skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Criticality Safety Analysis Of As-loaded Spent Nuclear Fuel Casks

The final safety analysis report (FSAR) or the safety analysis report (SAR) for a particular spent nuclear fuel (SNF) cask system documents models and calculations used to demonstrate that a system meets the regulatory requirements under all normal, off-normal, and accident conditions of spent fuel storage, and normal and accident conditions of transportation. FSAR/SAR calculations and approved content specifications are intended to be bounding in nature to certify cask systems for a variety of fuel characteristics with simplified SNF loading requirements. Therefore, in general, loaded cask systems possess excess and uncredited criticality margins (i.e., the difference between the licensing basis and the as-loaded calculations). This uncredited margin could be quantified by employing more detailed cask-specific evaluations that credit the actual as-loaded cask inventory, and taking into account full (actinide and fission product) burnup credit. This uncredited criticality margin could be potentially used to offset (1) uncertainties in the safety basis that needs to account for the effects of system aging during extended dry storage prior to transportation, and (2) increases in SNF system reactivity over a repository performance period (e.g., 10,000 years or more) as the system undergoes degradation and internal geometry changes. This paper summarizes an assessment of cask-specific,more » as-loaded criticality margins for SNF stored at eight reactor sites (215 loaded casks were analyzed) under fully flooded conditions to assess the margins available during transportation after extended storage. It is observed that the calculated keff margin varies from 0.05 to almost 0.3 Δkeff for the eight selected reactor sites, demonstrating that significant uncredited safety margins are present. In addition, this paper evaluates the sufficiency of this excess margin in applications involving direct disposal of currently loaded SNF casks.« less
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: 2015 International Cooperation in Nuclear Criticality Safety, Charlotte, NC, USA, 20150913, 20150917
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Sponsoring Org:
NE USDOE - Office of Nuclear Energy
Country of Publication:
United States
42 ENGINEERING; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS As-loaded; spent nuclear fuel; uncredited criticality margin; direct disposal; extended storage