Patents Assigned to British Nuclear Fuels Limited
  • Patent number: 5955033
    Abstract: A rotary kiln in which reaction is to occur between counterflowing reactants and an injector for a reactant extends into a reaction zone in the kiln. The injector is provided with means for adjusting the temperature of the injected reactant to a temperature in the desired range for that zone. Further means are provided for maintaining a temperature in the desired range throughout the zone. The arrangement be used in the production of uranium oxides from uranium hexafluoride.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1999
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventor: Michael Richard Hayes
  • Patent number: 4622203
    Abstract: A container, termed a multi-element bottle, to receive irradiated nuclear fuel is housed within a flask for transport and both the bottle and flask contain water. Ullage space within the fuel chamber in the bottle and flask allow for thermal expansion under normal conditions. Additional ullage is provided as a safety measure in accident conditions involving fire and resulting rise in temperature with consequent increase in pressure within the bottle and the flask. The additional ullage space is provided by a closed chamber (10) at one end of the bottle, the chamber (10) being closed by a wall (11) which can collapse or rupture when the pressure exterior thereof exceeds a predetermined value. The normal ullage space within the fuel chamber (7) in the bottle can be increased by providing a further chamber (20) within the bottle between the fuel chamber (7) and the closed end chamber (10) having the collapsible wall with means (25) providing communication between the fuel chamber and the further chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 1982
    Date of Patent: November 11, 1986
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventor: Glenn Ellcock
  • Patent number: 4584930
    Abstract: A ventilation system for a glove box (1) comprising first (4,5) and second (10,14) extract flow lines connected in parallel between a common outlet (15) from the box and a suction pump (6). Each extract line includes a vortex amplifier (3,9) and a filter (11,12). The vortex amplifiers are chosen such that under normal operating conditions the required depression within the box is maintained by flow along the first of the extract lines and a reverse flow from the vortex amplifier in the second extract line passes through the filter in that line and exits through the first extract line without passing into the glove box. The second extract line functions as an emergency extract capability in the event of a breach of the glove box and the reverse flow keeps the filter in the line in a clean and usable condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1983
    Date of Patent: April 29, 1986
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventor: Paul A. Connolly
  • Patent number: 4576779
    Abstract: A closure in the form of a wedge-shaped member (3) to close the end of a container, such as a transport flask. The wedge-shaped member (3) carries a seal plate (7) which is urged by spring means (9) to project beyond the smaller end of the wedge-shaped member when the latter is in a position to open the end of the container. On advancing the wedge-shaped member (3) to close the end of the container the projecting end of the plate (7) first abuts against a stop (18) and continued advance of the wedge-shaped member relative to the seal plate (7) causes displacement of the seal plate towards the interior of the container to effect a seal at the end of the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1983
    Date of Patent: March 18, 1986
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventors: Donald S. McWilliam, David Minshall
  • Patent number: 4552624
    Abstract: A stable electrochemical device for monitoring a component in ambient atmosphere or a gas stream is of the kind which employs a deliquescent electrolyte, is suitable for monitoring and/or analysing hydrogen fluoride, employs a bromide/bromate electrolyte, and employs a cathode which has a large contact area with the electrolyte/atmosphere or gas stream when compared with the anode. The anode can be isolated from direct contact with hydrogen fluoride or with the atmosphere/gas stream containing the former. Control instrumentation and a power pack are preferably compact and portable and can be separate from though connected to the probe head of the device so that the device can be manually employed to monitor any plant leakage of hydrogen fluoride.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1983
    Date of Patent: November 12, 1985
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventor: Andrew S. Clarkson
  • Patent number: 4545764
    Abstract: A rotary kiln assembly comprising an inlet arrangement, a rotary kiln and an outlet arrangement. A seal arrangement is provided between the inlet arrangement and the rotary kiln and a seal arrangement is provided between the rotary kiln and the outlet arrangement. It is a problem with rotary kiln assemblies to remove the seals without relative movement of the rotary kiln or the inlet or outlet arrangements. At least one of the seal arrangements is made retractable in telescopic manner and the kiln assembly includes detachable spacing means such that the retractable seal arrangement can be removed from the kiln assembly as a unit without fouling or movement of the kiln or the inlet or outlet arrangements and hence without disturbing their alignment. The spacer means may be detachable only after retraction of the sealing arrangement and may be integral with a part of the sealing arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 1983
    Date of Patent: October 8, 1985
