This paper describes the stress analysis performed to assess structural adequacy of the Clinch River Breeder Reactor (CRBR) core removable shield assemblies. Removable shield assemblies are located in the peripheral region of the core (between blanket assemblies and the fixed radial shield), and are subjected to severe cross-sectional thermal gradients and seismic loads requiring a relatively complex duct load pad design. For cost-effectiveness, the analysis was conducted in two stages. First, an elasto-plastic seismic stress analysis was performed using a detailed nonlinear finite element model (with gaps) of the load pad configuration. Next, in order to determine the total strain accumulation and the creep-fatigue damage the maximum seismic stresses combined with the “worst” thermal stresses from a single assembly model were used to perform a simplified inelastic analysis using two sets of material properties to bound the changing material conditions during reactor operation. This work demonstrated the necessity and applicability of the two simplified analysis techniques in elevated temperature structural design, i.e., the treatment of time-dependent degradation of material properties due to temperature and nuclear irradiation, and the use of time-independent finite element stress analysis results to perform a simplified creep-fatigue analysis.

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