15 Containments for Transportation and Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Material and Waste
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In Chapter 15, authored by D. Keith Morton and D. Wayne Lewis, a commentary is provided regarding the containments used for the transportation and storage packaging of spent fuel and high-level radioactive material and waste. John D. Stevenson was the author of this chapter for the earlier two editions of this publication. However, this is a complete rewrite of the Chapter, including a slightly different Chapter title.
In 1997, ASME issued the initial version of Division 3 of Section III. Before the publication of Division 3, Section III, the Section applicable to the construction of nuclear pressure-retaining components and supports had only two divisions: Division 1, for metal construction, and Division 2, for concrete construction. Division 3 was added to cover the containments of packaging for nuclear materials. Currently, the scope for Division 3 is limited to transportation and storage containments for only the most hazardous radioactive materials—namely, spent fuel and other highly radioactive materials, such as high-level waste. Division 3 contains three published subsections: Subsection WA providing general requirements, Subsection WB addressing rules for transportation containments, and Subsection WC addressing storage containment rules. Under active development is Subsection WD, which will provide the construction rules applicable to internal support structures (baskets) for the transportation and storage containments covered by Subsections WB and WC.
Consistent with current Code practice, the primary concern of Division 3 is the integrity of these containments under design, operating conditions (including normal, off-normal, and accident), and test conditions. In particular, the structural and leak-integrity of these containments is the focus of the ASME B&PV Code rules. Division 3 is also concerned with certain aspects of containment-closure functionality because of the potential for leakage, which is a key consideration in the containment function. Division 3 covers all construction aspects of the containment, including administrative requirements, material selection, material qualification, design, fabrication, examination, inspection, testing, quality assurance, and documentation.