Patents Assigned to Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
  • Patent number: 10541730
    Abstract: A server-based nuclear containment operations system can be used to monitor structures, systems, components, and personnel within the containment building of a nuclear power facility. The disclosed and claimed concepts relate generally to a method for utilizing near field communication (NFC) on a mobile client device having the dynamic capabilities of a logic-based computerized procedures system (CPS). The client permits the execution of procedures remotely in the field while monitoring the real-time current state and operation of the systems, components, and sensors of a large facility such as a nuclear power plant. This system consists of a client and server application which provide real-time monitoring of procedure adherence and place keeping, facility clearance information, and work order administration (including tracking an operator's procedure adherence) and further provides a capability for operator input.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2020
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Geoffrey G. Geisel, Gregory P. Barry, Brian J. Rupert
  • Publication number: 20200020455
    Abstract: A method for making an improved nuclear fuel cladding tube includes reinforcing a Zr alloy tube by first winding or braiding ceramic yarn directly around the tube to form a ceramic covering, then physically bonding the ceramic covering to the tube by applying a first coating selected from the group consisting of Nb, Nb alloy, Nb oxide, Cr, Cr oxide, Cr alloy, or combinations thereof, by one of a thermal deposition process or a physical deposition process to provide structural support member for the Zr tube, and optionally applying a second coating and optionally applying a third coating by one of a thermal deposition process or a physical deposition process. If the tube softens at 800° C.-1000° C., the structural support tube will reinforce the Zr alloy tube against ballooning and bursting, thereby preventing the release of fission products to the reactor coolant.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 3, 2019
    Publication date: January 16, 2020
    Applicant: WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY LLC
    Inventor: EDWARD J. LAHODA
  • Publication number: 20200011612
    Abstract: An energy storage device includes a plurality of plates, each having a first and second surface, with at least one of the surfaces having a plurality of grooves formed therein. The device further includes inlet and outlet plenums for providing or receiving a heat transfer medium to or from the grooves. At least one of the first surface and the second surface having the plurality of grooves formed therein of a first plate is disposed in direct contact with the other one of the at least first surface and second surface of an adjacent second plate. Heat from the transfer medium is transferred to the plates in a charging mode of operation or transferred from the plates to the transfer medium in a discharging mode of operation when the heat transfer medium is passed along the grooves.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 22, 2019
    Publication date: January 9, 2020
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Cory A. Stansbury, Edward C. Renaud
  • Publication number: 20200005952
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for extending the period a nuclear steam supply system spent fuel pool can be safely passively cooled by storing the spent fuel offloaded from the reactor, in the containment for one reactor operating cycle. During a refueling the spent fuel that is not to be returned to the reactor and the spent fuel that will be returned to the reactor are stored separately in shielded locations within the containment. After one operating cycle, the spent fuel stored within the containment that was not returned to the reactor just prior to the last operating cycle, is offloaded to the spent fuel pool and replaced by the newly offloaded spent fuel that is being retired.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 4, 2014
    Publication date: January 2, 2020
    Applicant: WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY LLC
    Inventors: Lawrence E. Conway, Jerzy Chrzanowski
  • Patent number: 10522257
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for extending the period a nuclear steam supply system spent fuel pool can be safely passively cooled by storing the spent fuel offloaded from the reactor, in the containment for one reactor operating cycle. During a refueling the spent fuel that is not to be returned to the reactor and the spent fuel that will be returned to the reactor are stored separately in shielded locations within the containment. After one operating cycle, the spent fuel stored within the containment that was not returned to the reactor just prior to the last operating cycle, is offloaded to the spent fuel pool and replaced by the newly offloaded spent fuel that is being retired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Lawrence E. Conway, Jerzy Chrzanowski
  • Patent number: 10515728
    Abstract: An improved, accident tolerant fuel for use in light water and lead fast reactors is described. The fuel includes a ceramic cladding, such as a multi-layered silicon carbide cladding, and fuel pellets formed from U15N and from 100 to 10000 ppm of a boron-containing integral fuel burnable absorber, such as UB2 or ZrB2.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2019
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Edward J. Lahoda, Frank A. Boylan
  • Publication number: 20190385757
