Patents Represented by Attorney Ivor J. James, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4427623
    Abstract: In a nucler reactor containment structure, a fuel transfer arrangement including a bridge, trolley, and grapple, each of the latter having a position sensor mounted thereon, and control means for determining the position of bridge, trolley, and grapple in response to signals from said position sensors, whereby fuel assemblies may be transferred between locations in the containment structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 1981
    Date of Patent: January 24, 1984
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Norman C. Howard, Kenneth R. Miller, Matthew C. Lussier
  • Patent number: 4420455
    Abstract: An amphibious end plug gauging device and method for determining the axial location of nuclear fuel element end plugs within or without the upper tie plate of a fuel bundle. The gauging device is maneuvered toward an underwater fuel bundle in a reactor service pool and its tip inserted in a preselected tie plate shank hole to engage the end of a fuel element in the bundle. The position of the fuel element relative the upper surface of the tie plate is registered on a dial indicator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 1981
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1983
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Frank D. Qurnell, Nordahl H. Skarshaug
  • Patent number: 4420458
    Abstract: In a nuclear fuel assembly having a coolant conducting or water tube which also retains the spacers in axial position, the fuel rods experience greater axial growth with exposure than the water tube creating a risk that the water tube might become disengaged from the supporting tie plates. An arrangement for preventing such disengagement is described including lengthened end plug shanks for the water tube, a protective boss surrounding the lower end plug shank to protect it from flow induced vibration, a conical seat for the lower end plug and an arrangement for limiting upward movement of the water tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1981
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1983
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Thomas G. Dunlap, William G. Jameson, Jr., Carl R. Mefford, Harold L. Nelson, James E. Cearley
  • Patent number: 4406410
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for the introduction of second cohesive powders into an improved fluidized bed blender containing UO.sub.2 powder, and for blending such second cohesive powders with the UO.sub.2 powder in the fluidized bed blender. The apparatus comprises an eductor, an improved pressurized vortec mill, a pneumatic conveying system that operates in turbulent flow, and an improved fluidized bed blender. The method and apparatus provide for injection and uniform dispersion of a second cohesive powdered ingredient or ingredients having hydrophobic, hydrophilic or hygroscopic properties in the fluid bed blender adjacent the bottom of the fluidized bed therein during the blending operation, thereby minimizing entrainment of the second powder mixture and providing a homogeneous blend of powders.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 1982
    Date of Patent: September 27, 1983
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Richard I. Larson, Henry C. Brassfield, John T. Adomitis
  • Patent number: 4406012
    Abstract: An improved nuclear fuel element is disclosed for use in the core of nuclear reactors. The improved nuclear fuel element has a composite cladding of an outer portion forming a substrate having on the inside surface a metal layer selected from the group consisting of copper, nickel, iron and alloys of the foregoing with a gap between the composite cladding and the core of nuclear fuel. The nuclear fuel element comprises a container of the elongated composite cladding, a central core of a body of nuclear fuel material disposed in and partially filling the container and forming an internal cavity in the container, an enclosure integrally secured and sealed at each end of said container and a nuclear fuel material retaining means positioned in the cavity. The metal layer of the composite cladding prevents perforations or failures in the cladding substrate from stress corrosion cracking or from fuel pellet-cladding interaction or both.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 1981
    Date of Patent: September 20, 1983
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Gerald M. Gordon, Robert L. Cowan, II, John H. Davies
  • Patent number: 4402918
    Abstract: A process for treating water containing chemicals comprising ammonium nitrate, fluorides, hydrogen peroxide and uranium compounds, wherein valuable and/or hazardous components of the chemicals-containing water are separated therefrom and concentrated for recovery. The process includes an ion exchange operation in addition to manipulations of chemical components and pH conditions of the water by means of the application of reagents and adsorbents.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1980
    Date of Patent: September 6, 1983
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Henry H. Elliott
  • Patent number: 4401608
    Abstract: The grain size of particulate uranium oxides is increased and adjusted by the application thereto of hydrogen peroxide. The procedure is useful in the manufacture of nuclear reactor fuel from powdered fissionable materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1981
    Date of Patent: August 30, 1983
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Peter C. Smith
  • Patent number: 4398589
    Abstract: Pumping and measuring apparatus for fluid metals comprising an electromagnetic pump which operates in two modes; first, an idling mode in which the pump operates at one rate of flow and continually circulates fluid metal out of a reservoir, through an opening in a conduit and back to the reservoir; second, a delivery mode in which the pump operates at a higher rate of flow and circulates fluid as in the idling mode, and further raises the fluid metal to a higher opening in the conduit for delivery therethrough. A timing control for selectively adjusting the durations of each mode as well as the time intervals between modes allows high accuracy of measurements of quantities of fluid metal delivered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 1981
    Date of Patent: August 16, 1983
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Donald Eldred
  • Patent number: 4394345
    Abstract: An ultrasonic transducer apparatus and method for examining nuclear reactor jet pump beams for cracking. Examination is conducted in situ. An operator lowers a carriage portion of the apparatus into the reactor vessel with a pole. Ultrasonic signals are transmitted through suitable wiring from an external source to the transducer apparatus, which may employ a pitch-catch or pulse-echo mode of ultrasonic examination to test the beams. The carriage holds oppositely disposed pairs of ultrasonic transducers and positions them suitably near the beam to be examined in a proper orientation thereto. The mode of examination is selected by a switching mechanism. The apparatus includes a signal generator, receiver, and visual display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1980
    Date of Patent: July 19, 1983
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: John G. De Briere, Mary M. Lemanowicz, David L. Richardson, Willem Vanderputten
  • Patent number: 4390497
