Development of Systems Engineering Model for UREX Process

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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Publication Title

ASME 2003 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition

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The mission of the Transmutation Research Program (TRP) at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) is to establish a national nuclear technology research capability, a nuclear engineering test bed that can carry out effective transmutation and advanced reactor research and development effort. The main task of the Chemical Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratories (ANL) is to design, model, and demonstrate countercurrent uranium solvent-extraction process. The division has developed MS Excel macros interface, called Argonne Model for Universal Solvent Extraction (AMUSE), to calculate flowsheets for treating high-level liquid waste. The AMUSE code forms all computational basis for flowsheet design and process development. The extraction process, including U, Tc, Pu/Np, Cs/Sr, and Am/Cm separations, is complicate and requires further system optimization for robust performance. A systems engineering model is proposed by the Nevada Center for Advanced Computational Methods (NCACM) at UNLV that provides process optimization through the adjustment on feed compositions, stages, number of sections and flow rates. The NCACM is designing and developing a MS Visual Basic graphical user interface (GUI) that provides multiple-run results and data reporting and presentation. All calculations are made by the interaction with the MS Excel macros, defined in ANL AMUSE codes. An optimization model, developed with the GUI, interconnects with MatLab’s optimization toolbox, commercial software from MathWorks. Due to the nature of the AMUSE code, all the computational results are generated from the existing AMUSE macros. The model also examines measure effects of process deviations, caused by operational upsets or product diversion.


Argonne Model for Universal Solvent Extraction (AMUSE); Computer programming; Separation (Technology); Software engineering; Transuranium elements – Separation; Uranium Recovery by Extraction (UREX)

Controlled Subject

Computer programming; Separation (Technology); Software engineering


Mechanical Engineering | Nuclear | Nuclear Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy




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Publisher Citation

Royyuru H, Sun L, Chen Y, et al. Development of Systems Engineering Model for UREX Process. 2003;():197-201. doi:10.1115/IMECE2003-42043.

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