ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF ACCIDENTS INVOLVING RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL SHIPPING SYSTEMS

Four full-scale spent fuel cask crash tests have been performed, including two head-on truck-barrier impacts (100 and 135 km/h), one railcar-barrier impact (130 km/h), and one locomotive grade crossing impact (130 km/h). Releases to the environment were limited to seepage of about 100 cc of cavity liquid from the cask head in the 135 km/h truck impact test and a slight head seal air leak in the 130 km/h locomotive grade crossing test. These releases were well within the limits specified by the NRC regulations, would have been easily cleaned up, and would have caused little effect on the environment and virtually no risk to the public. To further evaluate cask capability, the crashed spent-fuel rail cask system was fire tested. The cask withstood 90 minutes of a fully engulfing hydrocarbon pool fire while maintaining its structural integrity. At approximately 100 minutes into the fire test, the outer shell of the cask cracked resulting in the partial loss of lead radiation shielding. The failure of the shell was attributed to poor quality control during the original fabrication of the cask in the early 1960's. Present regulatory standards would prevent such occurrences in casks built and licensed today. In addition, the test was much more severe than the qualification criteria specified by present licensing requirements.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Environmental control symposium, Washington, DC, USA, 28 Nov 1978.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Sandia Laboratories

    P.O. Box 5800
    Albuquerque, NM  USA  87115

    Department of Energy

    1000 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20585
  • Authors:
    • YOSHIMURA, H R
    • Pope, R B
    • Huerta, M
    • Nilson, R H
  • Publication Date: 1978

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 19 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00304275
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CONF-781109-27
  • Contract Numbers: EY-76-C-04-0789
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 19 1980 12:00AM