Probabilistic analysis of vertical concrete dry casks subjected to tip-over and aging effects
Sichani, Majid Ebad
Padgett, Jamie E.
Vertical concrete dry casks, which provide an interim solution for the storage of spent nuclear fuel, are vulnerable to tip-over due to lateral loads. This paper explores the probabilistic structural response of a representative dry cask subjected to tip-over impact loads and aging effects. Considering concrete and soil material properties, thickness of the pad, angular velocity at the onset of tip-over, and age of the cask as variables, 200 configurations of the tip-over problem are generated by Latin Hypercube Sampling. To consider aging and the associated temporal variations, material properties of the steel parts vary in the generated configurations due to temperature variations. The generated tip-over scenarios are analyzed by numerical models developed and validated in a commercial finite element analysis program. Machine learning algorithms such as polynomial response surface models, multivariate adaptive regression splines, regression trees, support vector machines, Gaussian processes and neural networks are trained on datasets provided by the finite element analysis to develop metamodels for the maximum strain of the canister and maximum acceleration of the concrete overpack. These metamodels offer statistical approximating functions that enable efficient impact fragility analysis and evaluation of the sensitivity of the fragility to age, concrete material properties of the cask and pad, and pad thickness. The effect of aging due to alkali-silica reaction on the strain fragility is also studied, and recommendations regarding the design of vertical concrete dry casks are provided. Risk analysis is performed to estimate the dry storage cask’s risk of failure (i.e., probability of limit state exceedance) and to uncover the effect of age and design parameters on the probability of strain and acceleration exceeding predefined limits. The risk analysis shows that the probability of canister failure in the tip-over event is negligible. That is, despite expected cracks in the concrete overpack, the structural integrity of the dry cask system subjected to the tip-over impact loads is retained.