Accident safe packages for the transport of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste shall fulfil international IAEA safety requirements. Compliance is shown by consecutive mechanical and thermal testing. Additional numerical analysis are usually part of the safety evaluation. For damage protection some package designs are equipped with wood filled impact limiters encapsulated by steel sheets. The safety of these packages is established in compliance with IAEA regulations. Cumulative mechanical and fire tests are conducted to achieve safety standards and to prevent loss of containment. Mechanical reliability is proven by drop tests. Drop testing might cause significant damage of the impact limiter steel sheets and might enable sufficient oxygen supply to the impact limiter during the fire test to ignite the wood filling. The boundary conditions of the fire test are precisely described in the IAEA regulatory. During the test the impact limiter will be subjected to a 30 minute enduring fire phase. Subsequent to the fire phase any burning of the specimen has to extinguish naturally and no artificial cooling is allowed. At BAM a large-scale fire test with a real size impact limiter and a wood volume of about 3m3 was conducted to investigate the burning behaviour of wood filled impact limiters in steel sheet encapsulation. The impact limiter was equipped with extensive temperature monitoring equipment. Until today burning of such impact limiters is not sufficiently considered in transport package design and more investigation is necessary to explore the consequences of the impacting fire. The objective of the large scale test was to find out whether a self-sustaining smouldering or even a flaming fire inside the impact limiter was initiated and what impact on the cask is resulting. The amount of energy, transferred from the impact limiter into the cask is of particular importance for the safety of heavy weight packages. With the intention of heat flux quantification a new approach was made and a test bench was designed.

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