In this work, a two-dimensional (2D) geometrically-accurate model of the TN-32 cask is generated in ANSYS/Fluent to investigate the effect of backfill gases and their pressures on the peak cladding temperature (PCT). This model is similar to the cask being used in high-burnup (HBU) spent fuel data project lead by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Helium, nitrogen, argon, and water vapor fill gases are investigated at pressures ranging from atmospheric (∼105 Pa) to 100 Pa. Steady-state computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations that include the effect of gas rarefaction (temperature-jump) at the gas-solid interfaces are conducted. The PCT as a function of heat generation rate and pressure is reported as well as the heat generation rate that brings the cladding temperature to the radial hydride formation limit. The results show that there are competing effects between the temperature-jump and the thermal conductivity of the gas to increase the fuel rods’ temperature. The low pressures increased the PCT, with the increase being most significant for the helium backfill.

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