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Title: 9975 Shipping package component long-term degradation rates

Abstract

Special nuclear materials are being stored in the K-Area Complex using 3013 containers that are held within Model 9975 shipping packages. The service life for these packages in storage was recently increased from 15 to 20 years, since some of these packages have been stored for nearly 15 years. A strategy is also being developed whereby such storage might be extended beyond 20 years. This strategy is based on recent calculations that support acceptable 9975 package performance for 20 years with internal heat loads up to 19 watts, and identifies a lower heat load limit for which the package components should degrade at half the bounding rate or less, thus doubling the effective storage life for these lower wattage packages. The components of the 9975 package that are sensitive to aging under storage conditions are the fiberboard overpack and the O-ring seals, although some degradation of the lead shield and outer drum are also possible. This report summarizes degradation rates applicable to lower heat load storage conditions. In particular, the O-ring seals should provide leak-tight performance for more than 40 years in packages for which their maximum temperature is ≤135 °F. Similarly, the fiberboard should remain acceptable in performance ofmore » its required safety functions for up to 40 years in packages with a maximum fiberboard temperature ≤125 °F.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1368551
Report Number(s):
SRNL-STI-2017-00369
DOE Contract Number:
AC09-08SR22470
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS

Citation Formats

Daugherty, W. L. 9975 Shipping package component long-term degradation rates. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1368551.
Daugherty, W. L. 9975 Shipping package component long-term degradation rates. United States. doi:10.2172/1368551.
Daugherty, W. L. 2017. "9975 Shipping package component long-term degradation rates". United States. doi:10.2172/1368551. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1368551.
@article{osti_1368551,
title = {9975 Shipping package component long-term degradation rates},
author = {Daugherty, W. L.},
abstractNote = {Special nuclear materials are being stored in the K-Area Complex using 3013 containers that are held within Model 9975 shipping packages. The service life for these packages in storage was recently increased from 15 to 20 years, since some of these packages have been stored for nearly 15 years. A strategy is also being developed whereby such storage might be extended beyond 20 years. This strategy is based on recent calculations that support acceptable 9975 package performance for 20 years with internal heat loads up to 19 watts, and identifies a lower heat load limit for which the package components should degrade at half the bounding rate or less, thus doubling the effective storage life for these lower wattage packages. The components of the 9975 package that are sensitive to aging under storage conditions are the fiberboard overpack and the O-ring seals, although some degradation of the lead shield and outer drum are also possible. This report summarizes degradation rates applicable to lower heat load storage conditions. In particular, the O-ring seals should provide leak-tight performance for more than 40 years in packages for which their maximum temperature is ≤135 °F. Similarly, the fiberboard should remain acceptable in performance of its required safety functions for up to 40 years in packages with a maximum fiberboard temperature ≤125 °F.},
doi = {10.2172/1368551},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 6
}

Technical Report:

