Mechanical engineering note - safety analysis of molten uranium/water interaction in the uranium foundry furnace Page: 5 of 84
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This Engineering Note describes the development of the accident criteria used the basis
for the design of the uranium foundry vacuum vessel. The results of this analysis provide
input into other safety notes that investigate how well the uranium containment boundary
will maintain its integrity during the design basis accident. The preventative measures
that have been designed into the system to minimize the potential to produce a flammable
gas mixture are described. The system response is designed for consistency with
applicable sections of the LLNL Health and Safety Manual, as well as the Mechanical
engineering Safety Design Standards.
2.0 System Description
The uranium foundry is located in Building 231, Room 1956A. The floor plan of the
foundry is shown in Fig. 1. The vacuum furnace and the assembly hood is shown in Fig.
2. The casting module showing the orientation of the crucible and the mold inside the
furnace is shown in Fig. 3. A schematic of the furnace assembly and other equipment in
the foundry is illustrated in Fig. 4 and a list of the foundry design parameters is given in
Table 1. The vacuum furnace is designed to melt up to 100 kg of uranium alloy in an
induction heated crucible and subsequently drain into an induction heated mold beneath
the crucible. There are two induction power supplies in the foundry, one for melting
materials and the other for mold heating. The design also includes two water cooling
systems. An open loop system is used for chamber wall, power supplies and bus bars
cooling and a closed loop system is used for cooling chamber internal hardware. The
vacuum furnace and the assembly hood are designed to be vented into a 3000 cfm HEPA
filtration negative air system before releasing the exhaust into the atmosphere.
Uranium Foundry Parameter List
1. Vacuum Vessel
" Chamber Size 36" x 36" x 60" H (Inside)
" Chamber Material 1.00" THK. 304 Stainless Steel
" Chamber Weight Approx. 5000 lbs
2. Operating Conditions
" Uranium Charge Capacity 100 kg maximum
" Uranium Melt temperature ~ 1500 C
" Mold Temperature Approx. 700"C - 1000 C
* Crucible Input Power 100 kW maximum @ 3 kHz
" Mold Input Power 30 kW maximum @ 50 kHZ
" Vessel Internal Pressure 10-6 Torr
" Cooling Water Temperature 50 C maximum
" Cooling Water Pressure 45 psig maximum
" Cooling Water flow 25 gpm maximum
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Gourdin, W H & Sze, J. Mechanical engineering note - safety analysis of molten uranium/water interaction in the uranium foundry furnace, report, August 19, 1999; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc622935/m1/5/: accessed February 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.