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Proceedings of the 27th National and 5th International ISHMT-ASTFE Heat and Mass Transfer Conference December 14-17, 2023, IIT Patna, Patna-801106, Bihar, India
December, 14-17, 2023, Bihar, India

Numerical Modelling of Joule Melter for Waste Vitrification to Analyze it's Electrical and Thermal Characteristics

Get access (open in a dialog) DOI: 10.1615/IHMTC-2023.440
pages 265-270


Nuclear fuel reprocessing is a process that involves the extraction of usable materials from spent nuclear fuel and it plays a significant role in the management of a closed nuclear fuel cycle. Various stages of reprocessing produces high level liquid waste (HLLW). The treatment, conditioning and ultimately disposal of HLLW are the key-issue in nuclear waste management. Joule-heated ceramic melter (JHCM) is a promising technology in this field. It involves the use of hightemperature ceramic melters to vitrify radioactive waste by converting it into a stable glass matrix for long-term storage.
Numerically modeling a joule melter can provide valuable insights and feedback to optimize its design, operation, and performance. When implementing a joule melter, several physical phenomena are to be considered such as Joule heating process, conduction heat transfer, convective currents and resultant fluid flow. This shows that the modelling of a melter is a multi-physics problem having strong coupling between electrical and thermal phenomenon. This paper proposes to develop a numerical model of a Joule heated ceramic melter and validating the results so obtained with experimental data. The numerical model is used to analyze the effect of center bottom electrode on heating and homogenization of glass-HLLW mixture. Moreover this model is used to obtain current density and temperature profiles during the operation of melter. The numerical model developed will be used to optimize the performance of melter to improve the treatment and conditioning of HLLW.