Patents Assigned to U.S. Tool & Die, Inc.
  • Patent number: 5633902
    Abstract: A metal cutting motor driven saw blade carried by a housing structure for anchoring inside the fuel storage cell forms part of apparatus that is used in method to reduce the volume of radiologically contaminated metal racks after use for storing nuclear fuel assemblies under water in a storage pool. The motor driven saw is supported by a linear bearing that can be displaced by an actuator laterally with respect to a housing structure which is provided with piston and cylinder assemblies on two adjacent side walls to serve as releasable anchors. The linear actuator presses the saw blade against a side wall of a fuel storage cell causing part of a blade segment to penetrate the side wall. Thereafter, a drive shaft supported by bearings in the housing structure is rotated to displace the motor driven saw about a radial path of travel for severing the remaining portions of the wall of the fuel cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 27, 1997
    Assignees: U.S. Tool & Die, Inc., Crouse Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert L. Moscardini, Christopher P. Srock, Peter F. Davin
  • Patent number: 5152958
    Abstract: A spent nuclear fuel storage bridge comprising either a stationary or mobile structure supported from the walls of a spent nuclear fuel storage pool. The structure may have either a pivotally mounted or non-pivotally mounted lower basket or cage portion which occupies a region of the vertical space between the pool water surface and the existing pool floor supported fuel storage racks. Using the bridge, at least a ten-foot deep barrier of biological shield water and at least a two-foot space between the top of the existing racks and the bottom of the bridge can be maintained in a storage pool of typical geometrics and dimensions. By limiting the height of the basket portion of the bridge, up to a three-foot space beneath the biological shield water may be provided to accommodate underwater horizontal transference of spent fuel storage canisters to and from the bridge. The width of the basket portion is determined by the spent fuel length and the resulting storage canister length.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1991
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1992
    Assignee: U.S. Tool & Die, Inc.
    Inventors: Frederick J. Ellingson, Robert L. Moscardini
  • Patent number: 5121849
    Abstract: A storage apparatus for storing nuclear waste material. The storage apparatus is comprised of an elongated storage canister suitable for the positioning of nuclear waste material, such as spent fuel rods, therewithin. A canister cover covers one end of the storage canister, and may be maintained in an interlocking relationship with a storage canister. The canister cover may be quickly engaged with a remotely operated handling tool, and because of the interlocking engagement with the storage canister, the handling tool may be utilized to handle and reposition the entire storage canister.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 16, 1992
    Assignee: U.S. Tool & Die, Inc.
    Inventors: Frederick J. Ellingson, P. Kent Shaver
  • Patent number: 5114666
    Abstract: A cask basket construction for storing and transporting nuclear waste material, such as spent nuclear fuel assemblies or fuel rods. The construction is comprised of a plurality of individual storage cells for storing the nuclear material, with the plurality of storage cells rigidly affixed to one another to form a high strength, lightweight, unitary array of storage cells. Thermal loading elements positioned between walls of adjacent ones of the cells as well as a coolant flow is provided to transfer heat generated by the nuclear material contained in the storage cells to the outer portions of the cask basket construction. A heat path is included for dissipating the heat transferred away from the center of the array of storage cells. The thermal loading elements further serve as an integral structural component of the array for enhancing the structural strength thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1992
    Assignee: U.S. Tool & Die, Inc.
    Inventors: Frederick J. Ellingson, P. Kent Shaver
  • Patent number: 4943410
    Abstract: A fuel rod directing chamber for compacting an array of fuel rods from an uncompacted array corresponding to the spacing of fuel rods in a fuel rod assembly to a compacted array in which no spacing exists between the individual fuel rods. The chamber is comprised of an elongated funnel containing a plurality of cavities extending longitudinally therethrough. The cavities form a plurality of holes at an entry end of the funnel corresponding in number and array to an array of fuel rods in a fuel rod assembly. The spacing between the cavities decreases along the length of the funnel until no spacing exists between the cavities. By causing fuel rods of a spent nuclear fuel rod assembly to pass through the cavities of the directing chamber, the spacing between the individual rods decreases, thereby reducing the reactivity of the rods, and increasing the density thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1987
    Date of Patent: July 24, 1990
    Assignee: U.S. Tool & Die, Inc.
    Inventor: William J. Wachter
  • Patent number: 4889680
    Abstract: A method of withdrawing spent fuel rods from a nuclear fuel rod assembly into a different nuclear fuel rod container wherein the spent fuel rods have a higher fuel rod density, whereby a greater number of spent fuel rods can be stored in a water storage pool. The individual rods are drawn upwardly through a transition funnel from the fuel rod assembly into a fuel rod container. Individual wires extend through the fuel rod container, through the transition funnel and are secured to the top ends of the individual fuel rods within a fuel rod assembly. All of the fuel rods are withdrawn concurrently and are merged toward one another into a tighter array within the fuel rod container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1988
    Date of Patent: December 26, 1989
    Assignee: U.S. Tool & Die, Inc.
