Nuclear Waste Container Stress Analysis

Michael Benoit and David Effa
Case revision date: 
6 pages (Case Study)

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is Ontario-based Electricity Company responsible for generation and sale of electricity in Ontario, utilizing hydroelectric, thermal, and nuclear generating stations [1]. Safety is the number one priority for the nuclear power generation process including nuclear waste management. The Nuclear Waste Management Division (NWMD) at OPG is responsible for the short and long term handling and storage of low and intermediate level waste, as well as spent nuclear fuel. In order to store nuclear waste and consumed ion exchange resins, NWMD has designed special Stainless Steel Resin Liner Containers (SSRLs), Figure 1. For all lifting and stacking scenarios over the container’s service life, a factor of safety against yielding of 3 is required. NWMD desired to investigate the waste container components including container walls, square welds joining the container body, and the top ring fillet welds that currently do no meet the proposed safety requirement and determine the best cours of corrective action for any areas not having a sufficient factor of safety.

Michael Benoit, a 2nd year Mechanical Engineering co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to determine the stress at points of concern on the container and evaluate corrective actions for points which do not have the necessary factor of safety [2].

stainless steel resin liner container

Figure 1 - Stainless steel resin liner container [2]

Learning objectives: 

The teaching objective for this case study is force analysis of structures and structural components, equilibrium of deformable bodies, stress and strain concepts.

  • Apply concept of equilibrium, force analysis of structures and structural components, equilibrium of deformable bodies, stress and strain concepts
  • Compute the stress for nuclear waste container concern areas including tensile stress, compressive stress and von mises stress
  • Outline the basic safety requirements handling procedure for nuclear waste container
  • Develop FEM software simulation for complicated parts.
  • Develop teamwork and communication skills through in-class discussions
Key words: 
Equilibrium; force analysis; structural analysis; stress; Finite Element Simulation
CEAB attributes: 
Knowledge base for engineers, problem analysis; use of engineering tools
Module 01- Case Study
Module 02 - Stress Analysis
Module 03 - Finite Element Simulation
Module TN - Teaching Note

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