Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm Vytas R. Matas
  • Patent number: 7533715
    Abstract: An improved manipulator system having a remotely actuated tube walker assembly for reciprocally moving the manipulator along a tube bundle for inspection and repair of the tubes of the tube bundle wherein the tube walker has a movable inner section and an outboard section with both sections having groups of hydraulically actuated locking fingers which are selectively engageable with the tubes of the tube bundle so that when the fingers of the outboard section are locked the fingers of the inner section are disengaged and the inner portion can be moved axially to an aligned position with new tube locations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2009
    Assignee: Areva NP Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt David Klahn, George Vick Owen
  • Patent number: 7464670
    Abstract: A system for delivering tooling around the annulus of a steam generator without damaging any part of the steam generator is provided where the tooling delivery device travels between the tube bundle and the vessel shell and delivers tooling for cleaning, inspection, retrieval and repair. The device has various types of locomotion system including treads, rollers, magnets and vacuum. The cleaning device has multiple high pressure nozzles that rotate 180 degrees about a horizontal axis and 360 degrees about a vertical axis enabling the device to sweep multiple lanes of tubes simultaneously and also clean the front and back of the annulus floor and tube sheet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2008
    Assignee: Framatome ANP, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric Leon Hermamdez, George Vick Owen, Kert David Klahn
  • Patent number: 7346141
    Abstract: A device and technique for placing and moving a ferromagnetic element in an annulus between coaxially arranged cylindrical tubes. The device includes an electromagnetic ram moved along the interior of a cylindrical tube. The movable ferromagnetic element is magnetically coupled to the electromagnetic ram and moved by magnetic force to a location in the annulus defined by the tubes and magnetically coupled to the electromagnetic ram for movement in and removal from the annulus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2008
    Assignee: Areva NP Inc.
    Inventors: Ron Payne, Christopher Plucker
  • Patent number: 7302917
    Abstract: A Nuclear Steam Supply Stem (NSSS) Mode 5 Steam Generator Chemical Cleaning system is disclosed which applies chemical cleaning solvent (formulated to remove SG deposits) to the secondary side of the SG using primary side supplied heat during NSS Mode 5 shutdown to maintain the desired application temperature. Mixing is achieved via nitrogen sparging.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2007
    Assignee: Framatome Anp, Inc.
    Inventors: John F. Remark, Sarah E. Evans
  • Patent number: 7285747
    Abstract: A speedy method of welding in a tight space using a single pass is provided using a technique which involves the use of a particularly shaped, flux treated consumable insert to provide deep weld penetration by a GTAW machine which is compact and fits the narrow spaces found in applications such as feeder tube repair since it does not require an insert wire flux feed system and is thus capable of negotiating narrow spaces found in feeder tubes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2007
    Assignee: Atreva NP Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald J. Payne, Stephen M. Lavesque
  • Patent number: 7162981
    Abstract: A system is provided for delivering tooling, suction pickup, and alignment platforms to a stay dome region of a stem generator or the tube-free lane regions adjacent to the stay dome region and includes a suction device positioned in the stay dome region of a steam generator capable of rotating 360° about a vertical axis which also acts as a platform for mounting inter-bundle tooling and alignment devices used to position the suction device radially at any given tube location around the stay dome region to align it with an annulus based spray nozzle tube cleaning system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2007
    Assignee: Framatome Anp, Inc.
    Inventor: Eric Leon Hernandez
  • Patent number: 7046032
    Abstract: The present invention provides a motor signature measuring system comprising three current transformers which are placed around the power cables leading to the high voltage motor, an E-Plug module connected to the current transformers and located in a motor control case to reduce the motor voltage from 600V RMS to 5V RMS, jack connectors for connecting the 5V output of the module to a connector mounted through the door of the motor control enclosure, and a cable connector for connecting the door connector to a monitoring system conducting the motor signature testing operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2006
    Assignee: Framatome Anp, Inc.
