Patents Represented by Attorney John A. Horan
  • Patent number: 3995136
    Abstract: Density perturbations are induced in a heated plasma by means of a pair of oppositely directed, polarized laser beams of the same frequency. The wavelength of the density perturbations is equal to one half the wavelength of the laser beams. A third laser beam is linearly polarized and directed at the perturbed plasma along a line that is perpendicular to the direction of the two opposed beams. The electric field of the third beam is oriented to lie in the plane containing the three beams. The frequency of the third beam is chosen to cause it to interact resonantly with the plasma density perturbations, thereby efficiently coupling the energy of the third beam to the plasma.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 1974
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventors: Arno D. Steiger, Cornelius H. Woods
  • Patent number: 3989480
    Abstract: Carbohydrate waste materials are decomposed to form a gaseous fuel product by contacting them with a transition metal catalyst at elevated temperature substantially in the absence of water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1976
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventors: Herbert R. Appell, Peter Pantages
  • Patent number: 3988123
    Abstract: A process and apparatus for converting coal and other carbonaceous solids to an intermediate heating value fuel gas or to a synthesis gas. A stream of entrained pulverized coal is fed into the combustion stage of a three-stage gasifier along with a mixture of oxygen and steam at selected pressure and temperature. The products of the combustion stage pass into the second or quench stage where they are partially cooled and further reacted with water and/or steam. Ash is solidified into small particles and the formation of soot is suppressed by water/steam injections in the quench stage. The design of the quench stage prevents slag from solidifying on the walls. The products from the quench stage pass directly into a heat recovery stage where the products pass through the tube, or tubes, of a single-pass, shell and tube heat exchanger and steam is generated on the shell side and utilized for steam feed requirements of the process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 1975
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventor: Ralph L. Coates
  • Patent number: 3987815
    Abstract: A flow control system includes two bubbler tubes installed at different levels within a tank containing such as radioactive liquid. As the tank is depleted, a differential pressure transmitter monitors pressure differences imparted by the two bubbler tubes at a remote, shielded location during uniform time intervals. At the end of each uniform interval, balance pots containing a dense liquid are valved together to equalize the pressures. The resulting sawtooth-shaped signal generated by the differential pressure transmitter is compared with a second sawtooth signal representing the desired flow rate during each time interval. Variations in the two signals are employed by a control instrument to regulate flow rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 1975
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventor: Melvin A. Georgeson
  • Patent number: 3987423
    Abstract: This invention relates to an improved smoke-detection system of the ionization-chamber type. In the preferred embodiment, the system utilizes a conventional detector head comprising a measuring ionization chamber, a reference ionization chamber, and a normally non-conductive gas triode for discharging when a threshold concentration of airborne particulates is present in the measuring chamber. The improved system is designed to reduce false alarms caused by fluctuations in ambient temperature. Means are provided for periodically firing the gas discharge triode and each time recording the triggering voltage required. A computer compares each triggering voltage with its predecessor. The computer is programmed to energize an alarm if the difference between the two compared voltages is a relatively large value indicative of particulates in the measuring chamber and to disregard smaller differences typically resulting from changes in ambient temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1975
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventor: Robert F. Roe
  • Patent number: 3987145
    Abstract: Ferric ions are added into the aqueous feed of a plutonium scrap recovery process that employs a tributyl phosphate extractant. Radiolytic degradation products of tributyl phosphate such as dibutyl phosphate form a solid precipitate with iron and are removed from the extraction stages via the waste stream. Consequently, the solvent extraction characteristics are improved, particularly in respect to minimizing the formation of nonstrippable plutonium complexes in the stripping stages. The method is expected to be also applicable to the partitioning of plutonium and uranium in a scrap recovery process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 1975
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventors: Lester E. Bruns, Earl C. Martin
  • Patent number: 3986490