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventors: George M. Gillies, Leslie P. Kennett, Clive A. Mathews
  • Patent number: 4540488
    Abstract: The lower end of an ion exchange column is provided with a rotatable valve member which, in a first position, supports resin material in the column and, in a second position, allows the resin material to drop out of the column. The valve member can include a sintered body which in the first position supports the resin material and permits drainage of reagents introduced into the column. On rotating the valve member into its second position the sintered body can fall out of the valve member to permit the resin material to fall out of the column through the valve member. A replacement sintered body can be dropped down the column on to the valve member and the column can be refilled with resin material for further use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 1984
    Date of Patent: September 10, 1985
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventors: Paul A. Connolly, Barry G. Weston
  • Patent number: 4533319
    Abstract: A problem that can occur with a large rotary kiln assembly is that it can move out of position or seals can become defective, making an escape of materials possible. The present invention provides transducers (10, 15) for detecting movement of the rotary kiln itself or part of a seal assembly secured thereto relative to an inlet/outlet arrangement of the kiln assembly or a part of a seal arrangement secured thereto and also means whereby the condition of the seals can be monitored by following changes in the pressure or flow rate of a purge gas. If the rotary kiln (2) should move out of alignment, then corrective action can be taken. If the seals should leak, then they are changed. A record of kiln movement is provided and if movement is excessive, an alarm (20) is sounded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1983
    Date of Patent: August 6, 1985
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventors: Clive A. Mathews, George M. Gillies
  • Patent number: 4532104
    Abstract: A flask for the transport and storage of irradiated nuclear fuel comprises a hollow cylindrical container having cooling fins surrounded by a jacket of neutron shielding material. The jacket can be formed in two semi-cylindrical portions which are hinged together and held tight about the container. The jacket is spaced radially from the extremities of the cooling fins.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1982
    Date of Patent: July 30, 1985
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventors: Sydney Wearden, John A. Gatley
  • Patent number: 4526045
    Abstract: A sampling system in which carriers (1) containing sample bottles (4) are transported by pneumatic conveyor means (3) between an examination station, for example a laboratory, and a selected sampling station at a plant. On arrival at a sampling station (2) a bottle (4) is moved through a predetermined sequence of movements by a transfer arm (5) to cause the bottle to be removed from its carrier and placed over a sample dispenser (7) to introduce sample into the bottle. The bottle containing sample is then returned to the carrier for return to the examination station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 1983
    Date of Patent: July 2, 1985
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventor: John Reekie
  • Patent number: 4516966
    Abstract: In a gas centrifuge assembly comprising a cascade of individual gas centrifuge machines, malfunctioning of any one of the machines as a result of the presence of gaseous impurity within that machine is inhibited from spreading to other machines in the cascade by flow operated valve arrangements in gas flow lines associated with each machine in the cascade. Each valve arrangement is constructed and arranged to close in response to an abnormal gas flow in the line and out of the machine arising from gaseous impurity within the machine. The valve arrangements may be located in some or all of the feed, product and tails lines of each centrifuge machine in the cascade.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 1982
    Date of Patent: May 14, 1985
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventors: Geoffrey W. Alderton, Peter C. Davidge
  • Patent number: 4514110
    Abstract: A gate assembly for sub-dividing a pond or reservoir into separate compartments comprises a gate (1) vertically slidable in a cooperating frame (2) secured in the floor and side walls of the pond. The frame (2) is of channel section and a sealing member (9) on the gate (1) cooperates with the frame (1) to provide a seal therebetween. The gate (1) is drawn against the frame (2) as it is lowered into position by means of cooperating wedge members (16,17) on the frame and the gate. On draining the compartment (4) at the side of the gate (1) carrying the sealing member (9) the gate is further urged into sealing engagement with the frame (2) by the pressure of the liquid in the compartment (3) at the opposite side of the gate (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1982
    Date of Patent: April 30, 1985
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventor: Stanley Powell
  • Patent number: 4481811
    Abstract: The invention provides ultrasonic apparatus 64 for measuring the amplitude of oscillation of a fluid. The apparatus 64 combines an ultrasonic flowmeter 60, 62, 65 which gives an indication of velocity of the fluid, with an integrating circuit 74. The integration is carried out over successive half-cycles of the oscillation, and may be arranged to give an average value of the amplitude.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 1983
    Date of Patent: November 13, 1984
