September 12, 2023
Journal Article

Computational studies of impurity migration during induction stirring of molten uranium


Understanding and controlling impurity behavior in actinide metal casting processes are foundational for efficient part production yet remain major challenges for researchers and industry. To help provide insight regarding impurity distribution during actinide metal casting, we have developed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models for a laboratory-scale system using commercial and open-source code. Multiple simulation frameworks allow for improved confidence in the resulting outputs, while taking advantage of the maturity and convenience offered by commercial platforms and simultaneously maintaining the transparency and flexibility often provided by open-source software. Here, we describe multiple experiment-informed models designed to simulate a specific laboratory system in which uranium melt, containing a known starting concentration of carbon impurity, is electromagnetically stirred in an induction furnace. The goal of the simulations is to predict the motion of uranium carbide microparticles in the velocity field of the melt. Prior to simulating the uranium-carbon system, numerical models were validated using a previously published nonradioactive experimental system. Effects of the size and shape of impurity particles in the models were investigated and agree with experimental findings. Simulation of smaller particles (

Published: September 12, 2023


Singh R.K., J.F. Corbey, N.S. Deshmukh, A.A. Howard, W.E. Frazier, S. Hu, and D. Abrecht. 2023. Computational studies of impurity migration during induction stirring of molten uranium. Computational Materials Science 229. PNNL-SA-182708. doi:10.1016/j.commatsci.2023.112386