REMOTELY OPERATED AND MAINTAINED CASTING MACHINE FOR METALLIC NUCLEAR FUEL

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 11694
Amount: $49,666.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1990
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
P O Box 71, Hanover, NH, 03755
DUNS: 072021041
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
THE FUEL RECYCLE PROCESS FOR THE INTEGRAL FAST REACTOR (IRF)REQUIRES CASTING OF METALLIC NUCLEAR FUEL INTO RODS. CURRENTLY, A MOLD CASTING PROCESS IS USED. ASSOCIATED WITH THE OPERATION OF THIS METHOD ARE FEATURES WHICH ARE PROBLEMATIC FOR THE REMOTE OPERATION OF THE CASTING PROCESS. FOR EXAMPLE, SMALL PIECES OF BROKEN MOLD MUST OFTEN BE TEDIOUSLY SEPARATED FROM SMALL PIECES OF METALLIC FUEL. WE PROPOSE TO DEVELOP A METALLIC FUEL CASTING MACHINE SUITABLE FOR REMOTE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE IN AN IRF FUELRECYCLE FACILITY. THE PROPOSED WORK IS BASED ON DEVELOPMENT AT CREARE, OF AN ALTERNATE PROCESS THAT DOES NOT USE MOLDS BUT RATHER CONTINUOUSLY SOLIDIFIES MOLTEN FUEL WHICH IS CAUSED TO FLOW FROM A CIRULAR SHAPED DIE. A CONTINUOUS CASTING MACHINE HAS BEEN DESIGNED, FABRICATED AND USED TO DEMONSTRATE THE FEASIBILITY OF THE CASTING PROCESS. THE CONCEPT OF CONTINUOUS CASTING WITHOUT MOLDS ISIDEALLY SUITED FOR THE REMOTE FABRICATION OF METALLIC NUCLEAR FUEL RODS IN AN IFR FUEL RECYCLE FACILITY. WE PROPOSE TO DEMONSTRATE THE FEASIBILITY OF CONFIGURING A CONTINUOUS CASTING MACHINE TO BE REMOTELY OPERABLE AND MAINTAINABLE IN THE HFEF-S FACILITY AT ARGONNE-WEST. THE PRINCIPAL RESULT OF PHASE I WILL BE THE CONCEPTUAL DESIGN OF THE CASTING MACHINE. IN ADDITION TO CREARE'S EXPERIENCE WITH THE CONTINUOUS CASTING PROCESS AND HARDWARE, THE PHASE I PROJECT INCLUDES COLLABORATION WITH HFEF-S PERSONNEL AND REMOTE TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION (OAK RIDGE, TN), A FIRM EXPERIENCED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF REMOTELY OPERATED SYSTEMS IN NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS. WE FEEL CONFIDENT, THEREFORE, THAT THE CONCEPTUAL DESIGN FORMULATED IN PHASE I WILL INCORPORATE ALL RELEVANT DESIGN AND OPERATION ISSUES. BASED UPON SUCCESSFUL DEMONSTRATION OF FEASIBILITY, THE PHASE I CONCEPTUAL DESIGN WOULD PROVIDE THE STARTING POINT FOR DETAILED DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF CRITICAL ELEMENTS OF THE CASTING MACHINE FOR EVENTUAL IMPLEMENTAION IN THE HFEF-S.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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