Nuclear Engineering Division

Nuclear Waste Management using Electrometallurgical Technology

Systems and Components Development Expertise


The cathode processer: large-scale high-temperature retort for processing metals under vacuum or pressure conditions. Click on image to view larger image.

Division engineers and scientists have developed systems and components from the conceptual design stage through manufacture and qualification testing. Procedures were developed and followed during the entire process to ensure that the equipment met operational requirements, applicable codes and standards, and the interface requirements with other equipment and facilities. Detailed documentation was maintained for procurement, installation, operations and maintenance.

Recent Projects

The conceptual designs in recent projects utilized knowledge of basic science and chemical thermodynamics to identify phase transformations during molten metal and molten salt process cycles.

  • Materials tests were performed to resolve the unique problems of materials compatibility caused by the corrosive materials and the high temperature and vacuum conditions.
  • Scaled simulation experiments were conducted to verify the design concepts.
  • Finite element radiation heat transfer analyses were performed to determine the internal temperatures.
  • Detailed stress analyses were performed for operational, seismic, and thermal loads to ensure structural integrity and to prevent unacceptable thermal distortions or seal failures.
  • Electromagnetic calculations, with finite element computer codes and empirical methods, were used to design an induction heating coil and a shield to protect a pressure vessel wall from eddy-current heating.
  • Computer control strategies were developed to use measured internal pressures and temperatures to control process operations and ensure safety.
  • To meet the requirements for remote operations, the systems were designed to be operated and maintained using mechanical manipulators and cranes.

In addition, experiments were performed to determine how alkali metals and moist gases react. Experimental hardware and controls were developed and tested. The experimental results were applied to the deactivation of residual sodium in a sodium-cooled fast breeder reactor.

Recent Project Examples

Go to: [ «« Engineering Overview ] [ System Engineering Design »» ]

Last Modified: Thu, April 21, 2016 4:51 AM



Experimental Resources


For more information:


For more information, please contact Christopher Grandy ( ) at Argonne.
Biography Executive Bio

Engineering Development and Applications Dept.
Dept. Manager: M. Farmer

M. Farmer's Executive Bio