January 13, 2023
Conference Paper



A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was built to simulate planned testing of heater assemblies for the Hanford Lead Canister (HLC) project. The HLC is a canister storage system that will contain heaters to simulate the decay heat of nuclear material and provide the canister storage system with environmental conditions equivalent to the operating conditions on a dry storage pad. The HLC will be equipped with long-term data collection and monitoring systems to provide an early warning of corrosion, pitting, cracking, or other signs of canister degradation that might threaten the integrity of the containment boundary over the potentially long term of dry storage. An important part of the HLC development is to confirm the function and ability of the electric heater assemblies that were specially designed to provide heating similar to the decay heat of nuclear material contained within the canister storage system. Heater bench testing is planned for early 2022 in a test configuration that does not include the canister. The goal of the bench testing is to verify that the heaters can replicate the decay heat of a canister with nuclear material and to validate the thermal models, which are critical to understanding the HLC’s thermal environment, including the local air flow within the canister storage system. Testing of the heater assemblies inside the canister system are planned in the future to validate canister level thermal models, and rigorous pre-deployment testing of the complete HLC cask and canister system is intended to be completed before the HLC is deployed in the 2025-2026 timeframe. This study presents the pre-test temperature predictions of the bench testing. A description of the heater assemblies and planned bench testing is presented. The model was developed with the commercial CFD code STAR-CCM+. An uncertainty analysis was run with the CFD model to determine the uncertainty in the temperature predictions and provide a range over which the predicted temperatures are expected to vary. The uncertainty analysis was performed by coupling STAR-CCM+ with the software Dakota, which provides advanced parametric analyses, including quantification of margins and uncertainty with computational models. This work is expected to provide insight into SNF canister behavior.

Published: January 13, 2023


Suffield S.R., C.L. Grant, and N.A. Klymyshyn. 2022. THERMAL MODELING OF HANFORD LEAD CANISTER’S HEATER BENCH TESTS. In Proceedings of the ASME 2022 Pressure Vessels & Piping Conference, July 17-22, 2022, Las Vegas, NV, 5, Paper No: PVP2022-83737, V005T07A023. New York, New York:American Society of Mechanical Engineers. PNNL-SA-169797. doi:10.1115/PVP2022-83737

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