Performance of bolted closure joint elastomers under cask aging conditions
The bolted closure joint of a bare spent fuel cask is susceptible to age-related degradation and potential loss of confinement function under long-term storage conditions. Elastomeric seals, a component of the joint typically used to facilitate leak testing of the primary seal that includes the metallic seal and bolting, is susceptible to degradation over time by several mechanisms, principally via thermo-oxidation, stress-relaxation, and radiolytic degradation under time and temperature condition. Irradiation and thermal exposure testing and evaluation of an ethylene-propylene diene monomer (EPDM) elastomeric seal material similar to that used in the CASTOR® V/21 cask for a matrix of temperature and radiation exposure conditions relevant to the cask extended storage conditions, and development of semiempirical predictive models for loss of sealing force is in progress. A special insert was developed to allow Compressive Stress Relaxation (CSR) measurements before and after the irradiation and/or thermal exposure without unloading the elastomer. A condition of the loss of sealing force for the onset of leakage was suggested. The experimentation and modeling being performed could enable acquisition of extensive coupled aging data as well as an estimation of the timeframe when loss of sealing function under aging (temperature/radiation) conditions may occur.
- Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)
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- Resource Type:
- Technical Report
- Research Org:
- Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
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- Country of Publication:
- United States
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