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CNSC – Irradiated Fuel Bay (IFB) Loss-of-Cooling Severe Accident Work

Abstract of the technical paper presented at:
13th International Conference on CANDU Fuel
Kingston, Ontario
August 15–18, 2016

Prepared by:
Wade Grant
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission


Fukushima caused renewed international interest in the safety of wet storage for spent fuel. CNSC staff’s position remains that wet storage for spent fuel used in CANDU reactors is safe and that a loss of cooling accident has a sufficiently slow progression such that operator intervention can be assured. However, as a result of the Fukushima accident, CNSC staff have taken on work to better understand the safety margins that exist in the unlikely case of a severe accident.

This paper discusses a hypothetical irradiated fuel bay (IFB) severe accident and important phenomena related to it, and the recently installed fuel bay design improvements, parallel domestic and international phenomena identification and ranking tables (PIRTs), and CNSC staff studies. It shows how these activities will support staff’s plan to develop a dedicated IFB modelling code for severe accidents in order to investigate the existing safety margins.

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