethane Foams. AZoM, viewed 16 April 2024,

Ask A Question

Do you have a question you'd like to ask regarding this article?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.