Monitoring the interior of a welded canister containing spent (or used) nuclear fuel for its functional and structural integrity is exceptionally challenging because of the intense levels of heat and radiation and the difficulties of transmitting the sensor signals out through the sealed stainless-steel canister wall. Yet, confirmation of canister integrity is crucial for the aging management of the dry cask storage systems (DCSSs) for extended long-term storage and subsequent transportation of used fuel. A canister breach can lead to serious consequences — release of radioactive contaminants; oxidation of fuel cladding, which could compromise fuel rod integrity and criticality safety; and generation of potentially explosive hydrogen gas. The development of the Remote Area Modular Monitoring (RAMM) technology and 3D simulation of thermal performance of a vertical dry storage cask are reported in this paper, as is a preliminary plan for field-testing and evaluation of multiple prototype RAMM units on selected dry storage casks at an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) site.

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