qxd 6/3/09 12:09 PM Page 433


Tony Williams and K.P. Singh
56.1 INTRODUCTION While both routes represent feasible long-term solutions, the
industry must eventually find a means to sustainably dispose of
Spent nuclear fuel has been accumulating at power generation the waste (either in the form of spent fuel or as waste from repro-
sites for over a half a century; with an estimated 300,000 tons of cessing) in a permanent repository in order to gain sustained pub-
heavy metal discharged globally to-date. Spent fuel is highly lic support. Undoubtedly, the technical challenges that confront
radioactive and contains isotopes having half-lives that span over the global nuclear power industry to manage its spent nuclear fuel
millennia, and management thereof requires a robust long-term lie at the heart of the industry’s recrudescence after decades of
planning. There are principally two approaches available, namely, stagnation.
(i) reprocessing and (ii) storage in a wet or dry state.
Reprocessing and recycling the spent nuclear fuel to save
resources and to generate well-conditioned waste products, a 56.2 THE ORIGINS OF REPROCESSING
naturally attractive idea has thus far been met with a mixed
reception. As a result, storing fuel in a safe and durable long- Reprocessing is as old as nuclear energy itself, although not
term configuration has developed into a strong alternative. very old at all. The first nuclear reactor in the world (Chicago
Management of spent nuclear fuel across the globe has fol- Pile-1), which came into operation in 1942, was built in the
lowed different paths, guided by the socio-technical environment United States to “breed” plutonium for nuclear weapons. To sep-
in each country. Thus, while fuel reprocessing and fuel transport arate the resulting plutonium from the rest of the fuel, a simple
has been a centerpiece of spent fuel management in several chemical process was developed, which formed the basis for pre-
European states and Japan, on-site storage has been virtually the sent-day civilian reprocessing technology. In other words, the
sole option available to the U.S. plants. technology used today was not developed for civilian needs; for
In this chapter, a basic overview of current fuel reprocessing tech- instance, ease of recycling or optimization of waste streams were
nology is provided, followed by a critical appraisal of the issues and not considered. Despite this somewhat accidental beginning,
challenges that confront the industry in making reprocessing a civilian reprocessing became increasingly important in the 1960s
viable and economical solution. This chapter also contains a concise and 1970s. At that time, a pioneering spirit suffused the nuclear
discussion of the evolution of storage technologies beginning with energy program – the plan was to construct a large number of
storage in deepwater pools, followed by the increasing use of “dry” reactors in the coming years and it was uncertain how long the
passive storage in an inert gas environment over the past 20 years. then known uranium resources would last. It was also taken for
granted that the future of nuclear energy lay with fast breeder
technology, for which large amounts of plutonium were needed,
* Editor’s Note: This chapter describes one company’s experience
with the management of spent fuel, and is not intended to be a com- and which initially could only be derived from the reprocessing
plete overview of the topic.

ASME_Ch56_p433-454.qxd 6/5/09 1:26 PM Page 434

434 • Chapter 56


Owner/ Design capacity
Country Location operator Facility Fuel tHM/yr Years of operation
Belgium Mol Eurochemic Eurochemic oxide ⫹ metal 30 1966 – 1975
France Marcoule Cogema UP1 metal 400 1958 – 1997
CEA APM/TOR oxide (FBR) 6 1988 –
La Hague Cogema UP2 metal 400 1966 – 1987
oxide 400 1976 – 1993
UP2/HAO oxide (FBR) … 1979 – 1984
UP2-800 oxide 800 1994 –
UP3 oxide 800 1990 –
Germany Karlsruhe KfK/DWK WAK oxide 35 1971 – 1990
India Tarapur DAE PREFRE oxide 100 1982 –
Kalpakkam DAE KARP oxide 100 – 200 1996 –
Japan Tokai-mura PNC Tokai oxide 100 1977 –
Rokkasho-mura JNFS Rokkasho oxide 800 2007?
Russia Chelyabinsk-65 Minatom RT-1 oxide 600 1976 –
Krasnoyarsk-26 Minatom RT-2 oxide 1000 2015?
UK Windscale/ BNFL B205 metal 1500 1964 – 2014?
Sellafield B204/B205 oxide 300 1969 – 1973
THORP oxide 700 1994 –
Dounreay UKAEA D1206 oxide (FBR) 7 1958 – 1997
D1204 oxide (MTR) ⬍1 1959– 1997
USA West Valley NFS West Valley oxide ⫹ metal 300 1966 – 1972

of light water reactor (LWR) fuel.1 Plutonium was expected to only way out being reracking of storage pools, costly construction
become a very valuable commodity and it was the intention of of new pools, or eventually dry storage facilities.
many LWR operators to reprocess all spent fuel and market the In particular, Western Europe and Japan chose the reprocessing
resulting plutonium, thereby financing their own operations. In route. In Europe, Germany, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden,
any case, there was originally no intention on the part of the Belgium, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom all decided in
operators to use the plutonium as mixed oxide (MOX)2 fuel in favor of reprocessing their spent fuel. This ultimately led to the
their own reactors. situation where the two European countries, namely France and
Based on this forward-looking ideology, fast breeder programs the United Kingdom, with much experience in reprocessing were
were launched in Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, put under pressure to construct and operate large commercial
France, Germany, India, Japan, and Belgium; reprocessing plants reprocessing plants. Potential customers were prepared to meet all
were constructed in all these countries (see Table 56.1). development, investment, and operating costs, in addition to
Because of the belief in reprocessing that prevailed in the paying a sizable fee. The result, between 1979 and 1983, was the
1970s, there was no need to construct large storage pools for signing of the so-called baseload contracts which today still
spent fuel in nuclear power plants (NPPs). This meant that sav- regulate the commercial conditions applying to reprocessing.
ings could be made on investments; the fuel was in any case to be Although at that time it was clear to the operators that the com-
transported for reprocessing after a brief cooling period. However, mercial conditions were far from optimum,3 the hope was for so-
the result was that most operators had thus ruled out the only called post-baseload contracts, which would have reduced the
alternative to reprocessing and they were obliged to continue costs to a much lower level.
down this road even after the “reprocessing bubble” later burst. Of the approximately 300,000 tons of nuclear fuel burned in and
The signals given out in the 1970s led many into a dead end, the discharged from nuclear power plants since the 1950s, 70% of this,
or 200,000 tons, is currently being held in dry storage facilities or
storage pools. The remaining 30%, equivalent to 100,000 tons, has
been reprocessed (see Fig. 56.1).
The ‘Start-up’ of a 1000-MWe fast breeder requires around 15,000
kg of plutonium, which in turn requires the reprocessing of around
1,500 tons (equivalent to the fuel discharges over 7 years!) of LWR
2 3
MOX: Mixed Oxide Fuel, a mixture of uranium and plutionium The several hundred million dollar facilities had to be amortized
oxide. after 10 years or after 7000 tons of reprocessed fuel.

56.2 THE PUREX PROCESS 4 UO2 fuel elements typically have to be cooled for at least five years before they can be loaded into a dry storage container. Fuel elements can also be transported in a wet condition. residual amounts of uranium and plutonium produced in the EXTRACTION reactor (so-called shipper’s data) and so on.2). which aim to accommodate a maximum number of fuel elements.4 this very short time requires smaller transport con- tainers for higher specific thermal loading than the containers used for dry storage. The individual steps are described in roughly chrono- logical order in the following. this process was developed in the United States in the 1940s (see Fig. Reprocessing in Europe. the fuel ele- (PUREX) process.1 SPENT FUEL ARISINGS AND STRATEGIES [2] rate and hence the loading capacity. whereby reusable plutonium and uranium are ments are held for 4 – 5 years in large cooling pools. The customer transports the agreed amount of irradiated fuel to the reprocessing plant. irradiation history in the reac- PLUTONIUM AND URANIUM tor.1 Transport of the Spent Fuel to the Reprocessing Plant After around three-years’ residence in the reactor storage pools. As mentioned above.3. the spent fuel can be transported for reprocessing.ASME_Ch56_p433-454. which further increases the thermal dissipation FIG. The fuel is described and characterized in 56. 56.qxd 6/3/09 12:09 PM Page 435 COMPANION GUIDE TO THE ASME BOILER & PRESSURE VESSEL CODE • 435 separated from waste materials. Compared with dry storage. Japan and around the world has been 56. weight. 56.3. for example. burnup.2 Unloading of the Spent Fuel based on the so-called Plutonium and Uranium Extraction Following unloading in the reprocessing plant. FIG. . 56. For example.3 THE REPROCESSING PROCESS: detail.

or are mixed with concrete and filled into suitably engi- to allow further cooling of the fuel elements (according to a neered drums. ion exchangers. amount of fission products. Customers deliver fuel over a wide time range with phosphate (TBP) in kerosene is used to separate the uranium and a range of initial enrichments and discharge burnups.6 Waste the customers and the relevant safety authorities.4 WASTES AND RESOURCES: MASS ends and chopping of the fuel rods into pieces around 5 cm AND VOLUME BALANCE long) and then moved to the dissolver. development in this area Regime. and the fact that uranium and a series products is transferred to a so-called “accountancy tank” and of waste products are generated is of secondary interest. The enter the organic phase. almost 30 years following the the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safeguards signing of the reprocessing contracts. con. density.4.qxd 6/3/09 12:09 PM Page 436 436 • Chapter 56 the pool at La Hague has a capacity of 7500 tons or around 375 loaded into containers similar to those for high-level waste reactor operating years. or bituminized intermediate- sealed in batches of 6 – 7 kg in special containers and stored in a and low-level waste are generated on the one hand for the struc- secure building. that is. • The fuel elements are first “sheared” (removal of tops and 56.4 Chemical Separation of Reusable 56. Both products are stored until the customer in tural (nonfuel) components and for the technological or process question decides how and where the material should be further waste (contaminated protective clothing. there is a fur. It is not disputed that . This fuel is plutonium from the fission products. the volume equivalent to the amount of fission products contained in 56. ing.4. is used to represent the (solvent) and transferred to the aqueous phase. The detailed specifications and the allocation inventory of the fission products that can be compared with of materials as resources and wastes were foreseen as part of the the shipper’s data and can also be used for the requirements of baseload contracts. tion of UPu in the organic phase is done using a high concentra- tion of nitric acid (4M). The back extraction is carried out at a 56.3. it The structural components remaining after the dissolution of releases an additional amount of radiotoxicity into the environ- the fuel are either compacted using ultra-high pressure and ment surrounding the reprocessing plant.5 Products and Resources the fuel.3 Other Waste Streams This section would not be com- heated and reduced to a powder by evaporation. 56.1 Highly Active Vitrified Waste A procedure has lower concentration. these issues still centration of uranium and plutonium). Even today. Finally. and plutonium dioxide that is active glasses. etc. After this first separation. cemented. is calculated by assuming the average fission product vol- ume (Nd volume) in the produced blend glasses.3. an organic solvent with 30% tributyl trivial subject.1. but to provide a suffi. all materials can be transported back to the customer 56. The joint extrac. Military acid. depending on operating conditions.4. processed. This is then plete without considering the other waste streams and emissions mixed with molten borosilicate glass and poured into stainless arising from reprocessing. with the reactor.3. avoid specificities. reprocessing appeared in the commercial world. namely. development of an allocation process was therefore not trivial.3 Shearing and Dissolution of the Fuel 6 – 9 years after delivery and 7 – 12 years after unloading from the During reprocessing. The latter remain in the then reprocessed in mixed batches. the fuel elements must be delivered in a condition Other secondary wastes such as contaminated protective cloth- that would allow immediate reprocessing). the fuel is handled in campaigns. French law. compacted. ther step to separate the uranium and plutonium from one another. which is in a fixed ous phase. The separated highly active fission product solutions (in nitric acid) are initially stored in cooled tanks. there are two products: uranyl nitrate. isolating plutoni- • The clarified solution with uranium. For most of these wastes. The solutions are then 56. continues. that besides the wastes that are returned to the customers. and so on arise in various facilities cient buffer in terms of various fuel types and burnups.) generated within the facility on the other. It is a known criticism of the process steel containers with a capacity of around 0. which is convert- ed into uranium oxide and stored in the same way as normal nat.1 Allocation of Wastes Materials The reallocation of waste and resources to the customer is not a In the PUREX process. which and are either cemented or bitumenized and allocated to cus- ensures smooth operation of the reprocessing plant.ASME_Ch56_p433-454.1. and the resulting product aqueous phase (nitric acid). slurries. while the uranium and the plutonium streams continue to decay and change their composition.2 Intermediate and Low-Level Waste Besides highly ural uranium oxide (yellowcake).18 m3. Since different reprocessing companies have somewhat different followed in each case by a cleaning cycle. there are now specifications that have been approved by 56. volume of one campaign being several tons of heavy metal (tHM) to more than 100 tHM. whereby the plutonium is first changed to a been developed for specifying glass (high-level vitrified waste) lower oxidation state using a suitable reagent and enters the aque. allocation – Neodymium (a fission product). 56. The basic glass volume. slurries.4. When samples are collected and measured (volume. These separation approaches. tomers on a pro rata basis for the purpose of repatriation. The uranium is then extracted from the organic phase ratio to the total amount of fission products. the process known today as civilian • The fuel is leached out of the cladding using boiling nitric reprocessing was inherited from the military sector. plutonium and. In theory. fission um from the irradiated fuel.3. The purpose of this storage period is not (HLW). the description given here has been kept general to processes are called liquid – liquid extractions.1. This gives an accurate needed to be solved. As already mentioned. reprocessing serves only one purpose. ion exchangers.

