Design, Analysis, Testing, Filling and Sealing HIP Cans for the Calcine Disposition Project at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory

Friday, February 3, 2012 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building

Dr. Delwin C. Mecham
CWI (Idaho National Engineering Laboratory)


The Calcine Disposition Project (CDP) of the Idaho Cleanup Project (ICP) hasthe responsibility to retrieve, treat, and dispose of the calcine stored at theIdaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC) located at theIdaho National Laboratory in Southeast Idaho.  Calcine is the product ofthermally treating, or “calcining”, liquid high-level or sodium-bearing nuclearwaste produced at INTEC from 1963 to 1998 during the reprocessing of spentnuclear fuel (SNF).  The CDP is currently completing the design of the HotIsostatic Pressure (HIP) treatment process for the calcine to produce a volumereduced, monolithic, glass-ceramic waste form suitable for transport anddisposition.Conceptual design for the CDP requires the design of a large scale HIP canwhich maintains containment of calcine during the HIP treatment cycle. The HIPcan must be filled with calcine and additives and sealed remotely. The HIP cans will undergo approximately 50%volume reduction at a temperature of 1000-1250°C and a pressure of 50-100MPa.  The HIP can’s main function isto provide primary containment of the radioactive calcine material during and after the HIP treatment process.Development of a virtual testing program using high fidelity modeling techniques is required due to the prohibitivecost of full-scale testing using actual HLW calcine.This presentation will  describe current design, analysis, and testing of HIP cans and the design for filling andsealing HIP Cans.  The basic HIP technology is summarized and the remote HIP can fill and seal design ispresented.  Simulation models are developed to establish a virtual testing program using Finite Element Analysis(FEA).   Software packages COMSOL and ABAQUS are being used to analyze the thermal and structural responseof HIP cans during the HIPing process.  The software packages increase the understanding of can deformation andallow for virtual testing before large scale testing of the HIP cans.  This decreases the number of physical HIP cantests needed during the development of a HIP can design.  The models utilize a macroscopic representation of thegranular material “constitutive model” for the material inside the can and a non-linear representation of the stainlesssteel. Initial small scale testing of HIP cans has been performed to benchmark the FEA analysis and providevalidation of the constitutive models used.  Analytic results, test data, and comparisons between them are presented.


Dr. Del Mecham has forty years of experience in the planning and management of large-scale thermal-hydraulicexperiments including the development and application of thermal-hydraulic computer codes for nuclear reactor safety analysis.Dr. Mecham has developed and managed irradiation testing programs and has participated on national and internationalresearch technical advisory boards.  Del received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Utah State University and is aRegistered Professional Engineer in the State of Idaho.  Dr. Mecham serves on the Industrial Advisory Committee forMechanical Engineering at Utah State and holds an Adjunct Professor position at the University of Idaho.