The Transmutation Research Program requires the incorporation of non-fertile actinides into the fuel matrix for the transmuter blanket. One of three currently proposed candidate matrices for the transmuter blanket is a metallic alloy fuel matrix. Metallic fuels are an outstanding candidate for a transmutation fuel due to excellent irradiation performance and ease of fabrication. However, including a volatile constituent during fabrication of these fuel pins presents a challenge. High vapor pressure actinides, particularly americium, are susceptible to rapid vaporization and transport using traditional metal fuel casting processes. As a result, only a fraction of the desired charge is incorporated into the fuel pins. This proves unacceptable from a materials accountability standpoint and fails to meet the objective of including these actinides in the fuel for transmutation. The goal of this project is to model and investigate the casting processes for metallic fuels to help design a process that minimizes the loss of the volatile actinide elements, such as americium, from the fuel.
Actinide alloys; Americium; Metal-base fuel; Metal castings; Metallurgical furnaces; Nuclear fuel rods
Nuclear | Nuclear Engineering
Design and Analysis of a Process for Melt Casting Metallic Fuel Pins Incorporating Volatile Actinides.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/hrc_trp_fuels/10