    Inventors: Vedat T. Ataman, Donald V. Ferree, Lew C. McKeague
  • Patent number: 6895067
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is disclosed for smoothly inserting a fuel rod loader through the skeleton of a fuel cell and then for pulling an attached fuel rod into the fuel rod skeleton while keeping the fuel rod under constant tension and preventing the bowing of the fuel rod. The pulling mechanism comprises a smooth collet with a smooth bullet end cap for guiding the puller mechanism into and through the skeleton where the bullet end cap is removed and the fuel rod is attached with a unique ball and slide mechanism actuated by a long puller rod that grabs the end of the fuel rod by a forward motion of the puller rod and is easily removed from the fuel rod by reversing this motion once the fuel rod is in place.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2005
    Assignee: Framatome Anp, Inc.
    Inventors: George Borum, Michael Ryan
  • Patent number: 6856662
    Abstract: A combined laser and infra red sensing camera is located beneath the reactor head in the vicinity of the closure head tube welds by manipulating known robotic device handling the laser which is used to heat a line along the surface thereby generating a thermal wave that propagates over the one to two square inch test area where the increased thermal resistance of cracks and anomalies makes the surface temperature profile gradient greater at a crack or anomaly. An IR camera captures the test area image of interest as the thermal wave propagates across the target inspection area and the image is processed and enhanced to show cracks and other anomalies as a sharp drop in the thermal scan at the point of the crack using known Photo Thermal NDE technology to convert the scan into a pictorial representation of the scanned surface clearly showing any cracks therein. This process is repeated sequentially until the entire circumference of the weld is scanned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2005
    Assignee: Framatome ANP, Inc.
    Inventors: Samuel W. Glass, Elton Crisman
  • Patent number: 6772638
    Abstract: A method for sizing cracks is disclosed using a combination of depth crack sizing methods to improve crack sizing accuracy for thin walled tubing and tight crack surface openings less than 0.001 inches for cracks of any depth. The tube or plate wall can consist of a single material or multiple metallic electrodeposited or otherwise intimately bonded layers of materials with different magnetic properties and the sizing method comprises known depth sizing methods such as shear wave, time of flight and the selective use of two unique depth sizing methods designated as Mode Converted Signal (MCS) and Full Skip Normalization (FSN) which provide correction factors for the known sizing methods.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Assignee: Framatome Anp, Inc.
    Inventors: Russell M. Matney, Mihai G. Pop, Joseph R. Wyatt, III
  • Patent number: 6732425
    Abstract: An apparatus is disclosed for expanding the ends of a sleeve that has previously been installed into a defective section of inaccessibly located soft metal heat exchanger tubing. The sleeve ends are expanded using an apparatus of a plastic bladder connected to a series of connectable sections of sufficient length to reach the ends of the installed sleeve. The expansion is performed by locating the plastic bladder inside the sleeve at one end and hydraulically compressing the plastic bladder and forcing it to expand in diameter as a function of Poisson's ratio to thus expand the sleeve end into the tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Assignee: Framatome ANP, Inc.
    Inventor: Bruce W. Schafer
  • Patent number: 6682287
    Abstract: The present invention is drawn to an incremental link robot mast for vacuuming nuclear waste from a storage silo. The mast is made of incrementally linked segments that are clamshell in construction to enclose and shield the working cables of the vacuuming robot. Each segment is linked together as needed by a transverse hinge pin and two hydraulic connecting pins. The clamshell is hinged and latched together by an array of screws. The robot comprises a linked clamshell mast and a master-slave robot arm on the end of the mast which includes tools for viewing and breaking up the waste and vacuuming same to a removal area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2004
    Assignee: Framatome ANP, Inc.
