Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering

Advisor 1

Yitung Chen, Chair

Advisor 2

Darrell Pepper, Chair

Advisor 3

Randy Clarksean

First Committee Member

Robert Boehm

Second Committee Member

William Cullbreth

Third Committee Member

Jichun Li

Number of Pages



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.


Americium; Harry Reid Center; Manufacturing processes; Nuclear fuel rods – Design and construction; Nuclear fuels


Engineering Mechanics | Mechanical Engineering | Metallurgy | Nuclear Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy | Transport Phenomena

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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