Benchmark of a Fast-Running Computational Tool for Analysis of Massive Radioactive Material Packages in Fire Environments

[+] Author and Article Information
Narendra Are

 University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV 89557

Miles Greiner

 University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV 89557greiner@unr.edu

Ahti Suo-Anttila

 Alion Science and Technology Inc., Albuquerque, NM 87110asuoanttila@alionscience.com

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 127(4), 508-514 (Mar 11, 2005) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2043202 History: Received August 09, 2004; Revised March 11, 2005

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.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 3

Calorimeter finite element model

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Figure 4

CAFE-3D computational domain used for the benchmark simulation

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Figure 5

Simulated average fire surface temperature versus time for different values of fsoot,min. Horizontal line shows the expected surface temperature of a 7.2m diam fire (14).

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Figure 6

Average thermocouple temperature rise versus time from experiment and from CAFE-3D simulation

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Figure 7

Simulated fire surface (fsoot=fsoot,min=0.4ppm) at time t=15min. The surface is colored according to its local surface temperature.

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Figure 8

Average thermocouple temperature rise versus time for Rings 1, 2, 3, and 4, from (a) experimental data and (b) CAFE-3D simulation. A drawing of the calorimeter shows the approximate wind direction, ring locations, and encircles the hottest ring.

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Figure 9

Angular variation of thermocouple temperature in degrees Celsius for all four rings at t=15 and 30min from the experiment (solid lines) and the CAFE-3D simulation (dashed lines)

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Figure 1

Plan views of test facility (a) wind fences, anemometer location, campus direction, and coordinate system and (b) pool, calorimeter, and thermocouples

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Figure 2

Wind conditions versus time measured by two anemometers during the burn period of the experiment (a) wind direction (indicates direction to which the wind blew, see Fig. 1) and (b) wind speed

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Figure 10

Simulated fire temperatures in Kelvin degrees at the z coordinate of Rings 1–4 at time t=15min. The black circles show the location of the calorimeter cross section.




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