Patents Assigned to Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
  • Publication number: 20220148747
    Abstract: Disclosed are a voltage drop measurement system and methods for measuring resistivity of a nuclear reactor cladding. The system includes a short cladding sample of a nuclear reactor cladding. Two electrically conductive plugs are attached to the short cladding. A power supply is electrically coupled to the each of the two electrically conductive plugs and is configured to apply an electrical current to the short cladding through the two electrically conductive plugs. Two needle like probes are electrically coupled to a surface of the short cladding between the two electrically conductive plugs. The needle like probes are spaced apart by a distance L. Resistivity and heat flux are determined in accordance with Equations (1)-(4).
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 10, 2021
    Publication date: May 12, 2022
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Guoqiang WANG, William A. BYERS, Stephen J. HARDING, Kevin A. HARDING
  • Patent number: 11324967
    Abstract: A method that produces high energy charged particles that may be used to destroy cancer cells contained in cancerous tissues. The device uses electronic neutron generators to produce neutrons with energies that have a high probability to interact with a therapeutic source comprised of a reactive material with an outer layer of a material having a high atomic number such as Platinum or Gold. The reaction produces high energy electrons, and in some cases other charged particles with relatively short half-lives, which can destroy the cancerous cells, without seriously damaging the surrounding healthy tissue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2022
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventor: Michael D. Heibel
  • Publication number: 20220139582
    Abstract: A configurable unit cell of a core of a nuclear reactor is disclosed herein. The configurable unit cell includes a core block material and a plurality of interchangeable components configured to affect a performance parameter of the core of the nuclear reactor. The configurable unit cell further includes a plurality of channels defined within the core block material. Each channel of the plurality of channels is configured to engage an interchangeable component of the plurality of interchangeable components in an operating configuration. Each channel of the plurality of channels is separated from an adjacent channel of the plurality of channels by a predetermined pitch.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2020
    Publication date: May 5, 2022
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Alex LEVINSKY, Yuriy ALESHIN, Alexander W. HARKNESS
  • Publication number: 20220139580
    Abstract: Arrangements and devices for reducing and/or preventing wear of a thermal sleeve in a nuclear reactor are disclosed. Arrangements include a first structure provided on or in one the thermal sleeve and a second structure provided on or in the head penetration adapter. At least a portion of the first structure and at least another portion of the second structure interact to resist, reduce, and/or prevent rotation of the thermal sleeve about its central axis relative to the head penetration adapter. Devices include a base for coupling to a guide tube of the reactor and a plurality of protruding members extending upward from the base. Each member having a portion for engaging a corresponding portion of a guide funnel of the thermal sleeve.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 20, 2020
    Publication date: May 5, 2022
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Anthony J. MASTOPIETRO, Eric M. BENACQUISTA
  • Publication number: 20220136987
    Abstract: A device configured to measure radioactivity emitted by a plurality of radionuclides is disclosed herein. The device includes a gamma detector and a source cage with an outer ring that defines a volume and includes an orientation feature and a plurality of holes configured to receive a radionuclide of the plurality of radionuclides. The device also includes a frame that includes an arm and a central rod, wherein the arm is configured to be coupled to the outer ring and includes an orientation pin. The central rod can be positioned relative to the volume when the arm is coupled to the outer ring of source cage. The orientation feature of the source cage is configured to engage the orientation pin of the arm and, when the orientation pin engages the orientation feature, the central rod is in a predetermined location relative to the volume.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 21, 2020
    Publication date: May 5, 2022
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventor: Jianwei CHEN
  • Publication number: 20220139579
    Abstract: An adjustable core assembly for a nuclear reactor is disclosed herein. The adjustable core can include a plurality of reactivity control cells configured to accommodate a reactivity control rod, and a plurality of unit cells. The plurality of unit cells defines a radial dimension corresponding to an initial power output of the core. Each unit cell of the plurality of unit cells is configured to accommodate fuel configured to generate energy and a heat pipe configured to transfer thermal energy away from the core. Each unit cell of the plurality unit cells can be coupled to an adjacent unit cell in a radial direction, thereby altering the radial dimension, wherein the altered radial dimension corresponds to an adjusted power output of the core, and wherein the adjusted power output of the core is different than the initial power output of the core.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2020
