The potential for chloride induced stress corrosion cracking (CISCC) in spent nuclear fuel dry storage canisters is a current topic of research by the US Department of Energy Spent Fuel and Waste Science and Technology program. One of the important prerequisites for CISCC is a tensile residual stress state. This study utilizes computational models to provide an initial analysis of thermal stresses in a generic spent nuclear fuel canister. A STAR-CCM+ thermal fluid model provides a temperature profile analysis of the canister based on four different ambient temperature conditions. An ANSYS APDL finite element model incorporates the temperature profiles to analyze the thermal stresses in the canister. The calculated thermal stress magnitudes are in the range of 10 MPa to 80 MPa, which could be significant for crack propagation through the canister wall. The maximum thermal stress is not a concern for the structural failure of the canister, but it is high enough that it is a significant contribution to the total stress state of the canister wall, which also includes residual stress from fabrication, internal pressure from helium cover gas, and potential transient mechanical loads, such as earthquakes. This paper describes the initial finite element thermal stress analysis that was completed in 2020, reports the initial findings, and identifies areas where model refinement is still needed to complete this work in the future.

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