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IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


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Evaluation of safety of French type B package designs in severe accident environments other than regulatory


Journal title : Packaging, transport, storage and security of radioactive material
Volume : 18
Issue : 2
Pagination : 87-93
Publication date : 01/06/2007

Summary

Packages used to transport radioactive materials in France must be designed to meet the safety performance requirements when subject to the test conditions set forth in the IAEA Regulations. During actual use, the packages may be subject to quite different accident conditions. IRSN has evaluated the behaviour of typical packages designed to transport spent fuel, high activity waste, fresh MOX fuel and plutonium oxide powder under realistic conditions of mechanical impact and fire. The studied designs remain safe after impact onto targets present in the real environment of transport. The energy absorption by the package ancillary equipment (transport frame) compensates for the kinetic energy increase by comparison to the energy expended during the regulatory tests. New software was developed to correctly simulate the thermal behaviour of the neutron shielding materials. The studied package designs exhibit large margins of safety concerning resistance to fire. The results obtained have been used to develop tools in support of the appraisal of emergency situations.
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