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Title: Reversal bending fatigue test system for investigating vibration integrity of spent nuclear fuel during transportation

Transportation packages for spent nuclear fuel (SNF) must meet safety requirements under normal and accident conditions as specified by federal regulations. During transportation, SNF experiences unique conditions and challenges to cladding integrity due to the vibrational and impact loading during road or rail shipment. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been developing testing capabilities that can be used to improve the understanding of the impacts on SNF integrity due to vibration loading, especially for high burn-up SNF in normal transportation operation conditions. This information can be used to meet the nuclear industry and U.S.Nuclear Regulatory Commission needs in the area of safety and security of SNF storage and transportation operations. The ORNL developed test system can perform reversal bending fatigue testing to evaluate both the static and dynamic mechanical response of SNF rods under simulated loads. The testing apparatus is also designed to meet the challenges of hot cell operation, including remote installation and detachment of the SNF test specimen, in situ test specimen deformation measurement, and implementation of a driving system suitable for use in a hot cell. The system contains a U frame set-up equipped with uniquely designed grip rigs to protect the SNF rod sample and tomore » ensure valid test results, and uses three specially designed linear variable differential transformers to obtain the in situ curvature measurement. A variety of surrogate test rods have been used to develop and calibrate the test system as well as in performing a series of systematic cyclic fatigue tests. The surrogate rods include stainless steel (SS) cladding, SS cladding with cast epoxy and SS cladding with alumina pellet inserts simulating fuel pellets. Testing to date has shown that the interface bonding between the SS cladding and the alumina pellets has a significant impact on the bending response of the test rods as well as their fatigue strength. The failure behaviours observed from tested surrogate rods provide a fundamental understanding of the underlying failure mechanisms of the SNF surrogate rod under vibration,which has not been achieved previously. The newly developed device is scheduled to be installed in the hot cell in summer 2013 to test high burn-up SNF.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Rockville, MD (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Packaging, Transport, Storage and Security of Radioactive Material (Print)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Packaging, Transport, Storage and Security of Radioactive Material (Print); Journal Volume: 25; Journal Issue: 3-4; Journal ID: ISSN 1746-5095
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). High Temperature Materials Lab. (HTML)
Sponsoring Org:
Work for Others (WFO)
Country of Publication:
United States
spent nuclear fuel vibration; reversible bending fatigue; high burn up fuel
OSTI Identifier: