Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Yitung Chen, Chair

Second Committee Member

Hsuan-Tsung Hsieh

Third Committee Member

Robert Boehm

Graduate Faculty Representative

Jichun Li

Number of Pages



Incorporating volatile actinides, mainly americium into a metallic fuel pin (MFP) has been a serious problem due to americium’s high vapor pressure. An Induction Skull Melting (ISM) system was identified by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) as a potential furnace design to cast MFPs. Through the development of the ISM system, the nuclear waste feedstock can be melted and injected into the mold for fabricating MFPs in the advanced nuclear fuel cycles. The main phenomena in this system include: induction melting process, casting process and mass transfer process of americium. Issues related to ISM system design for casting MFPs are discussed including heating mechanisms, furnace design, melting process, casting issues, and mass transport issues of americium.

The induction melting and casting problem were analyzed numerically using the commercial finite element software package FIDAP (Fluent, Inc.). The finite element method employed in this project is analyzed. Various values of the material properties and input parameters were employed in the simulations and the results are compared in order to provide a better parameter estimation for the system design and real operation.


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


Mechanical Engineering | Nuclear | Oil, Gas, and Energy | Thermodynamics | Transport Phenomena




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