Design and analysis for melt casting metallic fuel pins incorporating volatile actinides

Xiaolong Wu, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Fundamental issues related to the selection of a metallic fuel casting furnace design are presented and discussed including heating mechanisms, casting issues, crucible design, and issues related to the mass transport of americium. The process of evaluating all of these different criteria is undertaken to select a concept that would have the greatest chance of success for casting americium in a metallic fuel rod. Based on this evaluation process, a concept for the casting of metallic fuel pins containing high vapor pressure materials is selected and discussed. The important physics of this concept include mass transport of americium from the melt, induction heating and stirring of the melt, plus casting of long slender fuel rods. This work shows process of evaluating important steps of casting fuel rods. A discussion of the preliminary modeling results for the casting of long, slender fuel rods will be presented. The model considers the flow of the melt into the molds, heat transfer into molds, and the impact of process parameters on the formation of the fuel rod. Collection of properties of volatile actinides is also discussed.