amounts of fissile plutonium. 56. the plant has dis. Mainly 56. There are also other details metal (valid for the first 20 years of operation.3 that reprocessing reduces the customer receives back contains increasingly smaller conditioned waste volumes. costs for MOX being significantly higher than for UO2 fuel. 56.00% Pu-240 viewpoint. today.00% but also the natural monopolies of the providers led to a dislike of 0. MOX is a mixture of PuO2 und UO2. to some extent.4 and 56. and even more so of MOX. and therefore have to be released in controlled amounts. These While UO2 fuel can. In particular. 56.4. Figs. however. Because MOX fuel is very tioned highly active waste is reduced by two thirds (30 m3 of expensive. However.qxd 6/3/09 12:09 PM Page 437 COMPANION GUIDE TO THE ASME BOILER & PRESSURE VESSEL CODE • 437 radioactive emissions are released into the environment. from the viewpoint of conserving 56. It was expected in the early days of reprocessing that the valu- able reusable materials (uranium (RepU) and plutonium (MOX)) would indeed be valuable. a 2365 MWe PWR plant. with a uranium price of less than $10 per 40. 56.75 tons of heavy are several hundred dollars a pound. MOX has to be fabricated in a closed system with remote handling in shielded glove boxes.4.00% ventional fuel (natural uranium) by using MOX and reprocessed 60. the volume of condi. conditioned waste. 10. this is a welcome trend as less MOX fuel elements spent fuel compared with 10 m3 of vitrified waste). the capacity of MOX facilities is also Switzerland is taken as an example. 70. The result 56. However.) uranium (RepU) fuel elements is very welcome from an idealistic 50.00% of fast breeders collapsed. Since 1973.00% Percentage of Isotopic in Pu when these recycled materials first became available and the dream 80.5 DECAY HEAT OF UO2 COMPARED WITH MOX 365-MWe PLANT) FUEL . the savings on uranium uranium and plutonium. During the 1980s and 1990s. and recy- clable materials are shown in Fig. These factors lead to the specific patched 433 tons of heavy metal or 1. need to be fabricated per kg of available Pu per reprocessed fuel assembly. Due to the complexity and The Beznau NPP.00% been worthwhile to date. with higher that need to be taken into consideration.00% Pu-238 Pu-239 (fiss. The corre. smaller than for UO2 facilities. it is not particularly advantageous. This difference – a situation that is reached only when uranium prices corresponds to around 32 fuel elements or 10.00% RepU. be processed manually to emissions have however been reduced steadily over the years and produce fuel elements in open facilities without particular radia- are well below official limits.5): sponding volumes of delivered fuel.3 EXAMPLE OF VOLUME REDUCTION DUE TO Discharge Burnup GWd/Te REPROCESSING (VOLUMES RELATE TO THE CONDI- TIONED STATE AND ONE YEAR OF OPERATION OF A FIG. only 24 fuel elements per year are required). the operators had no choice but to use these resources in their own reactors. tion protection measures. 56.2 Material Flows: Beznau NPP is that the necessary investments are orders of magnitude higher as an Example than for conventional UO2 fabrication.4. we take the annual fuel costs have to be sufficiently high to compensate for this cost requirement for one of the two 365 MWe Beznau reactors. 56.00% Pu-241 (fiss.3.4 BUILD-UP OF PLUTONIUM DURING REACTOR 35 OPERATION (10 YEARS AFTER UNLOADING FROM REACTOR) 30 25 Volume in m3 6000 20 5000 Decay Heat 1tUO2 15 Decay Heat 1tMOX 4000 Watt 10 3000 5 2000 0 1000 m3 m3 m3 HLW Glas ILW BE 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 FIG.3 Recycling Uranium and Plutonium resources.00% and complex processing required for MOX and RepU.4 Using Plutonium from Reprocessing as volatile fission products such as iodine and tritium that are MOX in LWRs released during the dissolution process cannot be fully retained As the name implies. apart from costs (see burnup. located in restricted spatial conditions. Not only the complex processes involved. To cessing and has already recycled practically all of the resulting achieve breakeven or parity with UO2.329 fuel elements to repro. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Discharge Burnup GWd/Te FIG.ASME_Ch56_p433-454. For this example. 90. The possibility of saving con. • The trend toward higher burnups means that the plutonium It can clearly be seen from Fig. this has not 20.) Pu-242 pound – as it was at that time – and taking into account the costly 30.

and the correspondingly small room for negoti- The problem of impurities becomes important only after enrich.00E-01 U-232 tions regarding the timing and nature of final disposal. The component of 235U in RepU has to be As said above . but also in a relative sense. 56. ment of the uranium. and the plutonium rather than a conscious strategic decision.6%. the undesirable isotopes 232U and 236U are Comparing reprocessing with direct geological disposal requires a global perspective. Np) diluted at the same time. the daily challenges. 236U is a strong tional costs. the lion’s share of reprocess- 1. 56. Higher have become. in spent MOX fuel. per 100 fuel elements that undergo repro- fuel elements are less reactive and can achieve lower burnup levels cessing.00E-08 • The reprocessing cost structure is variable. which even lighter than 235U and is therefore more strongly enriched than 235 U itself. which is a • produces highly active glass that.00E+00 comparison is not straightforward rather based on many assump- 1. 56. compared with spent fuel. reprocessing has not become what it should from reprocessing is still more than 1% 235U (see Fig.6 BUILD-UP OF 236U AND 232U AND OTHER URA. the residual enrichment of RepU Without doubt. because of the 232 U is a strong gamma emitter and thus has a negative influence on somewhat one-sided contractual relationship between reprocessor the fabrication process in terms of radiation protection. conventional enrichment of RepU is practically impossible for the above reasons. secondly. U-238 • Reprocessing today is not a replacement for deep geological 1. namely. 1. During alternatives. reprocessing is a real alternative to direct disposal and the heavier ones. 232U is and. The they cannot be separated by the chemical treatment of 235U (see Fig. the endless dealings. This means that the component of 232U is increased not • allows reduction of the waste volumes for disposal by a factor only in absolute terms. With a fuel THE MACROSCOPIC SCALE discharge burnup of 40 GWd/tHM. there is a saving of space and therefore costs in terms of interim storage and final disposal of spent fuel and a reduction in required resources. the use of MOX fuel in light water reactors. Taking a increasing component as burnup increases and have a significant microscopic view of reprocessing. further uranium isotopes are produced that are were more in the nature of a palliative to close the circle and use either not present in nature or are only in very small amounts. function of unloading burnup of the reprocessed fuel. In such cases. has a very limited availability at this time. because HEU not be ignored. the decay heat is a factor of 2 – 3 higher however.00E-03 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 ing costs is payable in the short term. which make up an sive research and development work was necessary. leads to the point of (10 YEARS AFTER UNLOADING FROM THE REACTOR) no return.00E-06 disposal because the long-lived.6). Although 236U does not fall under IAEA safeguards and presents no prolifer- is less enriched than 235U.qxd 6/3/09 12:09 PM Page 438 438 • Chapter 56 • Because of the higher components of actinides (Cm. This is a type of heel of reprocessing. 1. exten- 56. large fixed component. whereas considerable burden for the NPP operators. sufficient resources are released to fabricate a further than “normal” fuel elements. On the one hand. 56.00E-07 will anyway have to be emplaced in a deep repository. there are still the costs that have been the Achilles’ “blending” with highly enriched uranium (HEU). Of particular interest are 232U and 236U.00E-04 significant accumulation of interest on the reserves in the U-236 1. ation. Am. This 1. because of the signif- icant costs of generic development.5 REPROCESSING: FROM 56.ASME_Ch56_p433-454. In current has to be paid for a sustainable fuel cycle because from the techni- enrichment processes. ter for the future. it is nevertheless present in considerable ation risk. This effect is even of up to 4. However. On the other 1. are depleted. Although the situation looks somewhat bet- indirect enrichment as it uses the stored enrichment in the HEU. where so much in the way of fixed costs has been . This can have an influence on interim storage and final disposal and the associated costs. the total costs could neither be predicted nor influenced. such “small” problems are perhaps the price that increased to 4 – 5% before it can be used in the reactor. with a very low Discharge Buildup fixed cost component. This means losing the U-235 (f) 1. 12 MOX and 12 uranium fuel elements – a saving of about For very high burnups and residual enrichments of 0. However. in parallel with the commercial contracts. As already mentioned.5 Using Uranium from Reprocessing in LWRs THE MICROSCOPIC TO Reprocessed uranium should be a valuable resource. This evidently good technical solution.4.00E+02 hand. namely. and NPP operator. On the contrary. result was that.00E-05 waste management fund in the case of disposal. the addi- influence on the further possibilities for using RepU. the high expectations of the than natural uranium and free – is it? Not entirely. contains no impurities. and the irksome details were a neutron absorber and influences the reactivity of the fuel. direct disposal involves a FIG. Also.00E-02 U-233 U-234 • Compared with direct disposal.00E+01 for reprocessing and expensive MOX has to be fabricated. one-fourth of the required resources. for the same burnup history. stronger with a lower original enrichment of the RepU. amounts (see Fig. mainly the lighter isotopes (235U) are enriched cal standpoint.6). there are still financial considerations that can- This allows enrichments of 4–5% to be reached and. reactor operation. namely. expensive international transport campaigns are necessary 1. This firstly makes a cost comparison NIUM ISOTOPES DURING REACTOR OPERATION with reprocessing difficult and. a meritorious solution. there is only one solution. from a global perspective. 238U. The composition 1970s regarding fast breeders were not realized and the available of RepU is not exactly the same as that of natural uranium.6) and leads to a situation in which the RepU • saves resources. highly active vitrified waste 1.