    Abstract: A panel that uses the gamma radiation emitted by fission to produce electrical power. The panel includes layers of a metal with a relatively high atomic number (Z), that form an emitter, a high temperature electrical resistor, and an electrical conductor with a relatively low Z value, that forms a collector. The gamma radiation emitted during the fission process produces Compton and photoelectrical electrons in the layer of the Emitter located between the reactor Baffle and the fuel assemblies. The electrons that have sufficient energy to penetrate the resistor layer between the emitter layer and the collector layer will be stopped in the collector. This creates a substantial voltage difference between the emitter and the collector. This voltage difference may be used to produce significant electric power both during reactor operations and with the reactor shutdown to meaningfully augment the electricity produced by the turbine generators.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 14, 2018
    Publication date: December 19, 2019
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventor: Michael D. Heibel
  • Publication number: 20190385758
    Abstract: In a panel that uses the gamma radiation emitted by fission to produce electrical power, a source of an electrical current is connected to a layer of the panel made of a metal with a relatively high atomic number (Z) that forms an electron emitter. The emitter layer is surrounded by an insulation layer which in turn is surrounded by a relatively low Z value layer for collecting electrons from the emitter. Another layer of insulation and an outer sheath surround the collector. The improved panel may be used for reactor power level and power distribution measurements, and for initiating, maintaining or returning molten salt or metal coolants in the liquid state.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 18, 2018
    Publication date: December 19, 2019
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Heibel, Paolo Ferroni, Jorge V. Carvajal
  • Patent number: 10510451
    Abstract: A mounting assembly that has no threaded connections. A rod with pins or machined features radially extending from a distal end is configured to rotate until the pins align with grooves in a hole through a base plate. The rod is inserted through the hole until the pins are through an opposite surface of the base plate, compressing spring components on the rod. Then the rod is rotated until the pins are aligned with slots that partially extend through the second side of the base plate and the pins become seated in the slots. To remove the rod a tool that engages an articulated feature on the distal end of the rod is installed. The tool rotates the rod until the pins are disengaged from the slots, aligned with the through grooves and passed through the base plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey M. McCarty, Jason R. Moore, Nathan J. Payne
  • Patent number: 10510450
    Abstract: A molten salt reactor includes a containment vessel, a reactor core, a neutron reflector spaced from the containment vessel, and liquid fuel enclosed within the core. The liquid fuel is comprised of a nuclear fission material dissolved in a molten salt. A heat exchanger is positioned external to the containment vessel. A plurality of heat transfer pipes are provided for transferring heat from the core to the heat exchanger. Each pipe has a first and a second end. The first end of each pipe is positioned within the reactor core for absorbing heat from the fuel. The heat exchanger receives the second end of each heat transfer pipe. At least two or more reactor shut down systems are provided. At least one shut down system may be a passive system and at least one or both shut down systems may be an active or a manually operated system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Yasir Arafat, Jurie Van Wyk, Edward J. Lahoda
  • Patent number: 10475542
    Abstract: A Gland Seal End Plug closure for a nuclear fuel rod cladding composed of silicon carbide or other materials that cannot be welded. The sealant is, preferably, made from one or more forms of pure graphite and the ram, seat and other components of the Gland Seal End Plug are formed from high temperature metallic or ceramic materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: William A. Byers, Guoqiang Wang, Kevin A. Harding
  • Publication number: 20190341161
    Abstract: The invention relates to UF6 transport and process containers to store UF6 enriched up to 20 percent by weight 235U in amounts up to 1,500 kg U. The containers include a shell, which has an integral heat exchanger positioned between the exterior and interior surfaces/substrates of the shell. The integral heat exchanger is composed of metal passage voids to pass heat transport fluid. The shell forms an inner chamber, and a partition configuration is positioned within the inner chamber, extending longitudinally along the length of the container, to form a plurality of individual compartments within the inner chamber to store the UF6. The containers may be produced by additive manufacturing methods.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 6, 2019
    Publication date: November 7, 2019
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventor: David L. Stucker
  • Patent number: 10457558
    Abstract: The method described herein may be characterized as reacting uranium dioxide with carbon to produce uranium carbide, and, reacting the uranium carbide with a silane, a silicon halide, a siloxane, or combinations thereof, and excess hydrogen to produce uranium silicide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Edward J. Lahoda, Simon Middleburgh
  • Patent number: 10460844