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventors: William R. Loosemore, Roger D. Watkins, Colin L. Desborough
  • Patent number: 4474518
    Abstract: The slave arm (15) in a sealed containment (12 or 210) is arranged to be replaceable by forward displacement by a new arm (115 or 215). The new arm is preceded by an intermediate sealing body (101 or 201) sealed on the new arm by a flexible bag (103 or 203) which is removable into the sealed containment once the new arm is located in the sealed containment. Preferably the sealed containment (12) is spaced from a shield wall (10) to provide an interspace (13) accessible to a protected operator and the linking part (16) of the manipulator has a demountable coupling (24) in the interspace so that the new arm can be inserted from the interspace.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1982
    Date of Patent: October 2, 1984
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventors: Richard J. Critchley, Samuel R. Oldham
  • Patent number: 4471208
    Abstract: A welding electrode comprises an elongate body with a cavity or cavities at one end thereof. The geometry of the cavity or cavities can range from a single simple slot arranged to extend along a diameter of the electrode tip and in the axial direction to terminate short of the region where the taper of the electrode tip commences, to complex cavities such as multi slots. Electrodes according to the invention serve to mitigate the problem of their becoming coated with metal vaporized from the surface of the weld pool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1982
    Date of Patent: September 11, 1984
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventor: Terence G. Edmonds
  • Patent number: 4451173
    Abstract: A pond for the storage of hazardous materials, such as irradiated nuclear fuel elements, under water. Upper (8) and lower (6) impervious membranes extend without interruption beneath the floor (1) of the pond and the edges of the membranes lead into a trench (9) surrounding the pond. Any leakage through the floor is directed normally by the upper membrane (8) into the trench (9). The lower membrane (6) provides an additional impervious barrier in the event of a leak in the upper membrane (8) and again directs the leakage into the trench thereby avoiding contamination of the ground beneath the pond.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1982
    Date of Patent: May 29, 1984
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventors: Eric Watson, Eric Hunter
  • Patent number: 4446063
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for charging radioactive waste into a disposable steel drum having a plug type lid. The drum is sealed to a waste dispenser and the dispenser closure and lid are withdrawn into the dispenser in back-to-back manner. Before reclosing the dispenser the drum is urged closer to it so that on restoring the dispenser closure to the closed position the lid is pressed into the drum opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1981
    Date of Patent: May 1, 1984
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventors: Richard J. Critchley, Roy J. Swindells
  • Patent number: 4431159
    Abstract: An aluminium valve which has a seat of stainless steel. This seat is provided by friction welding stainless steel onto aluminium and then shaping the composite to size. The stainless steel can be covered with stellite. The valve is closed by abutment of a PTFE bush onto the seats. The seat can comprise a slope so that any contaminatory material tends to be forced off the seat by the bush in use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 1981
    Date of Patent: February 14, 1984
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventor: George A. Stubbs
  • Patent number: 4428836
    Abstract: An hydraulic system for the discharge of a bed of granular material supported on a screen (3), for example a sand filter, comprises an upright cylindrical vessel (1) with a horizontal plate (2) at the lower end of the vessel to support the bed of granular material. The support plate carries screens (3) to allow the passage of water and to block the passage of bed material. The vessel is provided with entry and discharge ports (8 and 10) and a ring of fluidizing jets (13) is located a short distance above the support plate (2). A discharge pipe (11) rises through the bed. The bed of material can be discharged hydraulically from the vessel through the discharge pipe (11) without any mechanical items requiring maintenance within the vessel (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 1982
    Date of Patent: January 31, 1984
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventor: Frank Evans
  • Patent number: 4410279
    Abstract: An apparatus for agitating and transforming settled sludges into slurries which are then capable of being pumped by conventional means. The apparatus comprises a housing immersible in the contents of a tank or chamber and containing separate variable drive means for an impeller and an impeller casing. The impeller casing forms an inlet to the impeller and has a plurality of radially directed outlet nozzles whereby rotation of the impeller effects circulation of the contents of the tank or chamber from the inlet to the outlets and rotation of the casing causes the discharge at the outlets to agitate the contents. The discharge at the outlets breaks up solid sediment at the bottom of the tank or chamber and a continuous recirculation of the contents results in the formation of a slurry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 1982
    Date of Patent: October 18, 1983
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Limited
    Inventors: Michael Howden, Terence L. Griffiths