certain centralized facilities need to be keep the stocks for an unspecified time until use in a fast constructed (e. which is promoting the development of six advanced reactor several flaws that have already been discussed. 56. The long-lived isotopes are then • Uranium with a typical residual enrichment of around 0. In the context development of new generations of reprocessing technology that of the Generation IV International Forum Initiative. Am.6 THE FUTURE OF REPROCESSING Operators have learned to live with these flaws and the Much has been said in this chapter about the drawbacks of PUREX process has become a practicable technology. reprocessing. This leads to but fabricated directly in the fuel together with the actinides the situation that the glasses are radiotoxic for around 10 – (Np. about the so-called UREX ture and not from fission. Pu is not isolated the average of 30 years for the fission products. can have much shorter half-lives. This would reduce the half-life of even have a negative value. Cm. posal. which requires a monitoring time British stocks of uranium and plutonium from reprocessing of only around 300 years. minor actinides (Am. products from short-lived ones. for example. the conclusion that it would be financially more prudent to • For direct disposal. the ambitious GEN IV objectives in terms of pre- very little plutonium. but because of the presence of so-called serving resources and nonproliferation cannot be achieved. water reactors. In a study on the exploitation of the vitrified waste to 30 years. the costs of breeder becomes possible rather than using them now in light which are almost independent of the volume of fuel for dis. Cm) and this can be used in the fourth generation 100 times longer than if the glass had contained pure fission reactors.7). despite the fact that the isotopic composition of plutonium from civilian reactors is not suitable for weapons production. 56. Is there any hope that there will be come to a standstill with the present-day situation. However.. it has also been stated that reprocessing is it cannot be assumed that development of reprocessing has to a relatively young technology. Another variant allows separation of long-lived fission products (see Fig.7 EVOLUTION WITH TIME OF THE RADIOTOXICITY OF SPENT FUEL . proliferation issue under certain circumstances.ASME_Ch56_p433-454. a fuel conditioning plant). 56.g. for exam- are better? From a technical viewpoint. It could therefore be that reprocessing is viable only if • The separation of plutonium by reprocessing today can be a the entire spent fuel of a country is destined for reprocessing. It would theoretically be possible to FIG. the PUREX process has ple. under certain circumstances.qxd 6/3/09 12:09 PM Page 439 COMPANION GUIDE TO THE ASME BOILER & PRESSURE VESSEL CODE • 439 given out that competitive reprocessing cannot be financially [3]. systems of the next generation.6% is transmutated in special fourth generation reactors until they also difficult to use today and. However. the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) comes to justified. the use of advanced reprocessing technologies is considered a necessity. they still have a half-life far above process. in which only uranium is extracted. Much is being said. Without this leap in • The high-level wastes are very well conditioned and contain development. Np) that come from neutron cap.

Several U. The technology breakthroughs that made such a signifi. typically to a depth of approximately threatened the integrity of the liner. Most In other words.7. turn.2 Design Considerations Germane to factor. which would have a signif. This increase in storage welding. These option for the nuclear power plants in their backend fuel manage- racks relied exclusively on water and their structural members as ment plan. the A high-density storage rack is a cellular structure with an array rack modules were anchored to the pool slab (through anchor of vertical storage cells arranged as closely to each other as possi- bolts or welds). support against lateral sidesway was ble (hence. (The neutron multiplication factor is the ratio of the rate of High-Density Storage Racks neutron generation to the rate of neutron capture. and other time-consuming operations. Freestanding racks with than 8 – 10 ft. From the operational point of view. water provides an order minimized cell-to-cell spacings began to be referred to as “high of magnitude (indeed. This is mainly due to the ongoing shift to decades. er. Rather. the nuclear power industry worldwide has Even countries that have opted for reprocessing find wet stor- carried out over 120 rerackings (defined as replacing existing low age capacity expansion to be an essential component of their fuel capacity rack arrays with a high capacity one) in the past three management program. and the like. Largely because of the versatility lifted out of the pool or emplaced in the pool with remotely actu- and safety afforded by in-water storage. In the remainder of this chapter. Early on. The boiling water reactor The above drawbacks of the first generation racks were over- (BWR) pools utilize only demineralized water. Additionally. typical spent fuel pools ated rigging. buckles. Thus.1 Overview necessitated that they penetrate the pool liner. In fact.qxd 6/3/09 12:09 PM Page 440 440 • Chapter 56 do without deep geological disposal. A typical high-density rack of provided through lateral restraints in the form of snubbers. of water coverage. fuel assemblies can be stored in a very tightly The freestanding high-density racks accrued many benefits. Finally.) Further. The ther. and in the case of laterally maintain a certain minimum boron (boric acid) concentration in restrained racks. (relatively large) PWR fuel assemblies.S. thus increasing the storage capacity in the fuel pool. stored active fuel required deployment of divers and the operation usually entailed considerable radiation dose to the personnel. bolting. not the least of which was the facility to install and remove them heating the fuel rods. the spacing between the adjacent from the pool without much encumbrance.5)2  1) * 100  53. the methods to store integrity. the term high density). Every operating reactor has at least one adjacent spent thermal induced state of thermal stress. fitting. the nuclear power industry discovered the needed them. extending the budget outlays over a length of time. the anchors at the pool base 56. Anchoring the Spent fuel assemblies discharged from nuclear reactors have metallic rack structures (aluminum or stainless steel) to a rein- been stored in pools since the inception of the nuclear power forced concrete pool set up the classical condition of differential industry. so-called end connected construction (ECC) [4]. extended fuel burnups. neutron absorber materi- als were seldom utilized to reduce the neutron multiplication 56. In fact the plant added racks to the pool as they reprocessing in 1977. The anchoring and lateral restraint placement operations in fuel pools 56. This implied a capacity increase of over Shielding against gamma radiation is accomplished with no more 50% [(13/10. In the wake of the U. of damage to a pool’s “container” (in contrast to structural) level waste. the capacity has largely come about without diminishing the margins nuclear plants began to view reracking as a routine procedure. utilities have taken advantage of this fact reserve to a considerable extent through reracking of their pools. These restrained tiveness of reprocessing. The racks could now fuel assemblies in the latest generation spent fuel racks approxi. industry in the past three decades. in many cases the key margins of safety have There was no longer the need to plan a major “plant mod” to been increased. government’s ban on fuel install a fuel rack. which requires that the fuel be “aged” in cant increase in storage capacity possible are briefly summarized wet storage for a longer period before it can be loaded in a trans- below.. imposed considerable loadings on the pool as the pool to serve as a redundant neutron absorber source for the well. The hydrogen center-to-center distance (pitch) to be reduced from (approxi- in the water molecule is an excellent decelerator of neutrons. Installing and anchoring racks into flooded pools with fuel (or its reprocessed by-product) are discussed. As a consequence. over 100 times) with more efficient removal density racks” – a terminology that has taken firm hold in the of decay heat produced by the spent fuel than air or an inert gas.S.7. contemporary design for storing BWR fuel or well-burned PWR . come with the advent of the “poisoned” freestanding racks. by carrying out pool capacity expansions in multiple campaigns. in particular. equipped to store more than 10 cores.3%]. which could be mates those in the reactor vessel. mately) 13 – 10. A few fuel pools even experienced liner leakage problems. grinding.ASME_Ch56_p433-454.7 WET STORAGE OF SPENT NUCLEAR containing irradiated fuel were intrinsically at variance with the FUEL: SELECTED CASE STUDIES canons of ALARA. For a mophysical and neutronic properties of water are ideally suited typical PWR fuel pool. (13 m). reracking did not have to be a one-time major capi- nuclear plants in the United States have exploited this in-pool tal expense. use of the neutron absorber allowed the for its use in the storage of spent nuclear fuel. By an informal count. repro. These restrained racks were typically of the icant impact on acceptance of nuclear energy and the competi. The The preeminent role of water as the storage environment for neutron poison was used to bring the storage cells closer togeth- nuclear fuel is not merely due to its natural abundance. The thermal stresses fuel pool filled with water. the sealworthi- 40 ft. port cask for shipment to the reprocessing facility. originally sized to store less than two cores worth of fuel now are Unfettered from the burden of in-pool burning. The pressurized water reactor (PWR) installations ness of the anchor penetrations. reasonably achievable (ALARA) during installation and (ii) risk cessing does not entirely eliminate the need for storage of high. the guarantor of subcriticality. be treated as just another container in the pool. racks suffered from two key drawbacks: (i) nonoptimal as low as As the foregoing discussion makes it abundantly clear. of safety. the high- The initial generation of replacement racks in the spent fuel density fuel storage racks are expected to continue to be a valuable pools were of the fully restrained “nonpoison” variety. packed array in compact fuel pools without the danger of over.5 in. huge additional storage potential available in the fuel pools.