    Abstract: A device is provided for reducing convective heat loss in a cylindrical radiant energy collector. It includes a curved reflective wall in the shape of the arc of a circle positioned on the opposite side of the exit aperture from the reflective side walls of the collector. Radiant energy exiting the exit aperture is directed by the curved wall onto an energy absorber such that the portion of the absorber upon which the energy is directed faces downward to reduce convective heat loss from the absorber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 1975
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventors: Bei Tse Chao, Ari Rabl
  • Patent number: 3987146
    Abstract: A process for the simultaneous removal of sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides from power plant stack gases comprising contacting the stack gases with a supported iron oxide catalyst/absorbent in the presence of sufficient reducing agent selected from the group consisting of carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and mixtures thereof, to provide a net reducing atmosphere in the SO.sub.x /NO.sub.x removal zone. The sulfur oxides are removed by absorption substantially as iron sulfide, and nitrogen oxides are removed by catalytic reduction to nitrogen and ammonia. The spent iron oxide catalyst/absorbent is regenerated by oxidation and is recycled to the contacting zone. Sulfur dioxide is also produced during regeneration and can be utilized in the production of sulfuric acid and/or sulfur.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 1975
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventors: David T. Clay, Scott Lynn
  • Patent number: 3987302
    Abstract: This invention relates to a method for the sensitive and selective analysis of an atomic or molecular component of a gas. According to this method, the desired neutral component is ionized by one or more resonance photon absorptions, and the resultant ions are measured in a sensitive counter. Numerous energy pathways are described for accomplishing the ionization including the use of one or two tunable pulsed dye lasers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1975
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventors: George S. Hurst, Marvin G. Payne, Edward B. Wagner
  • Patent number: 3985551
    Abstract: Carbon contamination is removed from uranium and uranium alloys by heating in inert atmosphere to 700.degree.-1900.degree.C in effective contact with yttrium to cause carbon in the uranium to react with the yttrium. The yttrium is either in direct contact with the contaminated uranium or in indirect contact by means of an intermediate transport medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1976
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventors: George L. Powell, Cressie E. Holcombe, Jr.
  • Patent number: 3964967
    Abstract: An apparatus for introducing a tag (i.e., identifying) gas into a tubular nuclear fuel element. A sealed capsule containing the tag gas is placed in the plenum in the fuel tube between the fuel and the end cap. A ferromagnetic punch having a penetrating point is slidably mounted in the plenum. By external electro-magnets, the punch may be caused to penetrate a thin rupturable end wall of the capsule and release the tag gas into the fuel element. Preferably the punch is slidably mounted within the capsule, which is in turn loaded as a sealed unit into the fuel element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1975
    Date of Patent: June 22, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventor: Ira V. Nelson
  • Patent number: 3959172
    Abstract: Radionuclides are immobilized in virtually an insoluble form by reacting at a temperature of at least 90.degree.C as an aqueous alkaline mixture having a solution pH of at least 10, a source of silicon, the radionuclide waste and a metal cation, the molar ratio of silicon to said metal cation being on the order of unity to produce a gel from which complex metalosilicates crystallize to entrap the radionuclides within the resultant condensed crystal lattice. The product is a silicious stone-like material which is virtually insoluble and non-leachable in alkaline or neutral environment. One embodiment provides for the formation of the complex metalo-silicates, such as synthetic pollucite, by gel formation with subsequent calcination to the solid product; another embodiment utilizes a hydrothermal process, either above ground or deep within basalt caverns, at greater than atmospheric pressures and a temperature between 90.degree. - 500.degree.C to form complex metalo-silicates, such as strontium aluminosilicate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 1973
    Date of Patent: May 25, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventors: Lloyd E. Brownell, Raymond E. Isaacson
  • Patent number: 3957676
    Abstract: A chemical digestion for treatment of low level combustible nuclear solid waste material is provided and comprises reacting the solid waste material with concentrated sulfuric acid at a temperature within the range of 230.degree.-300.degree.C and simultaneously and/or thereafter contacting the reacting mixture with concentrated nitric acid or nitrogen dioxide. In a special embodiment spent ion exchange resins are converted by this chemical digestion to noncombustible gases and a low volume noncombustible residue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1972
    Date of Patent: May 18, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventors: Carl R. Cooley, Ronald E. Lerch