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  • Thermal, mechanical and physical properties have been measured on cane fiberboard samples following accelerated aging for up to approximately 7 years. The aging environments have included elevated temperature < 250 ?F (the maximum allowed service temperature for fiberboard in 9975 packages) and elevated humidity. The results from this testing have been analyzed, and aging models fit to the data. Correlations relating several properties (thermal conductivity, energy absorption, weight loss and height decrease) to their rate of change in potential storage environments have been developed. Combined with an estimate of the actual conditions the fiberboard experiences in KAMS, these models allowmore » development of service life predictions. Some of the predicted degradation rates presented in this report are relatively extreme. However, these relate to environments that do not exist within KAMS, or would be postulated only as upset conditions that would not likely persist for an extended period. For a typical package with ~10 watts internal heat load or less, and ambient temperatures below 90 ?F, the fiberboard experiences storage conditions less severe than any of the aging environments. Little or no degradation of the fiberboard is expected for typical storage conditions. It should be noted that the ultimate service life will be determined by the cumulative effect of degradation from all the conditions these packages might encounter. The assumptions and inputs behind the models in this report should be well understood before attempting to identify an actual service life in KAMS. Additional data continue to be collected to permit future refinements to the models and assumptions. For developing service life predictions, the ambient conditions within KAMS can be reasonably identified, and the temperature profiles within the various packages (with a range of heat loads and at varying locations within an array of packages) can be calculated. However, the humidity within the package is not as well characterized. While the outer drum does not provide an air-tight seal, it does greatly restrict the gain or loss of moisture in the fiberboard. Preliminary efforts have identified a relationship between the moisture content of fiberboard samples and the relative humidity of the surrounding air, but further work is needed in this area. Improvement in understanding this relationship might be realized with a change in the way humidity data are collected during field surveillances. It is recommended that the humidity be measured through a caplug hole before the package is removed from its storage location. The package would remain in thermal equilibrium, and anomalous humidity changes could be avoided. Further work should be performed to better define KAMS storage conditions and the environment within the 9975 shipping packages, and to identify appropriate limits for each property. This should be a joint effort by SRNL and NMM personnel. The results and model predictions presented in this report are applicable to 9975 packages with cane fiberboard overpack assemblies. A separate effort is underway to identify whether softwood fiberboard would behave similarly. In addition, the degradation models do not address the effects of non-conforming conditions such as the presence of excess moisture and mold, or beetle infestations.« less
  • Thermal, mechanical and physical properties have been measured on cane fiberboard samples following accelerated aging for up to approximately 10 years. The aging environments have included elevated temperature < 250 ºF (the maximum allowed service temperature for fiberboard in 9975 packages) and elevated humidity. The results from this testing have been analyzed, and aging models fit to the data. Correlations relating several properties (thermal conductivity, energy absorption, weight, dimensions and density) to their rate of change in potential storage environments have been developed. Combined with an estimate of the actual conditions the fiberboard experiences in KAC, these models allow developmentmore » of service life predictions.« less
  • Thermal, mechanical and physical properties have been measured on softwood fiberboard samples following accelerated aging for up to approximately 7 years. The aging environments have included elevated temperature < 250 ºF (the maximum allowed service temperature for fiberboard in 9975 packages) and elevated humidity. The results from this testing have been analyzed, and preliminary aging models fit to the data. Correlations relating several properties (thermal conductivity, energy absorption, weight, dimensions and density) to their rate of change in potential storage environments have been developed. Combined with acceptance criteria and an estimate of the actual conditions the fiberboard experiences in KAC,more » these models allow development of service life predictions.« less
  • The 9975 shipping package is used as part of the configuration for long-term storage of special nuclear materials in the K Area Complex at the Savannah River Site. The cane fiberboard overpack in the 9975 package provides thermal insulation, impact absorption and criticality control functions relevant to this application. The Savannah River National Laboratory has conducted physical, mechanical and thermal tests on aged fiberboard samples to identify degradation rates and support the development of aging models and service life predictions in a storage environment. This paper reviews the data generated to date, and preliminary models describing degradation rates of canemore » fiberboard in elevated temperature – elevated humidity environments.« less
  • The 9977 shipping package is being evaluated for long-term storage applications in the K-Area Complex (KAC) with specific focus on the packaging foam material. A rigid closed cell polyurethane foam, LAST-A-FOAM® FR-3716, produced by General Plastics Manufacturing Company is sprayed and expands to fill the void between the inner container and the outer shell of the package. The foam is sealed in this annular space and is not accessible. During shipping and storage, the foam experiences higher than ambient temperatures from the heat generated by nuclear material within the package creating the potential for degradation of the foam. A seriesmore » of experiments is underway to determine the extent of foam degradation. Foam samples of three densities have been aging at elevated temperatures 160 °F, 160 °F + 50% relative humidity (RH), 185 °F, 215 °F, and 250 °F since 2014. Samples were periodically removed and tested. After approximately 80 weeks, samples conditioned at 160 °F, 160 °F + 50% RH, and 185 °F have retained initial property values while samples conditioned at 215 °F have reduced intumescence. Samples conditioned at 250 °F have shown the most degradation, loss of volume, mass, absorbed energy under compression, intumescence, and increased flammability. Based on the initial data, temperatures up to 185 °F have not yet shown an adverse effect on the foam properties and it is recommended that exposure of FR-3716 foam to temperatures in excess of 250 °F be avoided or minimized. Testing will continue beyond the 96 week mark. This will provide additional data to help define the long-term behavior for the lower temperature conditions. Additional testing will be pursued in an attempt to identify transition points (threshold times and temperatures) at the higher temperatures of interest, as well as possible benefits of aging within the relatively oxygen-free environment the foam experiences inside the 9977 shipping package.« less