Improved Continuous Casting Process for Metallic Fuel Pins

Period of Performance: 01/01/2013 - 12/31/2013

$225K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Creare, Inc.
16 Great Hollow Road Array
Hanover, NH 03755
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

New Generation IV nuclear power plants are being developed that promise to enable nuclear power to achieve its potential as a large scale source of environmentally benign power generation while improving safety and minimizing proliferation risks. These reactors will need large numbers of metallic fuel pins made from uranium alloys, but existing methods for casting these fuel pins are very costly. Creare proposes to develop a continuous casting method that uses innovative instrumentation and control algorithms to produce uranium alloy fuel pins at very low cost. Our process can be easily automated and can produce a wide variety of shapes. The primary commercial application will be production of metallic fuel pins for prototype and commercial nuclear power plants. The public benefit will be low-cost electricity that is produced by safe and environmentally benign power plants. The technology we develop for precision control of the continuous casting process will also enable production of a wide range of metallic components for commercial applications.