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Title: Full-Scale Accident Testing in Support of Used Nuclear Fuel Transportation.

Abstract

The safe transport of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste is an important aspect of the waste management system of the United States. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) currently certifies spent nuclear fuel rail cask designs based primarily on numerical modeling of hypothetical accident conditions augmented with some small scale testing. However, NRC initiated a Package Performance Study (PPS) in 2001 to examine the response of full-scale rail casks in extreme transportation accidents. The objectives of PPS were to demonstrate the safety of transportation casks and to provide high-fidelity data for validating the modeling. Although work on the PPS eventually stopped, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future recommended in 2012 that the test plans be re-examined. This recommendation was in recognition of substantial public feedback calling for a full-scale severe accident test of a rail cask to verify evaluations by NRC, which find that risk from the transport of spent fuel in certified casks is extremely low. This report, which serves as the re-assessment, provides a summary of the history of the PPS planning, identifies the objectives and technical issues that drove the scope of the PPS, and presents a possible path for moving forward in planningmore » to conduct a full-scale cask test. Because full-scale testing is expensive, the value of such testing on public perceptions and public acceptance is important. Consequently, the path forward starts with a public perception component followed by two additional components: accident simulation and first responder training. The proposed path forward presents a series of study options with several points where the package performance study could be redirected if warranted.« less

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), Fuel Cycle Technologies (NE-5)
OSTI Identifier:
1164613
Report Number(s):
SAND2014-17831R
DOE Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 42 ENGINEERING

Citation Formats

Durbin, Samuel G., Lindgren, Eric R., Rechard, Rob P., and Sorenson, Ken B.. Full-Scale Accident Testing in Support of Used Nuclear Fuel Transportation.. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.2172/1164613.
Durbin, Samuel G., Lindgren, Eric R., Rechard, Rob P., & Sorenson, Ken B.. Full-Scale Accident Testing in Support of Used Nuclear Fuel Transportation.. United States. doi:10.2172/1164613.
Durbin, Samuel G., Lindgren, Eric R., Rechard, Rob P., and Sorenson, Ken B.. Mon . "Full-Scale Accident Testing in Support of Used Nuclear Fuel Transportation.". United States. doi:10.2172/1164613. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1164613.
@article{osti_1164613,
title = {Full-Scale Accident Testing in Support of Used Nuclear Fuel Transportation.},
author = {Durbin, Samuel G. and Lindgren, Eric R. and Rechard, Rob P. and Sorenson, Ken B.},
abstractNote = {The safe transport of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste is an important aspect of the waste management system of the United States. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) currently certifies spent nuclear fuel rail cask designs based primarily on numerical modeling of hypothetical accident conditions augmented with some small scale testing. However, NRC initiated a Package Performance Study (PPS) in 2001 to examine the response of full-scale rail casks in extreme transportation accidents. The objectives of PPS were to demonstrate the safety of transportation casks and to provide high-fidelity data for validating the modeling. Although work on the PPS eventually stopped, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future recommended in 2012 that the test plans be re-examined. This recommendation was in recognition of substantial public feedback calling for a full-scale severe accident test of a rail cask to verify evaluations by NRC, which find that risk from the transport of spent fuel in certified casks is extremely low. This report, which serves as the re-assessment, provides a summary of the history of the PPS planning, identifies the objectives and technical issues that drove the scope of the PPS, and presents a possible path for moving forward in planning to conduct a full-scale cask test. Because full-scale testing is expensive, the value of such testing on public perceptions and public acceptance is important. Consequently, the path forward starts with a public perception component followed by two additional components: accident simulation and first responder training. The proposed path forward presents a series of study options with several points where the package performance study could be redirected if warranted.},
doi = {10.2172/1164613},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Mon Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2014}
}

Technical Report:

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  • This report described structural analyses of a high-speed impact between a locomotive and a tractor-trailer system carrying a nuclear-spent-fuel shipping cask. The analyses included both mathematical and physical scale-modeling of the system. The report then describes the full-scale test conducted as part of the program. The system response is described in detail, and a comparison is made between the analyses and the actual hardware response as observed in the full-scale test. 34 figures.
  • This report documents a concept for a small-scale test involving between one and three Boiling Water Rector (BWR) high burnup (HBU) fuel assemblies. This test would be similar to the DOE funded High Burn-Up (HBU) Confirmatory Data Project to confirm the behavior of used high burn-up fuel under prototypic conditions, only on a smaller scale. The test concept proposed would collect data from fuel stored under prototypic dry storage conditions to mimic, as closely as possible, the conditions HBU UNF experiences during all stages of dry storage: loading, cask drying, inert gas backfilling, and transfer to an Independent Spent Fuelmore » Storage Installation (ISFSI) for multi-year storage.« less
  • This report describes extensive full-scale and scale-model testing of 55-gallon drums used for shipping low-level radioactive waste materials. The tests conducted include static crush, single-can impact tests, and side impact tests of eight stacked drums. Static crush forces were measured and crush energies calculated. The tests were performed in full-, quarter-, and eighth-scale with different types of waste materials. The full-scale drums were modeled with standard food product cans. The response of the containers is reported in terms of drum deformations and lid behavior. The results of the scale model tests are correlated to the results of the full-scale drums.more » Two computer techniques for calculating the response of drum stacks are presented. 83 figures, 9 tables.« less
  • This report identifies shipping packages/casks that might be used by the Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition Campaign Program (UFDC) to ship fuel rods and pieces of fuel rods taken from high-burnup used nuclear fuel (UNF) assemblies to and between research facilities for purposes of evaluation and testing. Also identified are the actions that would need to be taken, if any, to obtain U.S. Nuclear Regulatory (NRC) or other regulatory authority approval to use each of the packages and/or shipping casks for this purpose.