The rattling forces. the shear forces spacings that rival those in the nuclear reactor. the continued integrity of the neutron absorber. while ered wall. Taiwan. FIG. in particular. the fluid coupling forces produced by the swirling of water antee a permanently subcritical state of storage under all potential around the modules as they move relative to each other produce a scenarios.8. It is clearly not possible to pack the storage cells any the stored fuel assemblies standing loosely in each storage cavity closer. Certain U. except for a certain number needed to support reactor refueling. 56. and must rely on an unfailingly effective “neutron absorber” to guar. The governing load combination for stress analy- in the reactor. is not suffi. including par- storage cavities in the rack are separated by a single multilay. In analysis [5].8. 56. Most PWR pools reracked since the early 1980s feature a layout wherein all storage cells. (3) The storage cells are connected to each other along their contiguous corners to create a honeycomb construction (HCC).ASME_Ch56_p433-454.8 A NONFLUX TRAP HIGH-DENSITY FUEL RACK Prognosticating the response of fuel racks under an earthquake event MODULE is an extremely complicated problem. The fluid coupling effect. aluminum material containing finely dis- persed boron carbide is used for reactivity control. lateral translation. This whole pool multirack (WPMR) taken up later in the chapter. Racks are which permitted the designer to recognize the depletion of 235U treated as a “Class 3 linear structure” within the purview of and generation of actinides and fission products as the fuel burned Subsection NF. Sequoyah.C. tial lift-off. The reference ASME Code for the spent fuel racks made possible by the USNRC Regulatory Guide 1. made more so by the sub- mergence in water. is Subsection NF of Section III of the ASME Code. (1) The storage cells are supported by a common “baseplate” that is elevated above the pool liner to create a “bottom plenum. namely. (2) A lightweight. icant role of fluid-coupling forces in shaping the dynamic motion cient to ensure subcriticality of fresh or slightly burned PWR of racks was experimentally validated for an accurate WPMR nuclear fuel of a high initial enrichment (say.S. installed in the storage cavity complex brew of loadings that determine the structural response walls. The so-called burnup credit allowed the PWR sis purposes is invariably the so-called Level D service condition .4) [8]. portions evidently permit a relatively low density of storage. such cases. each freestanding rack fuel is illustrated in Fig. D. Virtually all nuclear plants in the United States and a majority of the spent fuel pools in South Korea. This warrants an overview of the technology underpinning their design. The extent of connectivity between the cells has been utilized by the rack designers to reduce the kinematic response of the racks under seismic events [4]. bowing. Both flux trap and nonflux trap module Holtec designs share certain essential attributes. over 4% w/o). These so-called flux trap racks an obscure USNRC publication dating back to 1978 [6]. 56. and the United Kingdom have been reracked by Holtec International in the past 30 years. of which are incorporated in NUREG-0800 (Appendix D to SRP The expansion of densified wet storage in PWR pools was 3. twisting. bending. Brazil.qxd 6/3/09 12:09 PM Page 441 COMPANION GUIDE TO THE ASME BOILER & PRESSURE VESSEL CODE • 441 fuel racks to be made of the “nonflux trap” (maximum density) genre except for a small quantity of flux-trap-type storage cells to store unirradiated fresh fuel (such as a reload batch for refueling). These so-called nonflux trap racks feature fuel storage rattle against their cell walls. are of the nonflux trap variety. The neutron absorber. Under an earthquake. analysis lies at the heart of fuel rack qualifications [7]. Cook. The signif- A single panel of neutron absorber. As can be seen from Fig.13 (1982). plants (notably. Minimizing the kinematic displacement of the rack modules during an earthquake is a central challenge in freestanding fuel rack design because it directly affects the intermodule spacings and hence the total number of cells that can be installed in a pool. Waterford. Callaway.8.” The support pedestals that elevate the baseplate are typically equipped with the capability to remotely adjust their height so that the rack can be leveled after installation. and Wolf Creek) employ an even more advanced fuel manage- ment strategy termed “Mixed Zone Three Region” storage to achieve maximum storage densification in their pools. the module is free to execute a wide range of motions. The subject of requiring the seismic analysis of all rack modules to be carried reliability of the neutron absorber in fuel rack applications is out in one coupled model. unfortunately. it is necessary to place two panels of neutron absorbers The design and stress analysis of spent fuel racks is guided by with a water gap between them. is an indispensable component of a high-density fuel of the rack modules. effec- rack: A rack’s ability to render its intended function hinges on tively entwines the movement of all of the racks in the pool. Mexico. and as a result transmitted to the rack at the rack pedestal/pool slab interface.

lurgy in the 1980s and its application to the manufacture of neu- ity of the rack module is not impaired. of used in the wet storage have traditionally employed fine boron car- course. have become the main- in the foregoing. a the Borated stainless steel presents a weight problem for fuel 3-D simulation of the physical problem using a computational racks. The Whole Pool Multi-Rack (WPMR) analysis.007 – 0. accumulation of a heating and rolling cycles converted the box into a sandwich of a greater quantity of activated matter in the pool crud. under the condition of optimal moderation. analysis. reduction in the total stor- Subcriticality Compliance: The fuel racks must be equipped age capacity. To predict the temperature fields in the fuel pool. the licensing of a high density pling loads are limited to the bottom region of the pool’s walls fuel rack entails a whole array of analyses to demonstrate (where the racks are located). Borated stainless steel has multiplication factor of the stored fuel array is less than 0. effectiveness compressed aluminum/ B4C matrix flanked by thin (0. often setting the minimum number of hours that the fuel must decay in the core before it can be trans. In a few (exceptional) cases. These deficiencies remain an unsatisfactory top of the rack or a through-cell vertical free fall hitting the rack’s aspect of its performance even today. Unfortunately. as summarized due to fuel stored in close proximity must also be included as a below. Non-integral control components may not be credited for neutron absorbers is aluminum. . loading. The early method to impregnate criticality control. and matrix define a number of plausible mechanical accidents in the fuel degradation problems since its introduction in the 1970s in oper- pool. mechanical. developed by the ical considerations that must be addressed as a pre-condition to U. boron carbide into aluminum relied on heating a well-mixed Radiological Compliance: The impact of the increased han. swelling. the radiant (gamma) heating of the pool walls structural compliance with regulatory requirements. radiological. provides the means to quantify the mechanical stay of the wet and dry storage industries in recent years. This material. typified by the aluminum metal matrix composite. Likewise. within the storage cells. Because of its high density and low level of boron concentration. resulting spaces which tend to be regions of relative stagnation.7. bide powder uniformly dispersed in a “carrier” material. thick) veneers of aluminum. which must be kept as light as possible to prevent overload- fluid dynamics code is required. A competent material to serve as the carrier flow path is blocked for any reason (such an accumulated pool is austenitic stainless steel. nuclear plant The neutron absorber is the heart of a spent fuel storage system owners have had to upgrade the plant’s cooling system to deal because its continued regulatory compliance with respect to reac- with the increased heat load in the pool. lation of water. control in high-density fuel racks. Operationally speaking. ably more susceptible to corrosion than pure austenitic stainless uted and stable configuration to ensure that the maximum neutron steel. subcriticality. suffered from occa- Mechanical Compliance: The regulatory guidance documents sional reports of hydrogen generation. Special attention must be paid to ing of the pool slab. The cooling of the fuel cladding is also required to be steel to hold boron in the matrix is rather limited: Boron carbide demonstrated under the hypothetical scenario that a fuel assembly concentration in excess of 1.7% causes excessive drop in ductility. the top region is subject to slosh- thermal-hydraulic.012 of the fuel building’s charcoal filters. The B-10 cally equipped with appropriate flow passages to ensure that there isotope in boron carbide captures the thermalized neutrons.S. especially under seismic tron absorbers. It is necessary to show that the criticality control capac. events. ing to the introduction of aluminum metal matrix composites Structural Compliance: The increased dead load on the pool (MMCs) that have the consistency and properties of a solid metal slab and walls due to the increased quantity of fuel stored in the and contain essentially no porosities. The WPMR analysis also provides the In addition to the Whole Pool Multi-Rack analysis and ASME fluid coupling loadings on the pool’s walls. Department of Energy (DOE) over 50 years ago and sold the regulatory approval of reracking a fuel pool. code such as ANSYS is typically used to perform the stress the limit on the bulk pool water temperature is the most signifi.3 Neutron Absorber ferred to the pool. mechanical. in. While the fluid cou- Code qualification mentioned above. This latest generation neu- pool is a principal area of concern. the credit and its low boron content has precluded its wide use for reactivity for boron in the pool water is permitted to a limited extent. are among the radiolog. The neutron absorbers Maintaining the stored fuel in a cooled state in the pool is. tron absorbers over the past 20 years has successfully eliminated The mechanical integrity analyses are typically performed the above deficiencies of the compressed aluminum cermet. limited credit for the gadolinia integral to the fuel is The material widely used to serve as the boron carrier in the allowed. in addition to the normal thermal gradient from the dif- Thermal-Hydraulic Compliance: The plant’s spent fuel pool ference in the fluid medium temperatures across the pool’s struc- cooling and clean-up system must be capable of maintaining the tural members. and hydrodynamic loads. mixture of boron carbide and aluminum inside an “aluminum dling of fuel in the pool. cant constraint to the plant. partially blocking the circu. The low boron concentration in stainless steel evaluating the thermal state of the water in the rack’s flux trap also forces the neutron absorber panels to be made thick. The stress analysis of the pool structure must bulk temperature of the pool water below its licensed maximum consider the ACI “factored” load combinations that include all value under the scenario of increased fuel inventory in the pool inertial. Successive increased potential of fuel handling accidents.qxd 6/3/09 12:09 PM Page 442 442 • Chapter 56 that corresponds to the safe shutdown earthquake for the nuclear loads from the oscillation of the racks and rattling of the fuel plant. lead- using an elasto-plastic dynamics code such as LS-DYNA.95 not been approved as a structural material in the ASME Codes. in increased storage pitch or conversely. In PWRs. and ing loads. is (accidentally) laid on top of a rack. These include an accidental drop of a fuel assembly over the ating nuclear plants. etc. the ability of stainless debris). Because of the above limitations. Finally.. discussed sold under the tradename Metamic® [9]. The rise of powder metal- baseplate. commercially under the tradename Boral™. the is no localized boiling around the fuel cladding. tivity control relies on the neutron absorber. Secondary flow balance of the material in the neutron absorber serves to keep the passages are also incorporated to maintain cooling if the primary boron carbide in place. A finite element due to the in-pool capacity expansion. Borated stainless steel is also known to be consider- with sufficient quantity of the B-10 isotope in a suitably distrib.ASME_Ch56_p433-454. a principal function of the fuel rack. of a larger fuel inventory leading to the box” to approximately 1000 °F and hot rolling it. Fuel racks are typi. 56.

ventilated casks were the overwhelming choice of U. large-scale shipment of commercial fuel has been a some cases. plants are loading multi- Japan). tives. vacuum This is due to the fact that cask shipment for reprocessing and dried.S. and eventually. LATED MODULES 5 The PFS. In the casks. and placed on a reinforced concrete away-from-reactor (AFR) storage has been an enduring element of pad in a relatively straightforward set of operations. unlike the metal casks. in the United States and underwent a complete transformation a While the ventilated casks have dominated the U. spent fuel decade later. Their large mass guaranteed that they 56. The metal European and Japanese spent fuel management programs. and disposal) canisters (MPCs). where metal casks housed in over- types – metal and concrete. Their only drawback was that a “transfer SELECTED CASE STUDIES cask” was needed to move the “fuel canister” from the spent fuel 56. The bulk of the dry storage in the United States utilized the so-called ventilated casks. (1) the configuration in which the canister is stored with its axis horizontal (see Fig.qxd 6/3/09 12:09 PM Page 443 COMPANION GUIDE TO THE ASME BOILER & PRESSURE VESSEL CODE • 443 Metamic has been manufactured and successfully used with a The DOE MPC specification had a profound effect on the course B4C content of up to 33%. dewatered. only casks saw sparse use in the United States. The ventilated casks.S. in the near future to further reduce the overall weight of the fuel rack modules. namely. virtually all U. are principally of two varieties. the user must er. however. setting down requirements on welded canisters to make them suitable for on-site storage.1 Aboveground Ventilated Storage Modules pool to the cask. absorber. the DOE issued its long planned multipurpose canister speci- (a) Horizontal storage (b) Vertical storage fication. their application outside the United States only or transport-only devices. The ventilated casks were massive concrete structures that could not be taken to the pool. Because of this. which had to be made in the form of closed of a storage system at a site consist of comparing the site’s essen- pressure vessels (because the cask closure lid was also the sole clo- sure for the fuel basket). The concrete casks.9 TYPICAL HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL VENTI- permanent disposal in a repository.S. They were STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES: also relatively cheap.S. Then came the 1990s when the U. In 1992.5 As a result. In light of the trouble-free performance of Metamic in development of storage-only systems had become rare in the the United States (and other equivalent MMCs in Europe and United States.9(a)) and 56. transport. the ven- storage system fulfills the plant’s requirements. notably the Private Fuel Storage. 56.8 ABOVEGROUND VENTILATED provided considerably better shielding than metal casks. equal capacity.4 Evolution of the Dry Storage Industry (2) the configuration in which the canister is stored in the ver- Storing spent nuclear fuel in dry storage begun in the mid-1980s tical orientation (illustrated in Fig.8. in which the MPCs are both structural and criticality control function will be introduced stored at the site. be taken into the fuel pool loaded with fuel. it is likely that fuel rack designs that use Metamic for purpose canisters. 56. FIG. an operational weakness that could develop as a AFR in Skull Valley. Cask designers could not develop a dual- purpose (storage and transport) system unless clear acceptance cri- teria were defined by the government. utilities. there has been little problem as the gaskets in the bolted joint aged with time (as they incentive to package fuel in ready-to-transport metal casks that did at a Virginia site in the late 1990s). off-site transport. coupled cost three times (or more) as much as a ventilated cask system of with cost and mediocre dose attenuation ability. 56. the cask itself could be made with openings to permit determine whether the Technical Specification for the candidate cooling air to ventilate past the stored canister. making it an effective neutron of dry storage development in the United States. The selection of a storage system at a nuclear site is essentially required that the fuel basket be contained in a welded-shut contain- a two-step process for the user.7. Among the principal tilated casks were more effective at keeping the spent fuel cooler criteria that a user considers to determine the prima facie usability than the metal casks. . backfilled with helium.9(b)). A metal cask with a fuel basket could head crane-bearing ventilated buildings have been heavily favored. By the year 2000. LLC initiative to build an away-from-reactor dry storage facility in Utah’s Skull Valley remains administratively stymied despite regulatory wins [10]. As a result. The first generation of dry storage casks was storage. LLC’s project to build an tain isolation.ASME_Ch56_p433-454. had to be less than 125 tons in total weight (in United States. The ventilated system had the advantage of significantly greater shielding because the ventilated cask could be made as thick-walled as necessary to absorb the radiation emit- ted by the fuel. Utah [10]. The storage-only casks came in two thus far has been rather sparse. At present. This way. The DOE had the long- standing federal assignment to develop a suitable specification for multipurpose (storage. management industry. they essentially had no weight restrictions. which meant that they afforded limited shielding protection repository program and stifled achievements of the industry initia- against the stored fuel. Early on. All of this fuel would have to be repackaged at a huge expense in radiation dose and money at a later date. They also relied on a bolted cover to main. the metal storage. Department of Energy began to realize that storage pads across the country would be loaded with tons of spent nuclear fuel in storage-only devices. In the first step. even lighter) to meet the lifting capacity of the plant’s nonexistent due to the halting progress of the Yucca Mountain crane.

