A scaled test assembly that simulates a dry cask storage container for used nuclear fuel has been constructed by researchers at the USA’s Sandia National Laboratories. It will be used to study how fuel temperatures change during storage and how the fuel’s peak temperatures affect the integrity of the metal cladding surround the fuel. The inaccessibility of the interior of an actual storage cask and the high radioactivity of the used fuel make it difficult to monitor the temperature, Sandia said. During a three-year project for the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a team at Sandia designed and constructed a dry cask simulator for boiling water reactor assemblies. Everything inside the cask was built to closely simulate the way it would be for a utility storing used nuclear fuel. However, instead of actual used fuel, the simulator features electrical heaters shaped like fuel rods.
World Nuclear News 19th July 2018 read more »