Design & Analysis of Nuclear Pressure Vessels


Finite Element Analysis and Computational Fluid Dynamics on Vessels & Components

ASME design and (thermal, stress, vibration and fatigue) finite element analysis was performed on pressure vessels and components – as part of the Department of Energy’s radioactive waste cleanup effort.

These vessels were subjected to elevated temperatures (>1400 F), seismic loads and deflagration events. One of the vessels used an OCE-designed clamping system consisting of brackets and o-rings. We also designed a unique refractory insulating system on both vessels to thermally isolate the vessels from the support skids, which were not designed for elevated temperatures.

In order to perform the analysis of the vessels, we performed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to determine the temperature distributions and the hydrodynamic forces due to splashing of the media during operation – as well as sloshing during a seismic event.

Structural analysis and creep-fatigue damage calculations were performed using finite element analysis. In addition, all of the flanged connections were evaluated to ensure leak tightness of the connections in spite of significant loss of bolt preload due to creep relaxation.


We perform finite element and CFD analysis on equipment to AWS, API and ASME Code.
Give us a call to discuss your engineering challenges.

Related Projects

Finite Element Analysis of a Vessel Processing Nuclear Waste
Finite Element Analysis & ASME Code Section VIII Division 2 Calculations on Feedwater Heaters
Development of Elevated Temperature Design Criteria for Nuclear Components

Similar Services

Finite Element Analysis
Nuclear Power Plant Consulting


Tom O’Donnell, PE
Links to Engineering Resources
Background of the ASME Code
Publications – Heat Exchangers, Pressure Vessels, Welds, Fatigue, Elevated Temperature

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