2017 | AFC ACCOMPLISHMENTS 145 Figure 1. Temperature (⁰C) versus run time (mm:ss) plot of the remote casting run. times. Equipment qualification activities in cell were performed during a hot cell maintenance outage. During this time the cell atmosphere deteriorated, allowing more moisture to build up than normal.As the furnace was open and closed and moved around on the table due to other operations moisture was adsorbed into the furnace refractory materials which were not released until several high temperature runs, including earlier casting attempts. During the mock-up phase of qualification it was seen that often the crucible stopper rod and loaded crucible would adhere together at high temperatures, despite lifting the stopper rod. In order to reduce this adherence the stopper/crucible interface was modified to reduce the amount on contact area between the two parts. After the appropriate modifications had been made a yttria coated crucible was loaded with depleted uranium and zirconium pieces and placed in the Casting/Sampling furnace while it was configured for gravity casting.Table 1 shows the masses of the original charge material.The furnace was heated to 1500°C and held for approximately 10 minutes. Following the hold time the stopper rod was lifted allowing the fuel to drain from the crucible into the mold. During the last two minutes of the heating cycle, prior to lifting of the stopper rod, the furnace chamber was evacuated to ensure material could Figure 2. One of the resulting remotely cast U-10Zr pins. flow into the mold. Figure 1 shows the heating cycle.The resulting pins are shown in Figure 2.Although the pins were not full length, this experiment shows that the concept is feasible and equipment functions while some optimization is necessary.An example of the optimization includes a slight modification to the mold. Despite being evacuated for the two minutes prior to casting, it appears from the morphology of the fuel slugs that gas remained trapped in the mold cavities. This has been verified using a very similar mold design, the Glovebox Advanced Casting System (GACS), and the same heating profile.The mold modification will include a vent path out of the bottom of the mold cavity.As the material flows into the cavity, any residual gas is pushed out the vent.The vent will be made small enough that any molten material will quickly freeze before it can flow out of the cavity.