In the vertical ventilated storage (VVS) system. iii.8 retrievable configuration. For storing BWR fuel. son consists of ensuring that the Technical Specification: In the second step of qualifying a certified storage system for use at a site.212 to ensure to be stored. whether it is stored In the ventilated system. Burial under debris sectional opening of the storage cells in the fuel basket is suffi- U. for a ventilated storage system. ment device. Common criteria in this category are: mum initial enrichment needed by the user. The first vertical ventilated MPC storage device licensed by the USNRC is the HI-STORM 100 system (USNRC Docket No. at which the fuel rods may suffer permanent damage. Is the storage system capable of withstanding the extreme dispersion of fuel particulates inside the canister). Permits the storage of the plant’s inventory of “damaged” i. To provide adequate shielding protection. tornado. a minimum cross sectional opening leaktight and the fuel basket inside it must not be subject to sig- of 6. the USNRC (see Interim Staff Guidance #18). High wind. along with a well-sealed bottom plate. 72-1014). It is the transfer cask that carries the empty MPC into the pool for loading the fuel. HI-STORM MPC SYSTEM BY HOLTEC lid seal and of the annular gasket is critical to prevent spread of INTERNATIONAL) contamination. 56. Therefore. . providing a convective contact of the ventila- tion air over the full height of the canister. Earthquake In addition to the above. An annular gas- ket placed around the top of the MPC to close the annulus.10 for a vertical system. Explicitly permits the storage of the plant’s spent fuel. The latest The loaded multi-purpose canister is treated as “leaktight” by USNRC guideline for Tmax for Zircaloy clad fuel is 400 °C [11].. Permits free standing deployment of the storage system. the user must contend with an array of qualification i.11. The allowable heat load is greater than the heat generated iv. Division 3). most world suppliers of fuel storage systems offer some form of vertical storage technology. Furthermore. the MPC must remain inch. provide the assurance that the lat- eral and bottom surfaces of the MPC will not be wetted by the FIG. nificant plastic deformation (which may alter its criticality control Of the above criteria. In particular. the act of in Fig. it is necessary to ensure that the cross vi. The transfer cask. It is intuitively obvious. During its brief visit to the pool.00 inch should be used. v. it is not surprising that the canisters for ventilated Thus a major challenge in the storage of spent nuclear fuel is storage are designed to meet the highest pedigree of the ASME the substantial quantity of decay heat that the system must expel B&PV Code (Section III. as illustrated “skyshine” than a vertically oriented one. Provides for the storage of fuel with maximum and mini. a modern loaded trans- fer cask often weighs in excess of 100 tons. regulations require the licensee to perform a safety evalua- ciently large to enable fuel distorted by irradiation in the reactor tion in accordance with the provisions of 10CFR72. shown in Figure 56. criteria which must be satisfied to make its deployment possible. that a horizontally oriented canister would produce more occurs by the gravity-induced flow of ventilation air. the cooling of the storage canister. contaminated pool water. the heat load limitation is the one that capability.10 VENTILATION AIR FLOW IN A VERTICAL STOR. Snow v. ii. iii. 56. in the vertical or horizontal orientation. The transfer cask has a retractable bottom lid that is secured to the bottom flange of the cask to make a watertight joint. Evidently. the canister is the installing or removing a horizontally disposed canister must con- sole barrier against the leakage of the radiological contents under tend with friction forces. determines whether a spent fuel has decayed sufficiently in the Given the critically important role of the MPC as the confine- fuel pool to be eligible for dry storage. however. the canister upright in the cask. Typically. the reliability of the bottom AGE SYSTEM (VIZ.S.424” array cross section) is 8. the compari. is typically a cylindrical weldment of steel and lead.qxd 6/3/09 12:10 PM Page 444 444 • Chapter 56 tial parameters with the allowables set down by the USNRC in the all conditions of storage and is therefore a crucial safety matter storage system’s Technical Specification. Because of these factors. environmental phenomena loadings postulated for the site? iv. required to be entirely passive under the rules of the 10 CFR 72. which requires that the seismic accelerations on the storage The typical environmental loadings that warrant consideration are: pad (including the effect of soil/structure interaction) in the i. Flood and Tsunami by the fuel to be stored in each system. and tornado-borne missiles vertical and horizontal directions must be bounded by their ii. The minimum recommended cell opening for the that the storage system will maintain the stored fuel in a safe and most commonly used PWR fuel (8. the external surfaces of the MPC must be pro- tected against contamination by suitable means.ASME_Ch56_p433-454. Certain countries such as to maintain the stored fuel below the threshold temperature Tmax Ukraine require the canister to be double-walled. Is the plant’s cask crane rated to handle the payload of the fuel or fuel debris (damaged fuel and fuel debris are transfer cask licensed with the storage system? containerized for dry storage to prevent uncontrolled ii. Lightning respective allowables in the Technical Specification. The canister is installed in the vertical ventilated module using a container fit- tingly known as the “transfer cask”.

more energetic missile than from the pool and staged at a suitable location where the top lid is an F-16. is susceptible to blockage of the venti- carried by the transfer cask to the location where it can be trans. 7. Thanks to gravity. The canister is installed in HI-STORM system overcomes this problem by ensuring that the the storage cask by stacking the canister-bearing transfer cask and bottom end of the canister is wetted by the floodwater before the lowering the canister in it. The VVS module also features inlet ducts near the bottom of um backfill) of the canister. 56. 56.13 MPC TRANSFER AT THE ISFSI USING THE Lincoln Drive West. The ferred to the recipient storage module. IN-GROUND CANISTER TRANSPORT FACILITY . is a registered trademark of Holtec International. welded. An Atomic Safety Licensing Board panel in Reference [10] found Holtec’s HI-STORM system (the most widely used VVS in the world) to be capable of maintain- ing canister integrity if hit by a crashing fuel-laden F-16.e.358B2). followed by dewatering. The outdoors transfer of a loaded canister. However.13.. 555 FIG. as illustrated in Fig. and inertizing (by heli. fas- tened together by large bolts. lation air by flood water at a site located in a flood plain. USA. Marlton. 56. there is no risk of inlet duct is fully blocked by the floodwater. New Jersey. there is no published demonstration of HI-STORM’s6 6 HI-STORM™.qxd 6/3/09 12:10 PM Page 445 COMPANION GUIDE TO THE ASME BOILER & PRESSURE VESSEL CODE • 445 FIG. the canister’s rubbing or binding during the canister transfer in a vertical ventilated module (Fig. the transfer cask is lifted structural competence under a larger. 56.12).12 CANISTER TRANSFER IN A VERTICAL VENTI- LATED MODULE IN A PLANT’S “TRUCK BAY” Upon completion of fuel loading. can be carried out using an in-ground canister transfer facility (Holtec Patent No. therefore. 56. if desired.139. Figure 56.11 A TYPICAL TRANSFER CASK WITH A REMOV- ABLE BOTTOM LID FIG. drying. the plant’s truck bay). The VVS module design partially addresses the 9/11-loading (i.12 shows a typical MPC transfer operation inside a plant’s controlled radiological boundary (typically. The loaded welded canister is next the module and. a crashing aircraft) by utilizing a dual shell steel structure and a dual plate steel lid structure (both filled with concrete).ASME_Ch56_p433-454. an acronym for Holtec International Storage Module.

