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Title: Transportation Package Seal Performance in Beyond Design Basis Thermal Exposures - 12472

Abstract

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) technical report, NUREG/CR-6886, 'Spent Fuel Transportation Package Response to the Baltimore Tunnel Fire Scenario', describes, in detail, an evaluation of the potential for a theoretical release of radioactive material from three different spent nuclear fuel (SNF) transportation packages, had they been exposed to the Baltimore tunnel fire that occurred in July of 2001. This evaluation determined the temperatures of various components of the packages, including the seals, using temperatures resulting from models of the Baltimore tunnel fire (as boundary conditions) and finite element models of the SNF packages. For two of the packages evaluated, the analyses indicated that the seals used would have exceeded their continuous-use rated service temperatures, meaning the release of radioactive material could not be ruled out with available information; However, for both of the packages evaluated, the analysis determined, by a bounding calculation, that the maximum potential release was well below the regulatory requirements for releases from a SNF package during the hypothetical accident condition (HAC) sequence of events in 10CFR Part 71. The NRC is investigating the performance of seals in SNF transportation packages exposed to fires that could exceed the HAC fire described in 10CFR Part 71, such asmore » the Baltimore Tunnel Fire that occurred in 2001. The performance of package seals is important for determining the potential release of radioactive material from a package during a beyond-design-basis accident. The seals have lower temperature limits than other package components and are the containment barrier between the environment and the cask contents. The NRC Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research contracted the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to conduct small-scale thermal testing to obtain experimental data of the performance of seals during extreme temperature exposures. The experimental testing consisted of several small-scale pressure vessels fabricated with a modified ASME flange design and tested metallic and elastomeric seals, similar to those that might be used on an actual SNF transportation package. The vessels were heated in an electrical oven to temperatures as high as 800 deg. C (1472 deg. F), exceeding the rated temperatures of the seals in question. This paper will provide a summary of the testing conducted and present test results and conclusions. Fifteen metallic and elastomeric seal performance tests including two shakedowns were performed under beyond-design-basis thermal exposure conditions; twelve tests used metallic seals, two used ethylene-propylene seals, and one used a Teflon seal. Of the five repeat metallic-seal tests (Tests No.2, 3, 4, 8, and 9), leakage (decreasing vessel pressure) was observed in three of the tests (Tests No.3, 4, and 8) during the 9 h 800 deg. C (1472 deg. F) exposure. The times when the leakage occurred (the vessel pressure started to decrease) varied in the three tests performed. The two shakedown tests were conducted using a 30 min and 4 h exposure to 800 deg. C (1472 deg. F), respectively, and the seal appeared to hold vessel pressure. No leakage (unchanged vessel pressure within the pressure measurement uncertainty) was also observed in the two metallic seal tests that used 100 deg. C incremental heating from 427 deg. C (800 deg. F) to 627 deg. C (1160 deg. F) and from 427 deg. C (800 deg. F) to 727 deg. C (1340 deg. F), respectively, with at least 9 h exposure to each temperature increment. Three repeat metallic seal tests were also conducted at the seal maximum operating temperature of 427 deg. C (800 deg. F) for 9 h. The seal maintained vessel pressure within the measurement of the pressure transducer in all three tests. No leakage was observed in one ethylene-propylene seal tested at 300 deg. C (572 deg. F) for more than 20 hours; however, leakage was found in another ethylene-propylene seal tested at 450 deg. C (842 deg. F) for more than 20 hours (Test No.15). Leakage was also observed in the test (Test No.12) that used a TFE seal subject to 300 deg. C (572 deg. F) exposure. In these fifteen tests the temperature and time exposure variables were changed to map the performance of the metallic and polymeric seals at elevated temperatures beyond the rated operating temperatures. Both the metallic and polymeric seals were able to hold pressure even after leaks were detected and no catastrophic seal failure (i.e., a rapid release of pressure to atmospheric) occurred. Further testing on the polymeric seals would need to be performed to confirm the results in these tests.(authors)« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1]; ;  [2]
  1. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20005 (United States)
  2. National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20878 (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
WM Symposia, 1628 E. Southern Avenue, Suite 9-332, Tempe, AZ 85282 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22293698
Report Number(s):
INIS-US-14-WM-12472
TRN: US14V1354115222
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM2012: Waste Management 2012 conference on improving the future in waste management, Phoenix, AZ (United States), 26 Feb - 1 Mar 2012; Other Information: Country of input: France; 5 refs.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 42 ENGINEERING; CONTAINMENT; DESIGN; DESIGN BASIS ACCIDENTS; ETHYLENE; EVALUATION; FINITE ELEMENT METHOD; PRESSURE VESSELS; RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS; SPENT FUELS; THERMAL TESTING

