Nuclear power plants are required to evaluate the risks associated with a potential accident in which the reactor vessel closure head is dropped onto a reactor with fuel installed. This is done as part of an overall effort to safely control the movement of heavy loads in a nuclear facility per NUREG-0612 [1]. In some cases, this requires that an analysis be done of the potential accident to confirm no damage to fuel would occur. This paper provides a methodology for such analysis, along with the basis for the methodology, for a typical pressurized water reactor design. The methodology uses nonlinear, dynamic transient finite element analysis to analyze the event. An example of typical results and acceptance criteria is provided.

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