    Publication date: May 5, 2022
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Yuriy ALESHIN, Alex LEVINSKY
  • Publication number: 20220139588
    Abstract: A nuclear battery is provided. The nuclear battery comprises a radiation source layer, a first electrical insulator layer, a casing layer, a first electrode, and a second electrode. The radiation source layer comprises a composition configurable to emit beta radiation. The first electrical insulator layer is disposed over the radiation source layer. The casing layer is disposed over the first electrical insulator layer. The casing layer comprises a composition configured to inhibit traversal of beta radiation. The first electrode is in electrical communication with the radiation source layer. The second electrode is in electrical communication with the casing layer. A voltage potential is present between the first electrode and the second electrode when the radiation source layer emits beta radiation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 4, 2020
    Publication date: May 5, 2022
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. HEIBEL, Cenk GULER
  • Publication number: 20220139581
    Abstract: A heat pipe configured to remove heat from a nuclear reactor core is disclosed herein. The heat pipe can include an inner housing defining an inner volume configured to accommodate a heat source and an outer housing configured about the inner housing and the heat source. A wick can be positioned between at least a portion of the inner housing and at least a portion of the outer housing, wherein the wick can include a capillary material, and wherein the wick can define an intermediate volume between the inner housing and the outer housing. A working fluid can be positioned within the intermediate volume, wherein the working fluid can evaporate at a first end of the heat pipe and condense at a second end of the heat pipe adjacent to a heat exchanger, and wherein the wick can return condensed working fluid to the first end of the heat pipe.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2020
    Publication date: May 5, 2022
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Abdul R. DULLOO, Alex LEVINSKY, Richard F. WRIGHT
  • Publication number: 20220130561
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor is disclosed including a reactor core and a reflector assembly surrounding the reactor core. The reflector assembly includes a stationary reflector component including a graphite support structure comprising a plurality of channels defined therein and a plurality of beryllium-oxide pins positioned in the channels.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 26, 2020
    Publication date: April 28, 2022
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Yuriy ALESHIN, Alex LEVINSKY, Matthew R. HEISEL, Stuart T. KELLNER
  • Patent number: 11300359
    Abstract: A block style heat exchanger for a heat pipe reactor having a plurality of heat pipes extending from a reactor core. The heat exchanger includes a plurality of primary channels, each for receiving heat transferred from the core via one of the heat pipes. The primary channels extending within a block of one or more materials. The heat exchanger also includes a plurality of secondary channels defined within the block for transmitting a flow of the secondary heat transfer medium through the heat exchanger from an inlet to an outlet. The block is formed from one or both of: a plurality of plates bonded together, with each plate defining at least a portion of one or more of the plurality of primary channels and/or the plurality of secondary channels, and/or a unitary piece of material formed from an additive manufacturing process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2022
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Clinton B. Armstrong, Yasir Arafat, Jurie J. Van Wyk, Matthew R. Heisel
  • Publication number: 20220108808
    Abstract: A control rod for a nuclear fuel assembly is described herein that includes a neutron absorbing material having a melting point greater than 1500° C. that does not form a eutectic with a melting point less than 1500° C., and may further include a cladding material having a melting point greater than 1500° C. The cladding material is selected from the group consisting of silicon carbide, zirconium, a zirconium alloy, tungsten, and molybdenum. The absorbing material is selected from the group consisting of Gd2O3, Ir, B4C, Re, and Hf. The metal cladding or the absorbing material may be coated with an anti-oxidation coating of Cr with or without a Nb intermediate layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 9, 2021
    Publication date: April 7, 2022
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Edward J. LAHODA, Frank A. BOYLAN, Ho Q. LAM, Mitchell E. NISSLEY, Raymond E. SCHNEIDER, Robert L. OELRICH, Sumit RAY, Radu POMIRLEANU, Zeses KAROUTAS, Michael J. HONE
  • Publication number: 20220107429
