An Improved Fuel Basket for Casks Used for Storage, Transport, or Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel

Primary Inventor: Krishna P. Singh
Contributing Inventor(s): Paul Stefan Anton, Richard Springman
Date of Submission: April 27, 2015
Status: Provisional
Jurisdiction: USA
Equipment Type: MPC
Docket Number: HOL-100

Abstract: A primary component of any dry storage, transportation, or repository “cask”  is the “Fuel Basket”. A fuel basket is typically an open ended multi-cavity structure wherein each cavity serves to accommodate one used fuel assembly. The fuel basket resides inside the cavity of the cask and, therefore, its size dictates the overall size and weight of the cask. The function of the fuel basket is to i) provide structural support for the fuel assemblies to maintain a given geometric arrangement, ii) provide reactivity control of the contained nuclear materials, and iii) provide for heat transfer of the fuel assembly decay heat. The objective to any fuel cask design is to optimize the number of assemblies inside the cask within the provided design constraints, which are typically imposed by operational considerations that limit the overall weight and dimensions of the cask.

There are two types of fuel baskets that predominate the industry, i) flux-trap baskets and ii) non-flux trap baskets. The two different designs are dictated by two different approaches to manage reactivity control in compliance with the prescribed regulatory limits.