United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Potential Rod Splitting Due to Exposure to an Oxidizing Atmosphere During Short-term Cask Loading Operations in LWR or Other Uranium Oxide Based Fuel - ISG-22

This Interim Staff Guidance has been issued for public comment. Comment period is now closed.

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Introduction

Under the current guidance in ISG-1, Revision 1, "Damaged Fuel," the definition of intact fuel includes fuel rods containing no cladding defects greater than pinhole leaks or hairline cracks. During the cask water removal process (also known as blow-down), parts of, or all of, the fuel rods will be exposed to a gaseous atmosphere. If the gaseous atmosphere is oxidizing, oxidation of fuel pellets or fuel fragments can occur if a cladding breach exists (such as a pinhole). Oxidation may occur rapidly and cause significant swelling of fuel pellets and fragments, which could result in gross fuel cladding breaches.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012