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor containment system including a nuclear reactor and a container enclosing the nuclear reactor. The container includes a number of heat removal systems each having an active state and an inactive state, wherein the heat removal systems dissipate heat from the container more efficiently in the active state than in the inactive state, and wherein the heat removal systems are structured to switch from the inactive state to the active state based on a temperature of the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Yasir Arafat, Jurie Van Wyk
  • Patent number: 10459227
    Abstract: A method includes detecting currently existing dose rates while a worker is performing an operation within a Radiologically Controlled Area (RCA) and visually outputting to the worker a dosage rate map of ionizing radiation within the RCA. The visual output can be visually depicted on a display that is worn by the worker during the operation and that is situated in proximity to the worker's eye. Another method of visually outputting to a worker a number of visual indicia that are representative of a number of parameters of an operation performed inside or outside the RCA includes periodically receiving a number of inputs from a number of detectors, employing the inputs to determine values for the parameters, and depicting the number of visible indicia on an electronic visual display that is situated on the worker and that is disposed proximate an eye of the worker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventor: Michael S. Norrell
  • Publication number: 20190326025
    Abstract: A nuclear fuel assembly having lateral support provided by a bimetallic spring that extends from a side of the fuel assembly under certain core conditions to pressure against an adjacent component and withdraws under other core conditions, such as shutdown, to enable the nuclear fuel assembly to be aligned or withdrawn from the core and repositioned.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 21, 2019
    Publication date: October 24, 2019
    Applicant: WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY LLC
    Inventors: Nathan J. PAYNE, Jeffrey M. MCCARTY
  • Patent number: 10453576
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a pre-core hot functional testing (HFT) preconditioning process, which includes the introduction of chemical additives, e.g., zinc, into coolant water that circulates through the primary system of a new nuclear power plant, at various temperatures. The chemical additives contact the primary system surfaces, which results in the formation of a protective zinc-containing oxide film on the fresh surfaces to control corrosion release and deposition during subsequent normal operation of the nuclear power plant. The method includes a series of three chemistry phases to optimize the passivation process: 1) an alkaline-reducing phase, 2) an acid-reducing phase and 3) an acid-oxidizing phase.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2019
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Rachel L. Devito, Jason P. Mazzoccoli, Edward J. Silva, Deborah J. Buckley, Richard J. Jacko, William A. Byers
  • Publication number: 20190318835
    Abstract: A transmitter device includes a neutron detector structured to generate electrical current from neutron flux, an oscillator circuit having an electrostatic switch electrically connected to the neutron detector, and an antenna electrically connected with the electrostatic switch. The oscillator circuit is structured to pulse the antenna. The antenna is structured to emit a signal corresponding to a number of characteristic values of the oscillator circuit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 13, 2018
    Publication date: October 17, 2019
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventor: LYMAN J. PETROSKY
  • Patent number: 10446277
    Abstract: A nuclear fuel assembly comprising a plurality of control rod guide assemblies. At least one of the control rod guide assemblies includes a guide tube having an axial dimension, the guide tube being supported by the plurality of grids and extending axially between the top nozzle and the bottom nozzle, the guide tube having an upper portion having a first radius and a lower portion having a second radius less than the first radius, and an external dashpot tube disposed around a portion of the lower portion in an area beginning at the bottom grid and extending toward the top nozzle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Yuriy Aleshin, Brian Millare, Michael O. Bausch, Carter Eliot Lunde
  • Patent number: 10446281
    Abstract: A detection apparatus is usable to detect the neutron absorption capability of a control element of a nuclear installation and includes a neutron radiograph apparatus and a robot apparatus. The neutron radiograph apparatus includes a neutron emission source of variable strength, a detector array, a mask apparatus and a positioning robot all under the control of a central processor and data acquisition unit. The neutron emission source is advantageously switchable between an ON state and OFF state with variable source strength in the ON state, which avoids any need for shielding beyond placing the neutron emission source in an inspection pool at the nuclear plant site including but not limited to the spent fuel or shipping cask laydown pools. The neutron emission source is situated at one side of a wing of the control element and generates a neutron stream, the detector array is situated on an opposite side of a wing, and the neutron emission source and detector array are robotically advanced along the wing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventor: David L. Stucker