To analyze the structural integrity of a nuclear fuel transfer cask design during hypothetical accident drop conditions that may occur during transport. The design must ensure that the spacing between the nuclear fuel rods is maintained after being dropped in order to maintain criticality control.
Our engineering team created a detailed finite element model of all cask components including the nuclear fuel and performed an explicit dynamic analysis of the drop scenarios. The output of the analysis runs showed the accelerations, stresses and strains of each individual component over time during the impact. Design changes were made as necessary to ensure that all components remained were within allowable tolerances and that the nuclear fuel maintained the proper spacing.