Agile, Team-based Response In Casting Furnace Placement And Technology Realization

Raynella M. Connatser - CNS Y-12
Ryan L. Stillwell - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Pamela M. Moor - CNS Y-12
Jessica N. Farrell - National Nuclear Security Administration
Thomas Greg Schaaff - Y-12 National Security Complex, Consolidated Nuclear Security, L.L.C.,
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In 2018, a joint leadership team comprised of personnel from the U.S. National Nuclear Security Association (NNSA/NA-195), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Y-12 National Nuclear Security Complex (Y-12) recognized that a promising alloy casting technology, pioneered for the titanium industry and expanded to uranium in the 1990s, could be revisited for current alloy casting modernization efforts. To accelerate deployment of the technology, the LLNL / Y-12 team, with support from NA-195, is contracting a commercial subcontractor already working on metal and alloy metal fabrications for Y-12. The expertise already in place at the commercial partner, as well as early involvement laboratory / plant teams in the technology maturation work, is allowing a streamlined path to mature this promising casting method from TRL 3 to TRL 6 over the course of approximately 3 years. Additionally, significant cost, time, and footprint savings are being realized by carrying out this earlier part of the technology maturation at a commercial location. In particular, the presence of a national laboratory liaison technology lead embedded at Y-12 and closely interacting with the commercial partner has proven highly advantageous. Benefits of this early engagement between technology developers and production/manufacturing leads to develop strategy and implementation plans, especially with an early focus on application and manufacturability and including coordinating feedstock availability, will be discussed.