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An Analysis of a Spent Fuel Transportation Cask Under Severe Fire Accident Conditions

[+] Author Affiliations
Christopher S. Bajwa

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC

Paper No. PVP2002-1606, pp. 1-5; 5 pages
  • ASME 2002 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Transportation, Storage, and Disposal of Radioactive Materials
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada, August 5–9, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4660-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 71 section 73(c)(4), (10 CFR 71.73(c)(4)) requires that transportation packages used to ship radioactive material must be designed to resist an engulfing fire of a 30 minute duration and prevent release of radioactive material to the environment. In July, 2001, a derailed train carrying hazardous materials caught fire in a railroad tunnel in Baltimore, Maryland, and burned for several days. Although the occurrence of a fire of such duration during the shipment of spent nuclear fuel is unlikely, questions were raised about the performance of spent nuclear fuel casks under conditions similar to those experienced in the Baltimore tunnel fire incident. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission evaluates the performance of spent fuel transportation casks under accident conditions. The National Transportation Safety Board is responsible for investigating railroad accidents and identifying the probable cause(s) and offers recommendations for safety improvements. They are currently investigating the Baltimore tunnel fire accident. This paper assesses the performance of a spent fuel transportation cask with a welded canister under severe fire conditions. The paper describes the analytic model used for the assessment and presents a discussion of the preliminary results.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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