  • Patent number: 3957575
    Abstract: In a light water reactor system using the thorium-232 -- uranium-233 fuel system in a seed-blanket modular core configuration having the modules arranged in a symmetrical array surrounded by a reflector blanket region, the seed regions are disposed for a longitudinal movement between the fixed or stationary blanket region which surrounds each seed region. Control of the reactor is obtained by moving the inner seed region thus changing the geometry of the reactor, and thereby changing the leakage of neutrons from the relatively small seed region into the blanket region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 1974
    Date of Patent: May 18, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventors: William L. Fauth, Jr., Daniel S. Jones, George J. Kolsun, John G. Erbes, John J. Brennan, James A. Weissburg, John E. Sharbaugh
  • Patent number: 3956063
    Abstract: The main heat transport system for a liquid-metal-cooled nuclear reactor is constructed with elevated piping and guard vessels or pipes around all components of the system below the elevation of the elevated piping so the head developed by the pumps at emergency motor speed will be unsufficient to lift the liquid-metal-coolant over the top of the guard tanks or pipes or out of the elevated piping in the event of a loss-of-coolant accident. In addition, inlet downcomers to the reactor vessel are contained within guard standpipes having a clearance volume as small as practicable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 1973
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventors: Harry G. Johnson, Ronald N. Madsen
  • Patent number: 3953617
    Abstract: A method of producing a fuel particle is disclosed, which comprises forming hollow spheroids which have a mass number greater than 50, immersing said spheroids while under the presence of pressure and heat in a gaseous atmosphere containing an isotope, such as deuterium and tritium, so as to diffuse the gas into the spheroid and thereafter cooling said spheroids up to about 77.degree. Kelvin to about 4.degree. Kelvin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 1974
    Date of Patent: April 27, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research & Development Administration
    Inventors: Warren H. Smith, William L. Taylor, Harold L. Turner
  • Patent number: 3950216
    Abstract: A falling film evaporator including a vertically oriented pipe heated exteriorly by a steam jacket and interiorly by a finned steam tube, all heating surfaces of the pipe and steam tube being formed of a material wet by water such as stainless steel, and packing within the pipe consisting of Raschig rings formed of a material that is not wet by water such as polyvinylidene fluoride.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 1974
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventor: Lester E. Bruns
  • Patent number: 3948735
    Abstract: In this invention a first solution obtained from such as a plutonium/thorium purification process or the like, containing plutonium (Pu) and/or thorium (Th) in such as a low nitric acid (HNO.sub.3) concentration may have the Pu and/or Th separated and concentrated by passing an electrical current from a first solution having disposed therein an anode to a second solution having disposed therein a cathode and separated from the first solution by a cation permeable membrane, the Pu or Th cation permeating the cation membrane and forming an anionic complex within the second solution, and electrical current passage affecting the complex formed to permeate an anion membrane separating the second solution from an adjoining third solution containing disposed therein an anode, thereby effecting separation and concentration of the Pu and/or Th in the third solution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1973
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventors: John A. Hayden, Carl E. Plock
  • Patent number: 3943204
    Abstract: A method for improving the extraction properties of a tributyl phosphate extractant used for reprocessing irradiated nuclear reactor fuel (Purex Process) containing degradation products of tributyl phosphate by contacting the extractant with diazomethane in a suitable solvent whereby the degradation products are esterified to triester phosphates which have extraction properties similar to those of tributyl phosphate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 1974
    Date of Patent: March 9, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration
    Inventors: Earl C. Martin, Lester E. Bruns
  • Patent number: 3936633
    Abstract: A phosphor composition contains a lanthanide activator element within a host matrix having a transition element as a major component. The host matrix is composed of certain rare earth phosphates or vanadates such as YPO.sub.4 with a portion of the rare earth replaced with one or more of the transition elements. On X-ray or other electromagnetic excitation, trace lanthanide impurities or additives within the phosphor are spectrometrically determined from their characteristic luminescence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1975
    Date of Patent: February 3, 1976
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Energy Research & Development Administration
    Inventors: Edward L. De Kalb, Velmer A. Fassel