14). full knowledge that the fuel will have to be retrieved and repack- As matters stand at this time.S. the dry storage systems certified aged for off-site transport is a transparently unappetizing prospect by the USNRC are generally capable of handling the fuel previ. a proper design of the canister is crucial to a safe and 56. namely: (i) storage of newly discharged fuel assemblies and (ii) storage of used fuel with high initial enrichment. 56. the presently licensed systems will not be able to deal with the fuel being discharged at many sites because of two emerg- ing trends. MODULE .95) under the assumption of zero burnup. While the high heat rejection require- ment is prompted by considerations of increased security. Therefore.05 inch square.ASME_Ch56_p433-454. MPC-37. promote internal convection of contained helium by thermosiphon It is reasonable to expect that a new generation of high enrich- action in the manner of a recirculating flow system generator in a ment and high heat load capable storage systems. The heat in the helium sweeping past the STORM FW. the fuel baskets for dry storage casks must be designed to meet the dual requirement of high initial enrichment and high heat load. Because the radioactive decay and the concomitant heat gener- ation rate in the fuel upon a reactor’s shutdown reduces rapidly with increasing post-core decay time (PCDT). the need to store fuel with ever higher initial enrichment is driven by the trend in the industry towards longer fuel cycles by burning high enrichment fuel. a nano-technology product that has over ten times the thermal conductivity of stainless steel and contains a far greater areal density of the B-10 isotope than is available in con- temporary fuel baskets (the B-10 isotope captures thermalized neutrons and maintains reactivity control). thus preventing overheating of the stored fuel. does not recognize reduction in a fuel’s reactivity due to accumulated burnup for on-site storage (one of several technical anomalies in the state-of-the-art regulatory regi- men). As a result. outside. is the canister used to store PWR fuel. Quite evi- dently. the utilities ously discharged into the domestic PWR and BWR pools. The latest generation of casks designed to meet the above needs is the HI-STORM FW system [56. Thus. the canister’s fuel basket must be designed to sat- isfy the long established subcriticality limit (keff ⱕ 0. 56.2 Portability of Spent Nuclear Fuel robust ventilated storage system. The fuel baskets used in HI-STORM FW are made entirely of Metamic-HT. for any nuclear utility. which is adequate to store used spent fuel distorted by extended irradia- tion in the reactor or canisterized damaged fuel and fuel debris.18] shown in Figure 56. However. Both MPC-37 and MPC-89. and as such a subject that will Storing the fuel in a welded canister at a nuclear plant site with engage our attention later in this chapter.15 herein. The high thermal conductivity of Metamic-HT also boosts the heat rejection capacity of the canister by more than 50% over its stainless steel counterpart. can reject over 50 kilowatt of heat A HI-STORM MPC while meeting USNRC’s cladding temperature limit when stored in the HI-STORM FW overpack. typified by HI- PWR (see Fig. the U. Beginning in the early 1990s. the HI- STORM FW fuel basket is qualifiable to store fuel of initial enrichment as high as 5%.8. will emerge in the coming decade to meet the bottom region of the canister is extracted by the floodwater on the evolving needs of the commercial nuclear industry. containing 89 square cavities. 56.94 inch (nominal) square opening. containing 37 storage slots.15 THE HI-STORM FW VERTICAL VENTILATED are increasingly commonplace in PWRs and expected to be intro. is the BWR counterpart of MPC-37. MPC-89. Each storage cavity has 8. spent nuclear fuel with PCDT as little as three years can be packaged and placed in dry The canister used in the HI-STORM module is also designed to storage in HI-STORM FW. The USNRC.14 THERMOSIPHON DRIVEN FLOW OF HELIUM IN design mentioned previously. Initial enrichments approaching 5% FIG. each 6. thanks to the Metamic-HT basket and the thermosiphon-enabled FIG. Therefore. The ability to transfer the high specif- ic heat fuel to dry storage requires that the storage system be capable of rejection a larger quantity of heat emitted by the fuel than hitherto fore required. utilities are keen to move the high “specific heat” fuel assemblies from their reinforced concrete fuel pools into the even more structural- ly robust dry storage casks.qxd 6/5/09 3:13 PM Page 446 446 • Chapter 56 duced in BWRs in the near future. however.

during normal transport. long-term in-repository mission. has been to package the fuel in an design. under all potential storage and transport modes. severity of requirements for mustering transport certification in Incidence of hydrogen ignition in certain painted carbon steel comparison to that for storage.qxd 6/3/09 12:10 PM Page 447 COMPANION GUIDE TO THE ASME BOILER & PRESSURE VESSEL CODE • 447 began to insist that the cask suppliers provide “transportable” the shifting requirements of corrosion resistance.106. and test- (2) The fuel must be stored in a leaktight container such that no ing of the MPC enclosure vessel is accordingly carried out under a interaction of the environment in the container with the suitably rigorous ASME Code (Section III. widely used. now licensed for transport [20]. presents the designer with a heat dissipation problem. Dose limit in the No specific limit on the cask. The enclosure vessel is essentially atives in the management of spent nuclear fuel: a pressure vessel with the unambiguous mission of providing an absolute protection against the release of its contents. can be summarized as the rise of three principal imper. the preferred means to achieve the above Utmost structural ruggedness is an important goal in an MPC objectives. making the MPC a de facto dual- ments for a new breed of canisters that it called the multipurpose purpose canister.8. Department of Energy proposed a unified set of require. to the global canisters licensed to store and transport spent nuclear fuel. design. 15 and 16. such as Metamic-HT [13]. the regulator exercises discretion based on ALARA (§71. (i) provide locational certainty to the stored fuel. fabrication. high- (3) The container must be transportable. a theme that rose to become a national policy as nical guidance of triple duty for the MPC had to be stripped of its the U. Another approach to enhance interim dry storage. Subsection NB). and as an heat transfer is to make the basket entirely out of a borated environmentally rugged container in a long-term repository. The absence tents despite the enormous mass (over 45 tons). The term MPC.S. a limit on the dose received by an 200 mrem/h on the external surface proximity of the individual at the “controlled area” boundary is specified in §72. Under aluminum nano-alloy. In the United States. butt welds are volumetrically examined and a high-ductility. subcritical configuration in the worst case scenario of modera- The last criterion – transportability – is much more arduous to tion. In practice.2 COMPARISON OF DESIGN CRITERIA APPLICABLE TO STORAGE AND TRANSPORT OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL Area Storage (10 CFR 72) Transport (10 CFR 71) 1. baskets (due to zinc/borated water reactions) [12] eliminated tems that have been certified for storage by the USNRC cannot be painted steel as a candidate basket material. 2. in certifying the cask. as stated previously. dry storage and transport industry. fracture resistant. which became TABLE 56. of any gasketed joint in the canister and use of corrosion-resistant The Fuel Basket’s role as a component within the MPC is to alloy materials in the canister enclosure ensure that the confine. several storage sys. Criticality Safety Based on the canister’s design features. places stringent requirements on the transport To achieve maximum structural rigidity. namely. and (iv) maintain structural integrity during all normal and meet as USNRC’s 10 CFR 71 (and its international counterpart. at merely one-third the thermal conductivity of car- bon steel.ASME_Ch56_p433-454. sure vessel and the fuel basket. Stainless steel. however. off-normal. 56. . and corrosion-resistant material (typically austenitic stainless steel) is used as the pressure part material. which has been demonstrated to withstand a free fall from all-welded canister and to store it inside a massive biological 25 ft. Table 56.2 con. including (1) The storage system must bottle up the radiation emanating gaseous matter.104 of the package. respectively. rate through the body of the stainless steel basket is overcome by Department of Energy in the early 1990s as a single waste package actuating a strong convective heat transfer through the ther- engineered to serve as a reliable confinement boundary during mosiphon feature discussed earlier. from the fuel to the maximum extent possible. The evolution of the MPC concept and its rary technical literature and is accordingly used herein to refer to the consequences to the United States and by extension. IAEA TSR-1).73). Structural strength Regulations limit the structural requirement to providing a The fuel basket must maintain reasonable demonstration that the storage system will maintain criticality safety in the aftermath of confinement of radioactive material under normal. which have been decidedly The MPC consists of two major components. and a free fall of the cask from a height credible accident conditions (§72.3 The Multipurpose Canister In the HI-STORM MPCs. as a robust package during transport. postulated accident scenarios. 3.47).236). state-of-the-art fuel package that do not apply to the storage system.S. the MPC was conceived by the U. As a result. the enclo- profound. basket designs typically employ “egg-crate” configurations. the reduced conduction heat transfer As mentioned above. 72-1014) in Figs. 10 mrem/h at 2 m loaded cask and §72. onto an essentially rigid target [14] without yielding its con- shield (storage overpack described in the foregoing). All external environment is possible. deflection limit under a nonmechanistic tipover event at the storage pad. The material procurement. DOE’s initial tech- storage canisters. the USNRC has of 9 m onto an essentially rigid required that the fuel basket satisfy an ASME Code stress limit or a surface (10 CFR 71. endures in the contempo- canister or MPC. (ii) provide an ment space inside the canister is completely sequestered from the effective means to dissipate the fuel’s decay heat. (iii) ensure a surrounding environment. as trasts some of the key requirements under 10 CFR 71 (transport) illustrated by the PWR and BWR basket in the HI-STORM VVS and 10 CFR 72 (storage) to illustrate the significantly greater (USNRC Docket No. inspection. the designer is permitted to Moderator intrusion is postulated assume that moderator intrusion is precluded during storage.

) 128 diameter (IAEA rules) and also must be large enough E to have sufficient crush stroke to absorb the impact energy Note 1: Creep Equation c  . 5. u (ksi) at 37 °C 30 at 200 s 22.000 MPC-32 4. See Note 1 had a most direct effect on its size. The constraints that limit a temperature T. Y (ksi) FIG. (%) at 37 °C 8 available in the last decade.17). Minimum tensile strength. y (ksi) at 37 °C 26 at 200 °C 21 at 300 °C 15 2.747) USED IN HOLTEC’S at 400 °C 8.3) have opened the at 300 °C 7 possibility of nanotechnology-based borated aluminum becoming 5.ASME_Ch56_p433-454.qxd 6/3/09 12:10 PM Page 448 448 • Chapter 56 TABLE 56. Minimum emissivity. 56. Maximum creep rate as a function of stress . and time below canister’s size are as follows: 7.5 at 300 °C 17 3. k (W/m-oK) 173 the material of choice for fuel baskets.3 THERMOPHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF METAMIC-HT (FROM USNRC DOCKET NO. at 200 °C 7 cal properties of Metamic-HT (see Table 56. Minimum elongation.000 FUEL (HOLTEC PATENT NO. Minimum thermal conductivity. 71-9325) [13] Item Value 1.16 A HIGH-CAPACITY FUEL BASKET FOR PWR at 37 °C 12. Minimum Young’s Modulus (elastic). Minimum yield strength. The minimum certified thermophysi. B4C Content (wt. . which must be less than 10 (max. %) 9 (min.5 (1) The transport package diameter is controlled by the 8. 56.898. Combining the role of storage and transport in one canister has 6. (dimensionless) 0.) impact limiter (see Fig.

T is temperature direct impact. is time (h). exp( )sinh( )  RT in the 9 m free drop event (see Table 56. and the constants are as follows: (2) The transfer cask must not be more than 8 ft.  is stress (psi). in diameter to .2) without permitting any part of the cask proper to be subject to a where: c is Creep Strain (%). (K).

17]..000 J/gmol-K  0. (4) Natural hazards such as hurricanes. BWR fuel populations fixed at 21 and 44.7E03%/h 1E-04 psi1 fit in the open space in many existing fuel pools. referred to as Transport. Aging and Disposal (TAD). 56. are any kind. which is intolerably high for the Yucca Mountain reposi.e.18. even objective of fulfilling the emerging industry’s need to harden after 5 – 7 years of decay. E 50.2. STORAGE MODULE (HI-STORM (5) Because the storage cavity is a closed bottom container. its huge advantages are conspicuous. The heat load concern has (1) Stored fuel is virtually inaccessible to attack from an air- led the DOE to redefine its canister specification with PWR and craft or a conventional missile. making release of radiological matter virtually not yet designed. [15.9 UNDERGROUND VENTILATED not challenge the integrity of the storage system. shown arrayed in a rectangular grid durations. that are unique to the new century. was developed by Holtec International with the An MPC loaded with well-burned 32 PWR or 68 RWR. The HI-STORM 100U vertical age cavity because of improved human factors and work ventilated module [17]. (3) Flood does not challenge the thermal performance of the storage system.5 (3) The transport cask must have a sufficient amount of shield. respectively. R 8. may emit as much as 40 kW of heat spent fuel storage systems against threats on industrial targets energy. especially with rising fuel burnups that now exceed  60 GWD/MTU for PWR fuel.31 J/gmol-K ing (i. renewed impetus to the industry’s long sought goal of storing (7) Less occupational dose in loading the canister into the stor- fuel in underground modules. tsunami. 1. The new (2) Extremely robust against a direct hit from a projectile of canisters. in Fig. mass and spatial extent) to meet the dose limits in Table 56. or tornados do 56. such as follows: side the repository before its interment. even if the MPC were to be “aged” for a decade or more out. 100 U): STUDY OF A UNIQUE combustion of flammable material placed in the cavity can- TECHNOLOGY not be sustained. As discussed in References tory. course of the repository program. . Their licensing schedule is intertwined with the impossible. (6) Underground placement of fuel renders the dose from the The heightened sense of safety in the wake of 9/11 gave a storage cavities to negligible values.

