Finite Element Analysis – securing new package licensing
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) work was required to support a new licence to transport the 1648C package. Despite being a one-off transport project, it was the first time the package had to be licensed as a Type A(F).
This involved validating an FE model of the 1648A against an old ‘drop test’, then verifying that the modelling technique was suitable for the 1648C.
The impact performance of the 1648C has been demonstrated to date by comparing it with the earlier 1648A variant. Models of both the 1648A and the 1648C have shown sufficient similarity and agreement with test data to validate the 1648A drop test model and verify the modelling approach for the performance of the 1648C package. The change in the package designs (the shock absorber in particular) and the materials used showed an improved performance for the 1648C.
This supported the Package Design Safety Report (PDSR) and subsequently helped with the award of the transport licence from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the safety regulator for the civil nuclear industry in the UK.
The project was recognised as a great achievement at a UK Government level. The verification of the 1648C package allows for further assessments and more detailed analysis to substantiate its ongoing use for the transport of radioactive materials.