Federal regulations (10CFR71) require radioactive material transport packages to safely withstand a 30min fully engulfing fire. The three-dimensional Container Analysis Fire Environment (CAFE-3D) computer code was developed at Sandia National Laboratories to simulate the response of massive packages to large fires for design and risk studies. These studies require rapid and accurate estimates of the package temperature distribution for a variety of package designs and fire environments. To meet these needs CAFE-3D links a finite element model that calculates the package response to the Isis-3D CFD fire model. ISIS-3D combines computational fluid dynamics with reaction chemistry and thermal radiation models to rapidly estimate the heat transfer from a fire. In the current work, parameters used in the fire model were determined. Simulations were then performed of a test that modeled the conditions of a truck-sized nuclear waste package in a regulatory fire under light wind conditions. CAFE-3D underestimated the ability of the wind to tilt the fire and deliver oxygen to the region above the fuel pool. However, it accurately and rapidly estimated the total heat transfer to the test object. CAFE-3D will become a more useful tool for estimating the response of transport packages to large fires once it has been benchmarked against a larger range of fire conditions.

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