and Taiwan. dehydrated (dried).qxd 6/3/09 12:10 PM Page 449 COMPANION GUIDE TO THE ASME BOILER & PRESSURE VESSEL CODE • 449 FIG.. etc. Most metal casks are typically designed to provide both on-site storage and off-site transport. and filled with inert gas.S. (4) Unlike the aboveground HI-STORM 100S overpack [16]. HI-STAR 100 in USNRC Docket Nos. which is made of steel. Dual-purpose metal casks are offered with both canisterized fuel (viz. any location around the storage facility.) is not needed to package and ship the loaded ground storage module (save for its closure lid) is immov- canisters. 56. the underground storage system can serve must be weighed against certain demerits. as the universal vessel for storing all canisterized fuel produced by reactors across the world.747) system may be required at all sites except those with nonag- gressive subgrades. (9) Surveillance of the storage facility to inspect the duct open. Then the cask can be either stored locally in the premises of the plant or shipped off-site (if it is certified for transport). In other words. Department of cleaning the debris washed in by floodwater will take more Energy’s planned Aging Facility. 72-1008 and 71-9261) and with uncanisterized (bare bas- FIG. TN-68 in USNRC Docket Nos. 71-9261. As said above. in one day). it can. principle. such as many in Europe. 5. contrast to the aboveground HI-STORM modules that Japan. In the . in high seismic zone regions such as the Western United States.ASME_Ch56_p433-454. the cask is moved to a location where the fuel cavity is dewatered.18 PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF A TYPICAL HI-STORM ket) fuel (viz. 71-9325). making it a meritorious candidate (1) If floodwaters rise enough to enter the storage cavity. then for large autonomous storage sites such as the U. be used to store a variety of canisters in use around the For a balanced understanding. the under- bay. Upon completion of fuel loading in the pool.17 THE BWR FUEL BASKET FOR BWR FUEL manently immersed in wet subgrade.898. 56. 71-9325.. The Part 50 infrastructure (crane. it should be noted that the vertical ventilated (10) The storage facility is essentially invulnerable to earth. able. underground module design is not canister-specific. A cathodic protection USED IN MPC-68 (HOLTEC PATENT NO.19 THE AL-STAR IMPACT LIMITER FOR THE HI- STAR FAMILY OF TRANSPORT CASKS (USNRC DOCKET NOS.10 METAL CASKS: SELECTED CASE STUDIES A metal cask combines the functions of both the storage module and the transfer cask in a ventilated storage system: The storage cask is also the cask that is submerged in the pool and loaded with fuel. the above statements of merit world. the under- ground level and thus are readily visible by a person from ground storage system must be loaded at the storage facility. and in regions where nuclear plant sites are require little in the way of on-site resources (up to four constrained by paucity of excess land or those located close to aboveground HI-STORMs have been filled with concrete population centers. (3) Sites with a high water table will require design measures to keep the steel container of storage cavity from being per- 56. (5) Unlike the aboveground overpack that can be loaded in the ings is a physically trivial effort because the ducts are near nuclear plant’s truck bay or at the storage facility. The underground storage technology may also be suitable for (2) Substantial on-site construction work is required. 72-1027 and 71- 100U INSTALLATION (Courtesy of HOLTEC International) 9293) and HI-STAR 180 (USNRC Docket No. namely. 56. and hence can in principle be nient and efficient. work than in an aboveground system. in quake even under soil liquefaction scenarios. truck transported from one site to another for use. (8) Loading and shipment of canister out of storage is conve. AND 71-9336) FIG.

Two factors reduce limiter used in the HI-STAR 100 transport cask [19]. This. this benefit must be weighed (PWR) and 82 (BWR) fuel assemblies. 32 high-capacity canister for transport in the HI-STAR 100 trans. efficient designs that utilize the high-strength Metamic® (see Table Reduced time for fuel loading is a major ALARA benefit associ.15 shows a “high capacity” PWR fuel basket for the HI-STAR or accretion (the crushed portion of the aircraft becomes dynami- 100 dual-purpose cask [19]. impact of aircraft predates 9/11 by several decades. once the cask is packaged and loaded. endorsed in a 1977 paper [23]. However. while the uncrushed 56.) onto an “essentially rigid” surface. Using DOE full-scale F-4 crash designers have been forced to develop ever more artful designs tests. 56. continues to grow to provide an irrefutable evidence A metal cask that stores fuel in a bare basket (uncanisterized) of utmost safety. (2) There is no need of transfer of canister from the transfer cask maximum capacities achieved in licensed designs are 32 and 68 to the storage cask because the metal cask itself can be taken fuel assemblies for PWR and BWR fuel types. Riera’s formula- of used fuel. severing of its wing(s)) 56. the transport cask is equipped with “impact limiters” lels Subsection NB. Therefore. As a result. it can be transported to an off. site location without any further packaging or handling of fuel. Increasing the payload of against the risk of spread of contamination as the cask submerged the transport cask is a key design imperative because of its evident in the (contaminated) pool water is cleaned and taken outside the effect on the number of shipments required and the occupational plant’s radiologically isolated and controlled environment.15) in 2006 was a milestone development in this matter. More to the pool and loaded with fuel. which tends to be Crashing of an aircraft on a nuclear plant’s containment has considerably more than their storage-only (ventilated) counterparts. The portion of the aircraft steadily decelerates.3) have been developed that feature payload capacities of 37 ated with metal casks.S. Until now. the ASME has published a trans. Department of Energy [24] were carried within transport limits (Table 56.11 DESIGN BASIS THREAT prefer to store them inside a ventilated building. essary to recognize the fact that a used fuel is substantially less The mathematical formulation of the aircraft crash problem. Because the rate of decrease of neutron and gamma tion. the NRC’s presented below. Subsection “WB”) that paral. (10 CFR 71. requirement. Until recently. the authoritative reference for quantifying the impact impulse namely. [21] developed a theoretical formulation to predict the impulse of The dose issue becomes more acute for metal casks as the fuel impact from the frontal normal collision of aircraft with a large burnup at discharge increases and MOX fuel joins the inventory structure using the data from Haley et al. is the sole confinement and containment vessel for the radiologi. been postulated in some countries since the early days of com- The increased dose accretion from a metal cask is unavoidable mercial nuclear energy. the weight of the the response of large and massive nuclear structures under the metal cask must not exceed the plant’s crane capacity or the allow.ASME_Ch56_p433-454. as discussed in Section 56. velocity was developed in a 1996 DOE report [26].. To achieve this capacity. methodology for scaling test data to produce appropriate [13] to meet the regulatory dose limits in casks intended to trans. The certification of the MPC. reduced reactivity.17 shows a typical AL-STAR impact venience with which the fuel can be loaded. technical interest in predicting because unlike a storage-only ventilated cask. for 9 m (30 ft. and IAEA regulations require that the package withstand a free fall Subsection NB). was denied to transport packages. The building helps further attenuate the dose from the metal casks. transport. To meet this port cask focused code (Division 3. [22]. became the foundation on fluence from a high-burnup fuel decreases monotonically with which the correlation of subsequent full-scale F-4 crash tests burnup. respectively. the concomitant benefit of “high” burnup. already quite transport mode. the gasketed lid is the sole barrier acquiescence of other national regulatory authorities to limited against leakage. and unloading operations. The ease and simplicity of use has been the principal reason for the widespread use of metal casks in Europe and Japan. . certain regulatory authorities burnup credit is likely to occur in the coming years as (and if) the require a dual lid system for bare basket metal casks in the record of safe shipment of transportation industry. con- (1) There is no canister lid to be welded. a freestanding cask) and the aircraft may sustain a utilize baskets with a relatively low storage capacity. the issue of (1) The impact is normal to the target. (2) The aircraft crashes at the location of impact. Riera able payload on the transport vehicle. the crushed port cask (USNRC Docket No.e. under normal transport conditions.. 71-9261) (see basket in Fig. mass moves with the impacted target. where utilities 56. trols the maximum fuel payload capacity of the cask. interface force-time histories for different aircraft geometries. These onerous requirements forced the transport casks to unfixed (viz.3. In 1968. which remains Until recently. Quite naturally.2) can be a long one. However. substantial. is based on the following assumptions: modus operandi (not grounded in any regulation) had been to require all fuel to be treated as fresh. from the frontal collision of an aircraft with a globally rigid and Further. cally attached to the target cask). tained fuel basket. dose sustained by the personnel involved in the loading. the aircraft. the Riera formulation [21] and DOE correla- pure water at the optimal temperature to maximize reactivity tion [26] are extended to the case where the target is massive but (4 °C). the NRC rigorous section of the ASME Code (ASME Code Section III. The outer the time of loading of a bare basket metal cask: diameter of the impact limiter is limited to 128⬙ in most jurisdic- tions for rail transport. unburned fuel. it is required to be designed to the most fuel) in a safe configuration under a mechanical accident. that are engineered to limit the inertia forces sustained by the con- The major benefit of an uncanisterized cask is the ease and con.8. To ensure that the transport cask will maintain its cargo (spent cal matter. reactive than a fresh. As a result. and an order (or more) magnitude more massive than technical activity in recent years. Figure loss of mass through dismemberment (say. and port high burnup (i. which is assumed to be recognition of fuel’s burnup has been the subject of an intense rigid. More recently. Figure 56.55) require that the cask be assumed to be filled with In what follows. it was nec. out by other researchers [25]. high-dose emitting fuel) and MOX fuel. As a result.qxd 6/5/09 1:27 PM Page 450 450 • Chapter 56 uncanisterized metal cask. the regulations massive target that is anchored to the ground. waiting for the fuel to decay sufficiently to get the dose sponsored by the U.

