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Used Nuclear Fuel Loading and Structural Performance Under Normal Conditions of Transport – Demonstration of Approach and Results of Used Fuel Performance Characterization

This report provides results of the initial demonstration of the modeling capability developed to perform preliminary deterministic evaluations of moderate-to-high burnup used nuclear fuel (UNF) mechanical performance under normal conditions of storage (NCS) and normal conditions of transport (NCT) conditions. This report also provides results from the sensitivity studies, and discussion on the long-term goals and objectives of this initiative. Materials performance was modeled at the cask-level, fuelrod-level, and assembly-level (shock and vibration effects for variable materials configurations, bending stress). Results of a demonstration involving moving high burnup 17×17 OFA fuel in a GBC-32 on a 3000-mile rail journey have been provided; fuel rods do not fail during NCT for this demonstration. Assembly submodel analyses were performed using NUCARS simulations; cladding strains and peak-to-peak strain cycle distributions, fatigue and total fatigue damage levels are examined in model simulations and demonstration.