The requirements of the IAEA safety standards for Type B(U) packages include the thermal test as part of test sequences that represents accident conditions of transport. In comparison to mechanical tests, e.g., 9 m drop onto an unyielding target with short impact durations in a range of approximately 10 ms to 30 ms, the extended period of 30 min is defined in regulations for exposure of a package to a fire environment. Obviously, the required containment capability of the package has to be ensured not only after completing the test sequence but also over the course of the fire test scenario.
Especially, deformations in the sealing area induced by the non-uniform thermal dilation of the package can affect the capability of the containment system. Consequently, thermo-mechanical analyses are required for the assessment.
In this paper some aspects of finite element analysis (FEA) of transport packages with bolted closure systems under thermal loading are discussed. A generic FE model of a cask is applied to investigate the stress histories in the bolts, lid, and cask body as well as the deformations in the sealing area and the compression conditions of the gasket. Based on the parameter variations carried out, some recommendations in regard to modeling technique and results interpretation for such kind of analyses are finally given.