    Inventor: William J. Wachter
  • Patent number: 4889681
    Abstract: A storage system for the storage of nuclear waste material is disclosed. A storage system includes a plurality of storage canisters of dimensions allowing it to hold spent nuclear fuel rods and a rack structure for maintaining the storage canisters in a definite horizontal and vertical array. A storage system is of particular value for use in underwater nuclear waste storage areas. When used underwater, the system includes buoyant chamber positioned above the rack structure and flexibly connected thereto to provide an upper force to reduce the downward load exerted on a floor of the water pool by the storage canisters and the rack structure. The system thereby allows a far greater number of fuel rods to be stored in an underwater nuclear waste storage area than was possible in the past.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 1986
    Date of Patent: December 26, 1989
    Assignee: U.S. Tool & Die, Inc.
    Inventors: William J. Wachter, Anton A. Fuierer
  • Patent number: 4775507
    Abstract: A method for withdrawing spent fuel rods from a nuclear fuel rod assembly into a different nuclear fuel rod container wherein the spent fuel rods have a higher fuel rod density, whereby a greater number of spent fuel rods can be stored in a water storage pool. The individual rods are drawn upwardly through a transition funnel from the fuel rod assembly into a fuel rod container. Individual wires extend through the fuel rod container, through the transition funnel and are secured to the top ends of the individual fuel rods within a fuel rod assembly. All of the fuel rods are withdrawn concurrently and are merged toward one another into a tighter array within the fuel rod container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1981
    Date of Patent: October 4, 1988
    Assignee: U.S. Tool & Die, Inc.
    Inventor: William J. Wachter
  • Patent number: 4762664
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for withdrawing spent fuel rods from a nuclear fuel rod assembly into a different nuclear fuel rod container wherein the spent fuel rods have a higher fuel rod density, whereby a greater number of spent fuel rods can be stored in a water-storage pool. The individual rods are moved from a fuel assembly and through a transition funnel by movable grippers at opposite ends of the funnel. One movable gripper reciprocates between gripping and release positions in a gap between the fuel assembly and the transition funnel. A stationary gripper can be located in the gap at the entry side of the funnel to hold the fuel rods while the movable gripper returns from a release position to the gripping position. Both grippers include members which can be pressed into frictional engagement with the spaced apart array of fuel rods. All of the fuel rods are withdrawn concurrently and are merged toward one another into a tighter array within the transition funnel and emerge as a bundle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1986
    Date of Patent: August 9, 1988
    Assignee: U.S. Tool & Die, Inc.
    Inventor: William J. Wachter
  • Patent number: 4746487
    Abstract: A storage rack for spent nuclear fuel rods is provided having multiple parallel tubes of polygon cross-section with their confronting surfaces having embossed buttons in engagement and having at least one pad of neutron poison material interposed between the confronting surfaces. The tube cells are secured together such that the neutron poison material effectively establishes each individual cell as a neutron isolation chamber and further functions to dampen mechanical vibrations which may be applied to the assembled storage rack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 1981
    Date of Patent: May 24, 1988
    Assignee: U.S. Tool & Die, Inc.
    Inventor: William J. Wachter
  • Patent number: 4744940
    Abstract: An apparatus for withdrawing spent fuel rods from a nuclear fuel rod assembly into a different nuclear fuel rod container wherein the spent fuel rods have a higher fuel rod density, whereby a greater number of spent fuel rods can be stored in a water-storage pool. The individual rods are moved from a fuel assembly and through a transition funnel by movable grippers at opposite ends of the funnel. One movable gripper reciprocates between gripping and release positions in a gap between the fuel assembly and the transition funnel. A stationary gripper can be located in the gap at the entry side of the funnel to hold the fuel rods while the movable gripper returns from a release position to the gripping position. Both grippers include members which can be pressed into frictional engagement with the spaced apart array of fuel rods. All of the fuel rods are withdrawn concurrently and are merged toward one another into a tighter array within the transition funnel and emerge as a bundle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 1987
    Date of Patent: May 17, 1988
    Assignee: U.S. Tool & Die, Inc.
    Inventor: William J. Wachter
  • Patent number: 4714583
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for withdrawing spent fuel rods from a nuclear fuel rod assembly into a different nuclear fuel rod container wherein the spent fuel rods have a higher fuel rod density, whereby a greater number of spent fuel rods can be stored in a water-storage pool. The individual rods are moved from a fuel assembly and through a transition funnel by movable grippers at opposite ends of the funnel. One movable gripper reciprocates between gripping and release positions in a gap between the fuel assembly and the transition funnel. A stationary gripper can be located in the gap at the entry side of the funnel to hold the fuel rods while the movable gripper returns from a release position to the gripping position. Both grippers include members which can be pressed into frictional engagement with the spaced apart array of fuel rods. All of the fuel rods are withdrawn concurrently and are merged toward one another into a tighter array within the transition funnel and emerge as a bundle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1985
    Date of Patent: December 22, 1987
    Assignee: U.S. Tool & Die, Inc.
    Inventor: William J. Wachter
  • Patent number: 4666660
    Abstract: Submerged canisters containing compacted spent nuclear fuel rods are connected to buoyant spacer boxes to reduce the apparent weight of the canisters whereby additional canisters may be introduced into existing water pools without exceeding the load-carrying capacity of the water pool floors. The spacer boxes may be integral with the canisters or may be distinct. The spacer boxes may be rigidly or flaccidly connected to the spacer boxes. Buoyancy in the spacer boxes is preferably achieved by filling them with gas, preferably air.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1984
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1987
    Assignee: U.S. Tool & Die, Inc.
    Inventor: William J. Wachter