    Abstract: Cladding for nuclear fuel elements which is formed with a zirconium metal barrier layer bonded to the inside surface of a zirconium alloy tube and which is sized by a cold working tube reduction process and is heat treated after final reduction at a temperature and for a time period which allows substantially complete recrystallization of the zirconium metal barrier layer and provides a fine-grained microstructure therein and which stress-relieves but does not fully recrystallize the zirconium alloy tube. The crystallographic structure of the zirconium metal barrier layer may be improved by compressive deformation such as shot-peening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 1981
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1983
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Herman S. Rosenbaum, John H. Davies
  • Patent number: 4383394
    Abstract: A remotely operable device for cutting sample pieces from the walls of an irradiated component while the component is submerged in a pool of water to shield the operator from radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1980
    Date of Patent: May 17, 1983
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Frank D. Qurnell, Arthur V. Peloquin
  • Patent number: 4383953
    Abstract: A process for imparting increased strength and physical durability in green bodies or pellets formed of particulate oxides of uranium, plutonium and the like in the production of pelletized fissionable nuclear fuel. The green or unfired pellets comprise a fugitive binder dispersed through the particulate oxide fuel material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 1981
    Date of Patent: May 17, 1983
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Richard I. Larson, Henry C. Brassfield
  • Patent number: 4375104
    Abstract: A device for sealing a gateway between interconnectable pools in a nuclear facility comprising a frame supporting a liquid impermeable sheet positioned in a U-shaped gateway between the pools. An inflatable tube carried in a channel in the periphery of the frame and adjoining the gateway provides a seal therebetween when inflated. A restraining arrangement on the bottom edge of the frame is releasably engagable with an adjacent portion of the gateway to restrict the movement of the frame in the U-shaped gateway upon inflation of the tube, thereby enhancing the seal. The impermeable sheet is formed of an elastomer and thus is conformable to a liquid permeable supportive wall upon application of liquid pressure to the side of the sheet opposite the wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 1979
    Date of Patent: February 22, 1983
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: James A. Starr, Leopold A. Steinert
  • Patent number: 4373375
    Abstract: A hydrogen sensing device for determining the concentration of hydrogen in a fluid atmosphere consists of a sealed chamber formed with a window which selectively allows diffusion of hydrogen into the chamber. Alpha particles from a source contained in the chamber ionize the hydrogen and a pair of polarized electrodes collect the resulting electrons to provide a current which is a function of the hydrogen concentration in the chamber. A second window permeable to helium allows escape of the helium from the chamber that is formed by the combination of electrons with alpha particles therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1980
    Date of Patent: February 15, 1983
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: James H. Terhune, John P. Sturtz, John P. Neissel
  • Patent number: 4374024
    Abstract: An underwater suction device for collecting irradiated materials in a pool of water. The device includes injection and suction tubes and a removable, disposable filter for capturing irradiated materials. Pressurized water is injected into the suction tube through a jet pump nozzle to establish a suction flow through the tube. The suction device is manually positionable by an operator standing at a dry location and extending the device underwater by maneuvering a positioning pole. The pole is pivotally connected to the injection or suction tube by a variably positioning latching mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 1981
    Date of Patent: February 15, 1983
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Arthur V. Peloquin, Frank D. Qurnell
  • Patent number: 4357298
    Abstract: Advantage is taken of the non-uniform axial neutron flux density distribution in a nuclear reactor core by using fuel rod spacers of low neutron absorption in high neutron flux density regions and fuel rod spacers of low coolant flow resistance in the lower neutron flux density regions of the core, this spacer combination also providing higher fuel bundle thermal limits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 1980
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1982
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Richard A. Wolters, Jr., Tommy C. Lee, Bruce Matzner
  • Patent number: 4347622
    Abstract: Typical nuclear fuel material contains tramp ferromagnetic particles of random size and distribution. Also, selected amounts of paramagnetic or ferromagnetic material can be added at random or at known positions in the fuel material. The fuel material in its nonmagnetic container can be scanned by magnetic susceptibility change detecting apparatus to provide a unique signal waveform of the container of fuel material as a signature thereof. At subsequent times in its life, the container similarly can be scanned to provide subsequent signatures. Comparison of the signatures reveals any alteration or tampering with the fuel material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 1980
    Date of Patent: August 31, 1982
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Henry Bernatowicz, Frederick C. Schoenig, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4343416
    Abstract: A critically safe container for the storage and rapid discharge of enriched nuclear fuel material in powder form is disclosed. The container has a hollow, slab-shaped container body that has one critically safe dimension. A powder inlet is provided on one side wall of the body adjacent to a corner thereof and a powder discharge port is provided at another corner of the body approximately diagonal the powder inlet. Gas plenum for moving the powder during discharge are located along the side walls of the container adjacent the discharge port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 1979
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1982
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Benjamin F. Etheredge, Richard I. Larson
  • Patent number: 4341124
    Abstract: An automatic sampling apparatus for particles suspended in liquid, which maintains particles in suspension by periodically directing and redirecting the liquid first down one branch of a manifold and then down another, and which selectively directs the liquid toward one or more of a plurality of filters, engaging in both operations under the direction of a programmable process controller. Liquid flow rate through the filters is metered, providing information regarding flow rate and volume to the process controller. A minimum of manual handling is required and user exposure to the sampling environment, which may be radioactive, is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 1980
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1982
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Douglas N. Rodgers, Manfred Siegler, David Y. H. Shen
  • Patent number: 4323427
    Abstract: Braking of the motion of a fluid-actuated drive is provided by a buffer arrangement which is normally sealed to prevent vaporization of the fluid in a buffer cylinder and which isolates the drive piston rings from braking pressures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 1979
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1982
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Kenneth J. Jamrus