2017 | AFC ACCOMPLISHMENTS 144 Although many of the fuel pins fabricated for theAdvanced Fuels Campaign (AFC) are produced using fresh actinide feedstocks which can be safely handled in a glovebox, the overall goal of many of the advanced reactor fuels is to use transmutation fuels produced using recycled feedstocks. Recycled transuranic material, especially electro- metallurgically recycled material, contains fission product contamination which can drive remote handling for safety.Therefore a major goal for advanced fabrication is to develop fabrication techniques suitable for remote deployment. Project Description: The Casting/Sampling furnace can be configured to cast metallic fuel using either the gravity method or the counter gravity injection (suction) method. In the gravity casting method, the feedstock is loaded into an yttria coated graphite crucible.As the material is heated to a molten state a stopper rod is pulled out of the crucible which allows the alloy to flow out of the crucible into the permanent graphite mold coated with zirconium oxide. Counter gravity casting uses the same furnace, although the molten material is drawn up into a zirconium oxide coated quartz mold using a pressure differential between the mold and the furnace chamber. Counter gravity casting is similar to the process which was used for the casting of EBR-II fuel Demonstration of Remote Casting of Metallic Fuels Principal Investigator: Randall Fielding Collaborators: Blair Grover although on a much smaller scale. Although suction casting has been found to be less sensitive to operational parameters such as atmosphere contamination and alloy composition as compared to gravity casting, it also has a high required recycle stream and utilizes single use molds, creating additional waste, and a route for fuel losses. Gravity casting, on the other hand is more sensitive to operational parameters and mold design, but uses a permanent re-usable mold and has a higher melt utilization rate compared to counter gravity injection casting. Under the AFC program the main focus of development has been gravity casting, because of the smaller recycle and waste streams, reduced fuel losses, and the ability to cast at either ambient or increased pressure, despite the increased parameter sensitivity. Accomplishments: The Casting/Sampling furnace was installed in the Hot Fuel Examination Facility (HFEF) at window 10M. Initial casting attempts resulted in the charge not fully consolidating and the crucible and stopper rod adhering together, thereby not allowing material to flow out of the crucible.The charge consolidation issue was solved through repeated bake-outs and runs of the furnace. During mock-up and qualification activities the furnace chamber was not maintained under a vacuum because it was necessary to move and furnace system multiple A DU-10Zr pin was remotely cast using the Casting and Sampling furnace located in the Hot Fuel Examination Facility. Table 1. Charge used for the U-10Zr gravity casting run. Mass (g) Wt. % Uranium 176.221 89.9 Zirconium 19.70 10.1