Spent nuclear fuel (SNF) integrity evaluation related to its handling and transportation for mid-/long-term dry storage is a regulatory requirement. Especially, a drop event is the most fatal failure mode among regulatory conditions. For SNF drop accidents, it is required that the mechanical integrity of the SNF be evaluated using test results or analytic methodologies. The SNF mechanical test, however, takes much time and cost, and there are safety issues related to the release of radioactive materials. Thus, finite element analysis is used as an alternative to the experimental test method to solve this problem. In this study, a three dimensional (3D) finite element model was developed using ABAQUS software to simulate the structural behaviors of a fresh fuel assembly (FA) prior to applying SNF properties because of a lack of SNF test results. Static and dynamic mechanical behaviors were simulated with this model and compared with the fresh FA test results. The analysis results are in good agreement with the test results. Therefore, the analysis model consistent with the test results will be applied to the evaluation of the FA drop integrity reflecting the specific SNF characteristics.

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