The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is responsible for licensing spent fuel storage casks under Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 72 (10 CFR Part 72). Under these regulations, storage casks must be evaluated to verify that they meet various criteria, including acceptable thermal performance requirements. The purpose of the evaluation described in this paper is to establish the effectiveness of a medium-effort modeling approach and associated simplifying assumptions in closely approximating spent fuel cask component temperature distributions. This predictive evaluation is performed with the ANSYS® code, and is applicable to externally cooled cask designs. The results are compared against experimental measurements and predictions of the COBRA-SFS finite-difference code developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

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