The primary mode of spent nuclear fuel transportation within the United States will be by railcar. One such system is the Atlas railcar, which is designed to transport 17 different spent nuclear fuel cask systems, including bare fuel systems and canister fuel systems. In the latter configuration, multipurpose canisters containing spent nuclear fuel may be placed within an overpack for storage, or within a cask for transportation. Compared to bare fuel systems, canister fuel systems have additional degrees of freedom for motion during transportation, because clearance between the cask and canister allows for some motion of the canister to occur relative to the cask. This work investigates the effect of canister motion on the shock and vibration imparted to the spent nuclear fuel within. Structural dynamic analyses have been conducted to identify the effects of canister to cask clearance, presence and type of dunnage, and loading direction and frequency. This modeling study calculates anticipated cask motion, canister motion, and spent nuclear fuel structural dynamic response to normal conditions of transportation railcar motion using finite element analysis methods that were developed to model the rail segment of the ENSA/DOE (Equipos Nucleares S.A., U.S. Department of Energy) multimodal transportation test of 2017.

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