If (x(t)) is the mass per unit length of the aircraft at the current location of crushing (measured Canceling appropriate terms gives from the aircraft nose). and the target mass is continually increased by the momentum at time t. respectively.1 Equations of Motion case. the mass of this collection of [(m(t)  m(t)t)(v(t)  v)  m(t)t(vT(t) particles can be represented in terms of three quantities:  vT)] – m(t)v(t)  F(t)t m(t)  uncrushed mass of aircraft or after canceling terms. the F(t)  Impact force at interface between target and aircraft right-hand side of Eq. and at time t  t.qxd 6/3/09 12:10 PM Page 451 COMPANION GUIDE TO THE ASME BOILER & PRESSURE VESSEL CODE • 451 56. and taking the limit. for an unrestrained target. the net change in momentum for the nose.4) in Eq. the target is acceler- uncrushed portion and for the target. (56. At any time t.4).1)). first calculate the system ated by F(t). (56.5) [(m  mt)(v  v)  (mc  M)(vT  vT) #  mt(vT  vT)]  [mv  (mcM)vT]  0 Equations (56.ASME_Ch56_p433-454. dividing by t.3) would include the additional resis- uncrushed portion at time t tive force (which would come from its appearance in Eq. # # m(t)v  Fc(t) (56. such as restraint because the aircraft crush position. Fc(t) is time varying from the aircraft or any other external force. Neglecting any current engine thrust at a specific location along the aircraft.1) produces the v(t)  velocity of uncrushed mass at time t equation for the target (plus crushed mass) as vT (t)  velocity of target plus crushed mass at time t (M  mc (t))vT  F(t) (56. Equating the momentum change to the total mass of the impacting aircraft plus the target. the impact force acts to oppose the motion of the uncrushed Let us consider a collection of mass particles that add up to the portion of the aircraft. (56. (56.2) # Let m (t)  rate of decrease in uncrushed aircraft mass m(t) at Equation (56. craft (having time varying mass) is decelerated in accordance with the equation: Therefore. is a function of time.5) are the final equations of motion for the target and the aircraft.3) and (56. mc(t)  crushed mass of aircraft M  mass of target # # m(t) v  m(t)(v(t)  vT (t))  F(t) (56. (56. The motion of the uncrushed por- tion of the aircraft is decelerated by the interface impact force.2) in Eq. total system is zero over the interval t since the interface impact Using Eq. measured from the aircraft forces applied to the target. (56.4) To determine the desired equations of motion.2) is the equation of motion for the aircraft time t uncrushed portion.2) implies that the uncrushed air- force F(t) is internal to the system being considered.3) Total aircraft mass  MA  m(t)  mc(t)  constant (so that # # m  mc) Should the target be fixed or subject to frictional resistance. but At time t there is a “psuedo thrust force” that tends to accelerate the aircraft # Momentum(t)  m(t)v(t)  (mc(t)  M)vT(t) of magnitude m(t)(v(t)  vT (t)). Using Eq. with the interface force is the equation for preservation of total linear momentum acting on as given by Eq. to have the form #  (vT  vT)  mt(vT  vT) # F(t)  Fc(t)  m(t)(v(t)  vT (t)) (56. and verified in Reference [22] by full-scale crash # Momentum(t  t)  (m  m t)(v  v)  (mc  M) testing of an F4 jet fighter. (56. The impacting impulse over the time t gives aircraft is assumed to advance toward a rigid target orthogonal to # # the target’s surface. then the experimental work [24] correlates # # with mv  mtv  mtv  (mc  M)vT # # #  mt vT  mtvT  0 m(t)  . we invoke an overall system momentum balance for the system consisting of Where Fc(t) is the force required to statically crush the aircraft the impactor and the target. crushed mass from the aircraft. To establish the appropriate equations of motion for the aircraft In conclusion.11. The interface impact force F(t) has been postulated in At time t  t Reference [21].

v.6) Divide by t and go to the limit t.(x(t))(v(t)  vT (t)) (56. vT : 0 to obtain where .

the DOE Standard [26] suggests that .1) the force-time history. is defined as an effective mass coefficient defined to # # # reproduce the total impulse of F(t) as determined by integrating m(t)v  (mc(t)  M) v T  m(t)(v(t)  vT (t))  0 (56. Based on the comparison in Reference [25].

In this of mass acts to influence the cask motion and any cask damage. it is necessary to isolate the uncrushed sections of aircraft and casks. that choice was simply based on matching the total momentum in the absence of any external force that produces an impulse from the applied force. To obtain a sec. it is likely that only a small portion mass of the aircraft and formulate the momentum balance. need not exceed 0. and not from the solution of any impulse on the total system of aircraft plus target. If the target dynamic problem. If we look at the cross ond differential equation.1) is the consequence of conserving total system However. were fixed to the ground or subject to friction forces. with the target for the remaining duration. the right. The preceding development has been based on the assumption hand side would not be zero but would have a term representing that all of the crushed mass of the aircraft attaches to and remains the impulsive reaction due to the external effects.9. . Equation (56.

2006. N.P. DC.330. mass. the equations of motion must be formulated in two Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation Casks. kinds will become available. Pheonix. 12.4. K.. remains intact. On the Stress Analysis of Structures Subjected to Aircraft events will continue in the future. Parrish. the extent of damage to the cask. Arizona. deformation.P. Vol. Qualification of Metamic for Spent Fuel It is assumed that when separation occurs.. International High-Level Radioactive Waste impact impulse from crashing of airplanes with casks in recent Management Conference. A direct solution of the impact problem. 1996. plus any stores Storage and Handling Applications. open literature. Albright. the wing mass con. Patent No. of large aircraft as having any significant influence on cask dam. EPRI Report 1003137.8. The HI-STORM FW Vertical Ventilated MPC Storage System. Koshika.1979 amendment thereto. F. Fluid Coupling in Fuel Racks: Correlation of Theory and any subsequent dynamics simulation.A. aircraft and the cask are modeled on a suitable elasto-plastic USNRC document N. JAI Corporation. 72-22-ISFSI. K. D. Suzuki.qxd 6/3/09 12:10 PM Page 452 452 • Chapter 56 For example. To determine 16. K. T.P. P. Nuclear Engineering and Design. much of the post 9/11 studies consider only engines 2. dated 2/24/2005.M. Annex II. A. 12. Wolf. Bucher. Nuclear Engineering and Design.6) have the form given above. 47..W. Uranium and Plutonium: Macro-Economic Study. The HI-STORM 100 MPC System. Soler. March 30 – April 2.D. the main body of the aircraft. K. K.. Palo tinues on with no change in velocity.E. 423 – 424. the same form of the equations apply. Miami. March 2005. R. and consequently. Given the abiding imprint of 9/11 on the public psyche. Heffelfinger. but do not suffer any instantaneous change in velocity. the air- craft wings separate from the main body and do not participate in 5. On the Essential Characteristics of Underground Storage Finally. J. S. J. 169 – 193. pp.526B2. Holtec Report HI-88243. Final Partial Initial Decision on F-16 Aircraft that may later separate from the aircraft and not become attached Accident Consequences. North 1. 14..ASME_Ch56_p433-454.5). down as follows: 8. pp. 1978. Singh.. Therefore. Other Seismic Category MA  m(t)  mc(t)  Mwing  constant I Structures. years [10]. Tsubota. 11. FL. Technical Position on Spent Fuel Racks. but at some instant. 8. it is 20. B. Plutonium and Highly Holland Publishing Co. and . October 2001. 1998. Nuclear Fuel Storage Racks – the Chin Shan Experience.12 REFERENCES 23. (originally licensed Unfortunately. it Rack Constructions to 3-D Motions. Report pre- pared by Dynamic Science. Seismic Responses of Free Standing Fuel be influenced by more than just the engine mass. and Singh. Final Report.. Revision 3. 3. we consider that the aircraft wings. for small military “fast Decommissioning Authority Report Ref: KP000040. sents the uncrushed mass of the aircraft exclusive of any mass 10. Enriched Uranium 1996 – World Inventories.2). 1988. W. Sugano. Vol.3) – (56. prior to the wings separating from 02-ISFSI. D. Haley.. July 5. Vol. 72-1008 has been carried out at the Sandia National Laboratory.P. 72-1014. suitable finite element code with the impulse computed from 17. Singh. 18. of fuel storage and transport systems to impactive and impulsive 21. Fairfax.C. H. AVSER Final Report 68-3. and Walker.. 7. A. Shipping and Storage Cask Data for Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel. 315 – 329. Singh. Nuclear Engineering and could be surmized that during the initial stages of the impact. Seismic Qualification of Free Standing process. USA. OT Position for Review and Acceptance of Spent Fuel behavior. SFPO-ISG-11. 1978. Standard Review Plan (SRP) Section 3. Las Vegas. for Gilbert Associates. J. Bickel. No. and the mass per unit length (x(t)) do not include the separated HI-2073681. Amsterdam. USNRC Docket No. 15. Singh. Chemical. To consider this. Note that m(t) now repre. UK. North design casks against postulated design basis threats of various Holland Publishing Co. J. distinct regimes. Docket No.3) – (56. Safety Analysis Report.” it is likely that cask damage and subsequent motion may 4.. all Design.. von Riesemann. except for some (inevitable) localized 2007. USNRC. Nuclear Based on this assumption. become detached at some instant during the impact 7. . VA. 2003. inevitable that additional research on prognosticating the response JAI-582. m(t) is replaced by [m(t)  Mwing] in Eqns. 2007.. International Affairs. Inc. Amsterdam.. Alto. but m(t) 13. (56.. Muto. (56. 9. 22. Nevada. (56. while still Experiment. and Turnbow. 2008. USNRC Docket No.. 24. impact code (a significantly more expansive technical effort). However.R. HI-STORM 100U. 10/2007. Capabilities and Policies.I. Paul..L. in Eqns. and Soler. focusing on uncrushed aircraft and target plus crushed aircraft 6.. 1996. Washington. For all times t. CA. 57.. 1968. with the proviso that m(t) and (x(t)) do not include effect of the separated wing mass.. HI-STAR 100 Dual Purpose Cask. (originally licensed 10/4/1999)and 71-9261.P. 1991.. February above as the input. April 1968. p.. The solution provides the impact impulse and the velocity time-history of the target. much of the work remains unavailable to the 3/31/1999. 19. Cladding Considerations for the Transportation and Storage of Spent Fuel. J. dated April 14. Washington. Appendix D.. and Zhai. 56. it would be necessary to use a USNRC. of the mass of the aircraft participates. 71-9325. Total Reaction Force due to an Aircraft Impact into a Rigid Barrier. wherein the entire 18. HI-STAR 180 Package. USNRC Bulletin 96-04. 72–1032. June 2007. AEA Nuclear Technology Review.I. 1984.. 2003. The Electric Power Research Institute.L. PATRAM assumes that the target. Riera. K. Berkhout. and simplified techniques to Impact Forces. M. Eqns. Storage Applications..P. Holtec Report No. For time t greater than the separation time. face area. pp. ASLB# 97-732- to the target. K. 80.. Response of Equipment to Aircraft Impact. and Skrikerud. Nuclear age and subsequent motion. USNRC ASLB. and January attached to the wings that are outside the expected impact inter. DC. 2. The Multi-Purpose Canister: A Bulwark of The above formulation is an efficient means to quantify the Safety in the Post-9/11 Age. 74.. USNRC Docket Nos. W.1) and (56. Vol. Galvanic or Other Reactions in Therefore. it should be emphasized that the above analysis of Spent Nuclear Fuel in the HI-STORM 100 System. the aircraft mass distribution is broken Engineering International. USNRC. movers.

A. Y..qxd 6/3/09 12:10 PM Page 453 COMPANION GUIDE TO THE ASME BOILER & PRESSURE VESSEL CODE • 453 Ohrui. Department of 25. Suzuki. (Ed.. W. DOE Standard. 1989. 285 – 292. J. 10th Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology Mechanics in Reactor Technology Proceedings.H.S. A. in: Hadjian.. T.. Analysis of the Results. Part 2: Forces. pp. Sugano. J. Tsubota. S. Muto.C. Full-Scale Aircraft Impact Test for Evaluation of Impact Scale Aircraft Impact Test for Evaluation of Impact Forces. N. 1996. pp. 26. U.. Koshika.. H. R.. Proceedings.ASME_Ch56_p433-454. M. Part 1: Test Plan. and Test Results. Test Methods. Vol. von Riesemann. Vol. 10th Structural A. (Ed. D. S. in: Hadjian.. Full- . 293 – 299. Bickel.. Energy.L. Accident Analysis for Aircraft Crash into Hazardous Facilities.H.).. Ohrui. 1989. DOE-STD-3014-96. and Parrish.. K. Kasia.).