Patents Assigned to British Nuclear Fuels plc
  • Patent number: 6911135
    Abstract: A method for separating a metal from a composition including the metal involves forming an electrolytic cell in which the anode comprises a composition including the metal. The electrolyte is an ionic liquid. A sufficient potential difference is applied between the anode and the cathode to cause the metal to transfer from the anode to the cathode deposited thereon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2005
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels PLC
    Inventors: Robert Charles Thied, Justine Elizabeth Hatter, Kenneth Richard Seddon, William Robert Pitner, David William Rooney, David Hebditch
  • Patent number: 6888359
    Abstract: The invention is directed towards improved accuracy of investigations into corrosion using the methods and apparatus of the invention. In particular, the invention provides a method of investigating corrosion at a location, the method including measuring the variation in the voltage between two or more electrical contacts at a first time and at one or more other times, the two or more electrical contacts being in contact with the location, passing a current through the location at the time of the voltage measurements, providing a power source external of the location to provide an applied current, using the respective voltage values from the two or more electrical contacts in the investigation of the corrosion, the part of the applied current passing through the location being measured by the use of the Hall effect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2005
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels plc
    Inventor: Brian Hands
  • Patent number: 6870153
    Abstract: An inductively coupled plasma source mass spectrometer is equipped with a multidimensional detector system wherein ions transmitted by the mass spectrometer are detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Plc
    Inventors: Philip Stephen Goodall, Barry Leonard Sharp
  • Patent number: 6861853
    Abstract: A method of investigating corrosion includes providing a mounting unit for two or more electrical contacts, introducing the mounting unit to a replica of a location which has not corroded, measuring the voltage between the two or more electrical contacts at one or more times, the two or more electrical contacts being in contact with the replica of the location being investigated, introducing the mounting unit to the location which may have corroded, measuring the voltage between and/or the variation in the voltage between two or more electrical contacts at a first time and at one or more other times, the two or more electrical contacts being in contact with the location being investigated, passing a current through the replica location at the time of the voltage measurement and through the location at the time of the voltage measurements, the voltage measurements for the location indicating the extent of corrosion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2005
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels plc
    Inventor: Brian Hands
  • Patent number: 6825483
    Abstract: A transport container for nuclear fuel is provided with an outer container having internal insulation, the insulation defining an internal cavity. The cavity receives a plurality of fuel containers wherein the internal volume of the fuel containers is at least 5% of the external volume of the outer container. The container allows substantially higher volume proportions of enriched fuel to be safely transported than is possible with prior containers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2004
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels PLC
    Inventors: Graham Nicholson, Paul Giddins
  • Patent number: 6822238
    Abstract: The invention provides apparatus and methods which facilitate movement of an instrument relative to an item or location being monitored and/or the item or location relative to the instrument, whilst successfully excluding extraneous ions from the detection location. Thus, ions generated by emissions from the item or location can successfully be monitored during movement. The technique employs sealing to exclude such ions, for instance, through an electro-field which attracts and discharges the ions prior to their entering the detecting location and/or using a magnetic field configured to repel the ions away from the detecting location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2004
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels PLC
    Inventors: Christopher Henry Orr, Craig Janson Luff, Thomas Dockray, Duncan Whittemore Macarthur
  • Publication number: 20040211912
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for determining radiation dose rates at selected locations within an environment. Incident gamma ray energy and count rate are measured at one or more measured locations within the environment to obtain a measured spectrum for those measured locations. The spatial position of the measured locations is also measured. An emitted spectrum is then determined for the measured locations based on the measured spectrum. The emitted spectrum may then be used to determine the dose rate at one or more selected locations (which may be different than the measured locations). In this way the invention provides an accurate solution for the dose rate at any point of interest within the environment based on the measured count and incident energies.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 19, 2004
    Publication date: October 28, 2004
    Applicant: British Nuclear Fuels PLC
    Inventors: John Adrian Lightfoot, Karl Anthony Hughes
  • Patent number: 6809329
    Abstract: A sealable container for receiving toxic waste for long-term storage is described, the container comprising sheet metal members welded together to form a main fillable volume; four hollow, sheet metal, vertically directed leg portions situated at corner positions on the container, and, a separate lid member fixable to the container to seal at least the main fillable volume wherein the majority of the weld length utilized in the container construction is constituted by fillet welds. Further constructions are described having means to prevent flotation of waste in a liquid grout prior to solidification thereof and constructions where the leg volumes are independently fillable of the main volume.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2004
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels PLC
    Inventors: Raymond Victor Evans, Andrew Ronald Whitley, John Emmison
  • Patent number: 6805253
    Abstract: A casing for the protection of an article contained within the casing is described, the protective casing comprising: at least two casing members which are assemblable to constitute a casing having an internal volume to receive the article, each of said at least two casing members comprising: an outer skin of fiber reinforced plastics material having a plurality of layers of reinforcing fibers in a plastics material matrix; an inner skin of fiber reinforced plastics material having a plurality of layers of reinforcing fibers in a plastics material matrix; a filling of a low density core material in a space between the outer and inner skin members; sealing means disposed in the joint face between said at least two casing members; and fastener means to hold said at least two members together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels PLC
    Inventors: Graham Nicholson, John Willetts, Arthur R. Mableson, Colin J. Weston
  • Patent number: 6806475
    Abstract: The invention provides improved methods and apparatus for investigating emissions from radioactive sources within an environment. In particular, the method deploys a collimated detector to scan the environment and obtain approximate position information on sources within that environment together with further investigations using a moveable shielding component which is moved relative to the field of view of the collimator. In an alternative technique, the collimator is moved in two different directions to achieve positional information using scanning.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels, PLC
    Inventors: John Adrian Lightfoot, Karl Anthony Hughes
  • Patent number: 6791093
    Abstract: The invention provides a technique for correcting gamma ray intensities detected to account for variation in attenuation effects with energy. The corrected intensity values enable more accurate isotopic analysis to be conducted and render such techniques applicable to low level emission cases. The technique is particularly useful in investigate waste materials with a gamma emitting content which needs to be determined. The attenuation is corrected for using a bi-modal function to account for the attenuation effects arising from low and high atomic mass components of the material in which the emitters are present.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels PLC
    Inventors: John Thomas Caldwell, Stephanie Ann Jones, Matthew Robert Newell
  • Patent number: 6770897
    Abstract: A transport container for nuclear fuel is provided with an outer container having internal insulation, the insulation defining an internal cavity. The cavity receives a plurality of fuel containers wherein the internal volume of the fuel containers is at least 5% of the external volume of the outer container. The container allows substantially higher volume proportions of enriched fuel to be safely transported than is possible with prior containers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2004
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels PLC
    Inventors: Graham Nicholson, Paul Giddins
  • Patent number: 6747178
    Abstract: According to the present invention there is provided a method of carrying out a chemical reaction between at least two fluids, the method comprising providing respective flow paths for the at least two fluids, said flow paths communicating with each other in a region in which the at least two fluids may contact each other, and flowing the at least two fluids along said flow paths such that in said region the at least two fluids contact each other and a chemical reaction occurs between them, said region having a width perpendicular to the direction of flow in the range 10-10,000 micrometers. It has been found that using a so-called “microreactor”, that is a reactor having dimensions perpendicular to the flow direction of less than 10,000 micrometers, according to the present method, improved control over a fluid chemical reaction can be achieved, which can result in significant improvements in reaction product yield and/or purity, as well as other benefits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels plc
    Inventors: Paul Harston, Malcolm John Atherton, Robert G. Holmes, Richard Dickinson Chambers, Robert Spink
  • Patent number: 6740886
    Abstract: The invention provides an improved correction technique for use in analysing bodies of material containing radioactive sources.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels PLC
    Inventor: Karl Anthony Hughes
  • Patent number: 6740298
    Abstract: A nuclear fuel dissolution apparatus which comprises a perforated sloping ramp contained within a process chamber for containing solvent for the fuel, a pulsation member which in use creates pulses in solvent in the process chamber, the perforations being designed to direct pulses of solvent along and up the ramp, and a discharge point for fuel hulls disposed at an upper region of the ramp is characterised in that the ramp is made out of flat blades and the perforations of the ramp comprise inclined slits formed between the blades.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels PLC
    Inventors: Leonid Solomonovich Raginskii, Vyacheslav Evgen'evich Morkovnikov, Nikolai Viktorovich Morozov, Sergei Petrovich Eliseev, Peter Rance, Timothy Tinsley, Iain Denniss
  • Patent number: 6740887
    Abstract: The present invention provides an improved method for investing radioactive sources which takes into account variations in the materials potentially making up the samples. In particular, the invention provides a method of investigating radioactive sources in a sample, the method comprising detecting a portion of the emissions arising from the sample at an energy, the detected portion relating to a detected level, the detected being corrected according to a correction method to give a corrected level at that energy. The invention also provides improved transmission sources and improved transmission based correction techniques for use in investigating radioactive sources in a sample.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels PLC
    Inventors: Daniel Francis Parvin, John Paul Ronaldson
  • Patent number: 6717153
    Abstract: Ions produced by radioactive gases present in air impact on the sensitivity of contamination measuring instruments which detect ions generated by radioactive materials present on an item. Methods and apparatus address this issue by conducting a measurement of ions generated in a chamber by gaseous emitters and other background events in a volume of medium and deducting this from a measurement of ions generated in another chamber by the item as well as the gaseous emitters and background events. The variation of the gaseous emitters present within the medium is addressed by moving the medium about. An alternative solution uses a medium free of gaseous emitters having a significant level, for instance by sealed storage of air prior to its use in a method and instrument.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2004
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels PLC
    Inventors: Richard Donald Gunn, Thomas Dockray
  • Patent number: 6692337
    Abstract: A method of removing material from a workpiece by directing a laser beam onto an area of the workpiece and at the same time injecting substantially continuously a stream of high speed (5-300 m/s) solid particles onto the area of the vicinity thereof. The solid particles may be aluminum oxide or zirconium oxide particles having a size in the range of 1-50 &mgr;m. The particle stream is preferably formed coaxially around the laser beam, the particles being accelerated by means such as an inert gas or electrostatic charge which does not work the material. The laser beam melts the material and the solid particles are directed into the molten material before exiting from the face of the material opposite that to which the stream is directed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2004
    Assignees: British Nuclear Fuels Plc, University of Manchester Institue of Science and Technology
    Inventors: Howard Timothy Jennings, Lin Li
  • Publication number: 20040011971
    Abstract: A transport container for nuclear fuel is provided with an outer container having internal insulation, the insulation defining an internal cavity. The cavity receives a plurality of fuel containers wherein the internal volume of the fuel containers is at least 5% of the external volume of the outer container. The container allows substantially higher volume proportions of enriched fuel to be safely transported than is possible with prior containers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 14, 2003
    Publication date: January 22, 2004
    Applicant: British Nuclear Fuels PLC.
    Inventors: Graham Nicholson, Paul Giddins
  • Patent number: 6680994
    Abstract: The contents of a container 1 are non-intrusively monitored by probing the container with an ultrasonic signal, and measuring changes in the ultrasound signature of the received signal after the signal has passed through the contents of the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2004
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels PLC
    Inventors: Gordon Rees Jones, Keith Woolley, Joseph William Spencer, Gary Jones, Perminder Tony Singh, Robert McAlpine Dickson, John Raymond Gibson