Production through simulation : using simulation technologies to create and evaluate nuclear fuel fabrication facility designs

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Bourque, Cade Michael

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This project explores how physics-based and discrete-event simulation technologies can be jointly employed to model a suite of nuclear fuel fabrication facility designs with variable radiological environments, optimize their design to lower operational costs subject to a set of design constraints, and evaluate their performance. Initially, three variants of U-20Pu-10Zr metallic nuclear fuel in three specific geometric configurations are modeled and studied across more than 50 physics simulations in nuclear physics software packages SCALE and Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport (MCNP6.2). From these tests, values for effective dose rate and criticality are recorded for each of the nine alloy-geometry configurations. These values are then incorporated into discrete-event models of fuel fabrication in the simulation program ExtendSim Pro 10 as process attributes. This allows one to track the dose to facility personnel as fuel is fabricated, dually enabling us to evaluate the safety of a given facility design in terms of absorbed dose per worker per year and to craft operational guidelines that adhere to federal and local safety regulations.


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