Citation Formats

Gonzalez, Felix, Bajwa, Christopher, Easton, Earl, Einziger, Robert, Yang, Jiann, and Hnetkovsky, Edward. Transportation Package Seal Performance in Beyond Design Basis Thermal Exposures - 12472. United States: N. p., 2012. Web.
Gonzalez, Felix, Bajwa, Christopher, Easton, Earl, Einziger, Robert, Yang, Jiann, & Hnetkovsky, Edward. Transportation Package Seal Performance in Beyond Design Basis Thermal Exposures - 12472. United States.
Gonzalez, Felix, Bajwa, Christopher, Easton, Earl, Einziger, Robert, Yang, Jiann, and Hnetkovsky, Edward. Sun . "Transportation Package Seal Performance in Beyond Design Basis Thermal Exposures - 12472". United States.
@article{osti_22293698,
title = {Transportation Package Seal Performance in Beyond Design Basis Thermal Exposures - 12472},
author = {Gonzalez, Felix and Bajwa, Christopher and Easton, Earl and Einziger, Robert and Yang, Jiann and Hnetkovsky, Edward},
abstractNote = {The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) technical report, NUREG/CR-6886, 'Spent Fuel Transportation Package Response to the Baltimore Tunnel Fire Scenario', describes, in detail, an evaluation of the potential for a theoretical release of radioactive material from three different spent nuclear fuel (SNF) transportation packages, had they been exposed to the Baltimore tunnel fire that occurred in July of 2001. This evaluation determined the temperatures of various components of the packages, including the seals, using temperatures resulting from models of the Baltimore tunnel fire (as boundary conditions) and finite element models of the SNF packages. For two of the packages evaluated, the analyses indicated that the seals used would have exceeded their continuous-use rated service temperatures, meaning the release of radioactive material could not be ruled out with available information; However, for both of the packages evaluated, the analysis determined, by a bounding calculation, that the maximum potential release was well below the regulatory requirements for releases from a SNF package during the hypothetical accident condition (HAC) sequence of events in 10CFR Part 71. The NRC is investigating the performance of seals in SNF transportation packages exposed to fires that could exceed the HAC fire described in 10CFR Part 71, such as the Baltimore Tunnel Fire that occurred in 2001. The performance of package seals is important for determining the potential release of radioactive material from a package during a beyond-design-basis accident. The seals have lower temperature limits than other package components and are the containment barrier between the environment and the cask contents. The NRC Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research contracted the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to conduct small-scale thermal testing to obtain experimental data of the performance of seals during extreme temperature exposures. The experimental testing consisted of several small-scale pressure vessels fabricated with a modified ASME flange design and tested metallic and elastomeric seals, similar to those that might be used on an actual SNF transportation package. The vessels were heated in an electrical oven to temperatures as high as 800 deg. C (1472 deg. F), exceeding the rated temperatures of the seals in question. This paper will provide a summary of the testing conducted and present test results and conclusions. Fifteen metallic and elastomeric seal performance tests including two shakedowns were performed under beyond-design-basis thermal exposure conditions; twelve tests used metallic seals, two used ethylene-propylene seals, and one used a Teflon seal. Of the five repeat metallic-seal tests (Tests No.2, 3, 4, 8, and 9), leakage (decreasing vessel pressure) was observed in three of the tests (Tests No.3, 4, and 8) during the 9 h 800 deg. C (1472 deg. F) exposure. The times when the leakage occurred (the vessel pressure started to decrease) varied in the three tests performed. The two shakedown tests were conducted using a 30 min and 4 h exposure to 800 deg. C (1472 deg. F), respectively, and the seal appeared to hold vessel pressure. No leakage (unchanged vessel pressure within the pressure measurement uncertainty) was also observed in the two metallic seal tests that used 100 deg. C incremental heating from 427 deg. C (800 deg. F) to 627 deg. C (1160 deg. F) and from 427 deg. C (800 deg. F) to 727 deg. C (1340 deg. F), respectively, with at least 9 h exposure to each temperature increment. Three repeat metallic seal tests were also conducted at the seal maximum operating temperature of 427 deg. C (800 deg. F) for 9 h. The seal maintained vessel pressure within the measurement of the pressure transducer in all three tests. No leakage was observed in one ethylene-propylene seal tested at 300 deg. C (572 deg. F) for more than 20 hours; however, leakage was found in another ethylene-propylene seal tested at 450 deg. C (842 deg. F) for more than 20 hours (Test No.15). Leakage was also observed in the test (Test No.12) that used a TFE seal subject to 300 deg. C (572 deg. F) exposure. In these fifteen tests the temperature and time exposure variables were changed to map the performance of the metallic and polymeric seals at elevated temperatures beyond the rated operating temperatures. Both the metallic and polymeric seals were able to hold pressure even after leaks were detected and no catastrophic seal failure (i.e., a rapid release of pressure to atmospheric) occurred. Further testing on the polymeric seals would need to be performed to confirm the results in these tests.(authors)},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {7}
}

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