The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is shipping, for disposition purposes, bulk quantities of fissile materials, primarily highly enriched uranium (HEU). The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) specification 6M container has been the workhorse for NNSA and many other shippers of radioactive material since the 1980s. However, the 6M does not conform to the packaging requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 71) and, for that reason, is being phased out for use in the DOE secure transportation system by the end of 2006. BWXT Y-12 developed and licensed the ES-3100 container to replace the DOT 6M. The ES-3100 was certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in April 2006. The process of deploying the new package began in June 2005 and is planned to be completed in July 2006. The package will be fully operational and completely replace the DOT 6M at the Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12) by October 2006. This paper reviews the deployment process and the mock loading station that was installed at National Transportation Research Center (NTRC) of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Specialized equipment, tools, and instrumentation that support the handling and loading operations of the ES-3100 are described in detail. Loading options for other user sites are explored in preparation for deployment of this new state-of-the-art shipping container throughout the DOE complex and the private sector.

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