NSTD Research Projects: TRP
TRP 09. Design and Evaluation of Processes for Fuel Fabrication
August 2001 - August 2004
Research Objectives & Methods
The goal research was to provide technical support to process designers working on the development of the fuel cycles for transmutation applications. Detailed process models were developed to better define the impact of fuel choice on the transmuter fuel cycle, including relative process losses, waste generation, and plant capital cost. These process models provide insight regarding required plant size and number of plants needed to mesh with the fuel recycling line. They also determine requirements for automation.
Manufacturing models for large-scale production in a hot cell environment were also developed. Combined, these two models allow the assessment of plant layout, and provide the framework for estimation of plant capital and operating cost estimates, and for feasibility in general. The need for development in the areas of robotic and sensor technology was assessed. The manufacturing technology developed for hot cell applications was also applicable to other, more general uses, where occupational hazards prevent human presence near processes. The research work was divided into several tasks and subtasks:
Methods and Processes: A literature survey and detailed analysis of the research and development pertaining to candidate processes for transmuter fuel manufacture was performed. Industry standards were used to refine equipment, instrumentation, and control specifications, and assessed the reliability and safety of operations.
Simulations: Modeled manufacturing processes to generate a realistic assessment of plant layout, size, feasibility, and technology development required for large-scale remote fabrication of fuel.
Process and Equipment for Autonomous Manufacturing: Developed an understanding of the cost and capability of current generation remotely operated equipment suitable for use in radiation environments.
Sensors, Controls, and Operational Safety: Determined the adequacy of current technology and the need for suitable sensor technology development for deployment in hard radiation environments.
- Georg Mauer, Mechanical Engineering
- Caroline Wiejak, Visiting Scholar, Ecole Superieure d'Ingenieurs en Electronique et Electrotechnique, Noisy-le-Grand, France
- Mitchell Meyer, Group Leader, Fabrication Development, Argonne National Laboratory
- Yue Guan, Advanced Systems Technology and Management, Inc. (ANL Consultant)