In this work, a geometrically-accurate two-dimensional (2D) computational fluid dynamic (CFD) model of a used nuclear fuel cask, that can contain up to 32 pressurized water reactor (PWR) used nuclear fuel (UNF) assemblies, is constructed. This model is similar to the TN-32 cask employed in the ongoing high-burnup (HBU) Spent Fuel Data Project lead by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). This model is used to predict the peak cladding temperature under vacuum drying conditions. Due to the symmetry of the cask, only one-eighth of the cross-section is modeled. Steady-state simulations that include the temperature-jump boundary conditions at the gas-solid interfaces are performed for different heat generation rates in the fuel regions and a range of dry helium pressures, from ∼105 to 100 Pa. These simulations include conduction within solid-gas regions and surface-to-surface radiation across all gas regions. The peak cladding temperatures are reported for various heat generation rates and rarefaction conditions, along with the maximum allowable heat generation that brings the cladding temperatures to the radial hydride formation limit. The results showed that the decrease of helium pressure significantly increased the temperature of the cladding material compared to the atmospheric pressure condition.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.