    Inventors: Samuel W. Glass, Frank C. Klahn, Dennis W. Saville
  • Patent number: 6678344
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for optimizing the production of Pu-238 in a nuclear reactor during normal reactor operation is disclosed wherein the production of Pu-238 is confined to one or more selectively replaced fuel cells with target cells located in the inside of the active volume of the reactor core to maximize the neutron flux for target irradiation. The target cells are modified existing nuclear fuel assembly cells having some fuel rods replaced with target rods of Np-237 forming a cluster array and having rings of water filled rods surrounding the target cluster to produce the desired optimal Pu-238 production.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2004
    Assignee: Framatome ANP, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick O'Leary, Claude W. Mays
  • Patent number: 6637259
    Abstract: A portable grain moisture measurement device automatically initiates testing at a predetermined grain compression and is calibrated to commercial moisture testers found in various commercial grain elevators so the user can select the commercial tester he wants to match moisture measurements with. The portable meter user can thus set the tester to match the commercial tester which will be testing his grain and can also perform calibration offset adjustments to further conform measurements between his meter and the particular commercial tester actually used, relative to the default moisture curves for each commercial tester, and each type of grain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2003
    Assignee: Worens Group Inc.
    Inventors: Trent A. McElhaney, James T. Falbo, John W. Dubay
  • Patent number: 6639961
    Abstract: An automated machine for loading nuclear reactor fuel, BP, or APSR pellets from small trays having rows of pellets into reactor rods of long length wherein the pellets are individually counted and loaded into rows of a loading tray according to the desired number of pellets per row and total number of pellets per tray with the loading tray controls being moved to a que tray where they may be weighted and there from to an unloading tray for sequential row loading into the reactor rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2003
    Assignee: Framatome Cogema Fuel Co.
    Inventors: William E. Bailey, Dimick D. Heller, Steven D. Overby
  • Patent number: 6607670
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is disclosed for very rapidly cleaning very small, colloidal particles from nuclear reactor water subjected to a high-energy waterjet cutting of metal using metal shot particles for cuffing such as garnet particles with the cutting causing fracturing of the metal shot as well as the cut metal fines into a negatively charged colloidal suspension having a large area. This colloidal suspension causes water turbidity and makes known filtration techniques impractical for rapid removal of such suspensions for recycling to the reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2003
    Assignee: Framatome Anp. Inc.
    Inventors: Philip N. Baldwin, Raymond E. Beatty, James E. Day, Gary J. Guy
  • Patent number: 6570395
    Abstract: A portable grain moisture measurement device has an automatic grain moisture measurement actuation system whenever the compaction of the grain within a test cell of the device is at a preset value and upon such automatic actuation a visual display is activated to indicate that a moisture measurement is being taken as well as the sounding of an audible alarm indicating this measurement to warn the user that further compaction of the grain is unnecessary.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Worens Group Inc.
    Inventors: James T. Falbo, John W. Dubay, Trent A. McElhaney
  • Patent number: 6502452
    Abstract: A tube testing system consists of two subassemblies, the probe and the applicator. The probe uses a stack of Belleville style washers that when compressed allow the locking fingers to relax and the probe to be inserted into the tube. Once the probe is placed in the correct location using the applicator, the Belleville style washers are allowed to expand, locking in the fingers and engaging the urethane seals. As the water fills the tube, the air is pushed through a bleed hole in the mandrel of the probe. The bleed hole leads to a chamber in the top of the probe that contains a plastic ball. The ball floats on water and as the chamber fills, the ball seals off the leak path and the tube can then be pressurized and the test performed. Once the test is complete, the water is drained and using the applicator, the probe is removed from the tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2003
    Assignee: Framatome ANP, Inc.
    Inventors: Chad Evans Gill, Mark Alan Klahn
  • Patent number: 6499198
    Abstract: An integral spring clip and computer slot cover is disclosed for mounting over an expansion slot of a PC. The cover has an integrally formed spring clip assembly for capturing a ledge of the PC case over an expansion slot therein at one end and means formed at an opposite end of said cover assembly for retaining that end of said cover assembly to the computer case to allow either a slot cover to be mounted over the slot without the use of screws or to mount an expansion card therein by mounting the card through an opening formed in the cover assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2002
    Assignees: Trans Technology Engineered Componenets, LLC, National City Bank
    Inventor: Robert T. Eckenrode
  • Patent number: D634546
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2011
    Inventor: Daniel N Horwitz