Title of Submission
Mechanical Stir Casting of Borated Aluminum for Spent Nuclear Fuel Dry Cask Storage
Materials Science and Engineering, PhD
Major Advisor Name
Type of Submission
Decreasing pool storage at nuclear power plants has increased demand for actively cooled radiation shielded dry cask storage of spent nuclear fuel. Borated aluminum casks made by mechanically dispersing up to 30 weight percent boron carbide (B4C) particles (20-60 µm diameter) through high shear mixing into molten A356 or 6061 aluminum is demonstrated. Optical microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Raman spectroscopy are utilized to characterize the B4C dispersion and the resultant cast microstructure. Further process optimization by use of wetting agents, argon cover gas, and melt purging may improve the B4C and aluminum interaction and reduce casting porosity.