Package Certification

Every year, the DOE Packaging Certification Program (PCP) sponsors a week-long course here at Sandia National Labs, titled “Thermal Modeling and Testing of RAM Packages” (ME 698). This course is attended by both national and international students as part of the RAMPAC University, and is accredited by the University of Nevada Reno for a graduate certificate in Radioactive Material Package Design and testing.

This course provides a comprehensive overview on thermal modeling and analysis, and testing practices used to evaluate radioactive material (RAM) packages for certification.  The course provides an overview of the following topics:   

  • Regulatory requirements
  • Finite element heat transfer modeling   
  • Computational fluids dynamics (fire) modeling  
  • Phenomena ranking   
  • Measurements and uncertainty    
  • Safety Analysis Report for Packages (SARP) issues
  • Design and performance of thermal testing, including open pool fire, radiant heat, and furnace testing

The course is delivered over four and a half days at SNL in Albuquerque, NM.  Course activities include certification analysis of RAM packages, and exposure to instrumentation installation and field applications.  The course is taught by members of the technical staff actively engaged in package testing and analysis at SNL.  These Instructors will also provide tours of SNL test facilities, such as the Thermal Test Complex and Lurance Canyon Burn Site (indoor and outdoor), and will lead in-depth discussions of practices and lessons learned at these test sites over many years of modeling experience.  

Prospective participants include the DOE, its contractors and other agency and industry personnel who are responsible for designing, evaluating, or testing Type B and fissile material transportation packages, as well as preparing or reviewing the associated safety analysis reports.

Below are photos from previous classes: