Patents Assigned to GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
  • Patent number: 10319483
    Abstract: A sodium-cooled nuclear reactor includes at least one electromagnetic pump assembly and a backflow reduction pipe. The backflow reduction pipe may include an inlet, an outlet, at least one tubular section having a first length and a first diameter, and at least one fluid diode section between the inlet and the outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventors: Eric Paul Loewen, Seth Ryan Paul Strege, Nicholas Francis O'Neill, Colin Christopher O'Connor, Chelsea Ann Curtin, Edwin Wu
  • Patent number: 10311985
    Abstract: A generator is installed on and provides electrical power from a turbine by converting the turbine's mechanical energy to electricity. The generated electrical power is used to power controls of the turbine so that the turbine can remain in use through its own energy. The turbine can be a safety-related turbine in a nuclear power plant, such that, through the generator, loss of plant power will not result in loss of use of the turbine and safety-related functions powered by the same. Appropriate circuitry and electrical connections condition the generator to work in tandem with any other power sources present, while providing electrical power with properties required to safely power the controls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventors: Arthur M. Thinguldstad, Mark A. Bergman
  • Patent number: 10311986
    Abstract: An inspection apparatus may include an installation platform and a scan head. The scan head may be configured to engage in an index movement, a theta movement, a wrist fold movement, and a scan movement. During the scan movement, a transducer of the scan head travels a circumferential path so as to allow an inspection of a surface that is opposite of a surface on which the installation platform is mounted. The inspection apparatus may be used to inspect a reactor component in a nuclear reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: GE-HITACHI NUCLEAR ENERGY AMERICAS LLC
    Inventors: Matthew Robert Hastings, Ryan M. Smith, Lenin N. Benicki
  • Publication number: 20190148026
    Abstract: A flange flush tool includes an outer tube having a first end and a second end, the first end configured to engage the flange, and a shield tube within the outer tube. A channel is defined between an outer surface of the shield tube and an inner surface of the outer tube. The shield tube is configured to move longitudinally within the outer tube.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 15, 2017
    Publication date: May 16, 2019
    Applicant: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventors: Mark HEINOLD, Kenneth Mark COLE, Gary RUNKLE, Adam HOLIFIELD, Mark ALLISON
  • Patent number: 10290381
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for a deposition solution injector for a nuclear reactor that may inject an ambient temperature deposition solution into a high temperature, high pressure feed-water flow line. The method and the apparatus ensures that the deposition solution is delivered in a location within the feed-water that is beyond a boundary layer of flowing water, to prevent smearing of the solution and prevent clogging of the deposition solution within the injector. The axial cross-sectional profile of the injector, and the location of an injection slot on the injector, may reduce vortex eddy flow of the feed-water into the injector to further reduce injector blockage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: GE-HITACHI NUCLEAR ENERGY AMERICAS LLC
    Inventors: Thomas Caine, Adrian Mistreanu, Russell Alexander Seeman
  • Patent number: 10280527
    Abstract: A method of fabricating metallic fuel from surplus plutonium may include combining plutonium oxide powder and uranium oxide powder to obtain a mixed powder with reduced proliferation potential. The mixed powder may be electroreduced in a bath of molten salt so as to convert the mixed powder to a first alloy. The first alloy may be pressed to remove a majority of the molten salt adhered to the first alloy to form a pressed alloy-salt mixture. The first alloy may be isolated from the salt by melting the pressed alloy-salt mixture. The first alloy may be further processed to fabricate a fuel rod. Accordingly, the metallic fuel produced may be used in a fast reactor system, such as a Power Reactor Innovative Small Module (PRISM).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventors: Eric P. Loewen, Zachary W. Kosslow, John F. Berger
  • Patent number: 10234269
    Abstract: A system and method for conducting Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) inspections and integrating inspection data with encoding information may include a NDE probe configured to conduct a non-destructive examination of an object, a shape sensing fiber optic cable attached to the NDE probe, the fiber optic cable configured to receive a frequency of light and to reflect the received light, a fiber optic cable shape sensing detector configured to generate light of the frequency, measure the shape of the shape sensing fiber optic cable based on the reflected light from the shape sensing fiber optic cable, and determine position information and orientation information of the NDE probe based on the measured shape of the fiber optic cable, and a processor configured to encode the examination data, the encoding including correlating the position information and the orientation information with the examination data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventors: Timothy W. Clark, Robert William Viren
  • Patent number: 10229761
    Abstract: A system and a method for injecting hydrogen into Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) reactor support systems in operation during reactor startup and/or shutdown to mitigate Inter-Granular Stress Corrosion Cracking (IGSCC). The system may provide hydrogen at variable pressures (including relatively higher pressures) that match changing operating pressures of the reactor supports systems as the reactor cycles through startup and shutdown modes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Assignee: GE-HITACHI NUCLEAR ENERGY AMERICAS LLC
    Inventors: John Whittaker, Angelo Gonzaga, Paul Shu, Luong Tran
  • Publication number: 20190070645
    Abstract: A method of cleaning a jet pump assembly of a nuclear reactor may comprise evacuating an interior of the jet pump assembly that is filled with a first liquid by injecting a gas to purge the first liquid from the interior to provide an evacuated surface. In addition, the method may comprise directing a jet of a second liquid onto the evacuated surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 6, 2017
    Publication date: March 7, 2019
    Applicant: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventor: Christopher Martin WELSH
  • Patent number: 10224120
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor scram control system for a nuclear reactor includes a solenoid pilot valve (SSPV). The SSPV includes a solenoid indicator light electrically coupled to an SSPV solenoid of the SSPV. The solenoid indicator light may be selectively activated based on an energization state of the SSPV solenoid, thereby providing an immediate and visually observable indication of the SSPV energization state. The immediate and visually observable indication of the SSPV energization state may enable quicker and more reliable verification of SSPV solenoid energization state. As a result, operator radiation exposure associated with verification may be reduced, and a risk of inadvertent nuclear reactor scram based on a de-energized SSPV solenoid may be reduced, thus streamlined nuclear reactor operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: GE-HITACHI NUCLEAR ENERGY AMERICAS LLC
    Inventors: John Robert Bass, Ted Gordon Bahensky, Sean Wilson Miers, Robert A. Ayer
  • Patent number: 10221499
    Abstract: A method of making a nuclear fuel structure may include reducing a metal oxide in a cathode assembly so as to deposit a metal of the metal oxide on the cathode plate of the cathode assembly, and processing the cathode plate with the metal deposited thereon to fabricate the nuclear fuel structure. The cathode plate may include an upper blade including an electrically conductive material, a lower blade portion connected to the upper blade, and a connection structure configured to secure the lower blade portion to the upper blade while providing electrical continuity. The connection structure may be configured to be disconnected from the lower blade portion to detach the lower blade portion from the upper blade.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventors: Gary L. Miller, Keith H. Keller
  • Patent number: 10209139
    Abstract: A temperature change detection apparatus for monitoring temperature change in various portions of a large space includes a trip logic unit configured to execute a trip operation based on receipt of a trip signal at the trip logic unit; a plurality of temperature sensors each including a sensing portion composed of optical fiber cable and each being configured to generate light information indicating an amount of Brillouin scattering that occurs within the sensing portion; a plurality of monitoring units configured such that each monitoring unit determines a temperature value corresponding to each temperature sensor connected to the monitoring unit based on an amount of Brillouin scattering indicated by the light information generated by each of the connected temperature sensors, an each monitoring unit generates a trip signal when a determined temperature value exceeds a running average by more than a threshold amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: GE-HITACHI NUCLEAR ENERGY AMERICAS LLC
    Inventors: Eric P. Loewen, Brett J. Dooies, Seth Ryan Paul Strege, Nicholas Francis O'Neill
  • Patent number: 10210961
    Abstract: A system and a method for a commercial nuclear repository that turns heat and gamma radiation from spent nuclear fuel into a valuable revenue stream. Gamma radiation from the spent nuclear fuel of the repository may be used to irradiate and sterilize food and other substances. Gamma radiation may also be used to improve the properties of target substances. Additionally, heat decay from the spent nuclear fuel of the repository may be harnessed to heat materials or fluids. The heated fluids may be used, for instance, to produce steam that may make electricity. The heating of working fluids for use in processes, such as heated fluid streams for fermentation or industrial heating, may be transported out of the repository and co-mingled with other heat input, or other fluids.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: GE-HITACHI NUCLEAR ENERGY AMERICAS, LLC
    Inventors: Eric P. Loewen, Jordan E. Hagaman
  • Patent number: 10203043
    Abstract: Safety valves accurately control closure and opening of fluid passage through the valve. Valves include a barrier that blocks the fluid until removal only by a high-energy projectile. Following removal and opening, the barrier or the projectile can flow through the valve, which remains open. Bullets, pneumatic pistons, shot, coilgun pellets and any other forceful projectile may impact and remove the barrier. The projectile is actuated with any type of chemical reaction, firing pin, spring release, accelerating circuit, ignition circuit. Catchers in the valve envelop or otherwise retain the projectile or barrier pieces and enter the fluid flow of the opened valve without blocking it. Disruptable barriers include strong but breakable glass plates, thin steel sheets, a rotatable door and other barriers that can withstand potentially over 10,000 psi of fluid pressure while closing the valve. Valves can use circuits to both monitor valve open/closed status and initiate firing the projectile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Assignee: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventors: Eric P. Loewen, Ana DaSilva, Bradley L. Wile, Nicholas F. O'Neill
  • Patent number: 10176901
    Abstract: A system configured to passively filter radioactive materials from a flow may include one or more particulate removal devices; one or more water removal devices; and/or one or more radionuclide removal devices. At least one of the one or more particulate removal devices may mechanically remove particulates of the radioactive materials from the flow. At least one of the one or more water removal devices mechanically may remove water from the flow. At least one of the one or more radionuclide removal devices may remove radioactive aerosols, reactive radioactive gases, or radioactive aerosols and reactive radioactive gases from the flow using engineered filter media. A filter may include a body, including an inlet and an outlet. The body may be configured to store filter media, to contain pressure from gas explosions, and/or to allow the stored filter media to move toward the outlet when pressure at the inlet increases.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2019
    Assignee: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventor: Eric P. Loewen
  • Patent number: 10163532
    Abstract: A system for controlling the power level of a natural circulation boiling water nuclear reactor (NCBWR) may include a heating subsystem for heating feedwater flowing into an annulus of the NCBWR to increase the temperature of recirculation water flowing through the core above a predetermined recirculation water operating temperature. Additionally the system may include a temperature sensor operable to sense the temperature of the feedwater flowing into the annulus. The temperature sensor is communicatively connected to a temperature controller operable to command the heating subsystem to increase the temperature of the feedwater flowing into the annulus to a requested temperature above a predetermined operating temperature of the feedwater flowing into the annulus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2018
    Assignee: GE-HITACHI NUCLEAR ENERGY AMERICAS LLC
    Inventors: Stephan Craig Moen, Jack Patrick Noonan, Pradip Saha
  • Patent number: 10147508
    Abstract: A reactor pressure vessel assembly may include a housing surrounding a reactor core, steam separators, and a chimney. Inner surfaces of the chimney and reactor core define a conduit for transporting a two phase flow stream from the reactor core through the chimney to the steam separators. The housing defines an opening. An inner surface of the housing and outer surfaces of the chimney and reactor core define an annulus in fluid communication with the opening and conduit. A feedwater sparger in the housing is connected to the at least one opening and configured to deliver a sub-cooled feedwater into the annulus. A flow barrier structure between the chimney and the steam separators may force mixing between the sub-cooled feedwater and a downcomer fluid from the steam separators. An outer steam separator may be vertically over a portion of the flow barrier structure in a plan view.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2018
    Assignee: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventors: Gerald A. Deaver, Robin D. Sprague
  • Publication number: 20180330028
    Abstract: A method of facilitating modeling of a system includes receiving, at a processor, an extensible markup language (XML) file corresponding to a piping and instrumentation diagram (PID) of the system; identifying, by the processor, components of the system that are described in the XML file, the XML file including information about attributes of the identified components; storing, by the processor, the information about the attributes of the identified components; and generating, by the processor, a simulation model page using syntax of a simulation modeling software environment, based on the stored information about the attributes of the identified components.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 12, 2017
    Publication date: November 15, 2018
    Applicant: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventors: Larry Edwin NUTT, Wayne Marquino
  • Publication number: 20180328393
    Abstract: An apparatus configured to structurally replace a cracked weld in a nuclear plant may include: a first body portion that includes a first gripping portion; a second body portion that includes a second gripping portion; a wedge portion between the first and second body portions; and/or an adjustment portion. The first body portion may be configured to slidably engage the second body portion. The wedge portion may be configured to exert force on the slidably engaged first and second body portions. The adjustment portion may be configured to increase or decrease the force exerted by the wedge portion on the slidably engaged first and second body portions. When the adjustment portion increases the force exerted by the wedge portion on the slidably engaged first and second body portions, a distance between the first and second gripping portions may decrease.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 16, 2018
    Publication date: November 15, 2018
    Applicant: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventors: Christopher M. WELSH, Nicholas KANDABAROW, Barry H. KOEPKE
  • Patent number: 10128007
    Abstract: Chimneys include several combinable parts usable in nuclear reactors. The parts are modular and removably joinable without destruction for use in directing flow in an operating nuclear reactor and directly fit in storage area during non-operation. Chimney parts are joinable through flanges and connecting structures. Chimney parts may include partitions that divide or direct energetic coolant flow from a nuclear core as well as steam separating and drying structures. The parts each individually fit within storage areas of the nuclear plant, including equipment or buffer pools in the refueling floor of the plant. Methods move the chimney parts between the reactor and storage areas, and multiple parts may be stacked or nested in such moves. Methods are usable underwater and with storage pools to prevent exposure of chimney parts during an outage. During operation, chimneys are usable in place of existing single-piece chimneys.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: GE-HITACHI NUCLEAR ENERGY AMERICAS LLC
    Inventors: Robin D. Sprague, Gerald A. Deaver, David A. Rickard, David L. Major