    Abstract: A device configured to measure radioactivity emitted by a plurality of radionuclides is disclosed herein. The device includes a source cage with an outer ring that defines a cylindrical volume and includes an orientation notch and a plurality of holes configured to receive a radionuclide of the plurality of radionuclides. The device also includes a frame that includes an arm and a central rod, wherein the arm is configured to be coupled to the outer ring and includes an orientation pin. The central rod can be coupled to a gamma detector and positioned within the cylindrical volume when the arm is coupled to the outer ring of source cage. The orientation notch of the source cage is configured to engage the orientation pin of the arm and, when the orientation pin engages the orientation notch, the central rod is in a predetermined location of the cylindrical volume.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 1, 2020
    Publication date: April 7, 2022
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventor: Jianwei CHEN
  • Publication number: 20220102016
    Abstract: A printed circuit heat exchanger for use in a reactor includes a core formed from a stack of plates diffusion bonded together. The core has: a top face, a bottom face disposed opposite the top face, a first side face extending between the top face and the bottom face, and a second side face disposed opposite the first side face. The printed circuit heat exchanger includes: a plurality of primary channels defined in the core, each of the primary channels extending from a primary inlet defined in the first side face to a primary outlet defined in the second side face; and a plurality of secondary channels defined in the core, each of the secondary channels extending among at least some of the primary channels from a secondary inlet defined in the top face to a secondary outlet defined in the top face.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 11, 2021
    Publication date: March 31, 2022
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Alexander W. HARKNESS, Cory A. STANSBURY
  • Patent number: 11289236
    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: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2022
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Heibel, Paolo Ferroni, Jorge V. Carvajal
  • Patent number: 11289221
    Abstract: A detection apparatus is a flow and temperature measuring device in the form of a tube having a channel positioned parallel to a coolant flow stream and contains a drogue that is firmly attached to a mount within the channel. The mount has a load detection apparatus firmly imbedded near the flow inlet to the tube. The drogue has at least neutral buoyancy in the fluid at the minimum fluid temperature of interest. A change in the buoyancy of the drogue as a function of temperature and a corresponding change in the strain detection apparatus output in the fluid is determined by a combination of simple physics and calibration measurements. The relationship between changes in strain detection apparatus signal output and flow-rate-induced forces applied to the drogue surface are also determined using a combination of simple physics and calibration measurements. A system and method are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2022
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventor: Michael D. Heibel
  • Patent number: 11289213
    Abstract: A control rod for a nuclear fuel assembly is described herein that includes a neutron absorbing material having a melting point greater than 1500° C. that does not form a eutectic with a melting point less than 1500° C., and may further include a cladding material having a melting point greater than 1500° C. The cladding material is selected from the group consisting of silicon carbide, zirconium, a zirconium alloy, tungsten, and molybdenum. The absorbing material is selected from the group consisting of Gd2O3, Ir, B4C, Re, and Hf. The metal cladding or the absorbing material may be coated with an anti-oxidation coating of Cr with or without a Nb intermediate layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2022
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Edward J. Lahoda, Frank A. Boylan, Ho Q. Lam, Mitchell E. Nissley, Raymond E. Schneider, Robert L. Oelrich, Sumit Ray, Radu Pomirleanu, Zeses Karoutas, Michael J. Hone
  • Patent number: 11289215
    Abstract: A system for use in shutting down a nuclear reactor includes a housing that defines a region therein sealed from an ambient environment and a gate member disposed within the region in a manner such that the gate member segregates the region into a first compartment and a second compartment isolated from the first compartment. The gate member is formed from a material having a predetermined melting point. The system further includes a neutron absorbing material disposed within the first compartment and a dispersion mechanism disposed within the region. The dispersion mechanism structured to encourage the neutron absorbing material from the first compartment into the second compartment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2022
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventor: Yasir Arafat
  • Patent number: 11289211
    Abstract: Methods of installing an external dashpot tube around a control rod guide tube in a nuclear reactor fuel assembly are disclosed herein. The nuclear reactor fuel assembly may include a top nozzle, a bottom nozzle, and a plurality of grids. The various methods may comprise inserting a guide tube into a skeleton of the nuclear reactor fuel assembly to a lower middle grid, the lower middle grid being second closest grid to the bottom nozzle of the plurality of grids. The various methods may also include installing an external dashpot tube over the guide tube after it has been inserted to the lower middle grid; inserting the guide tube with the installed external dashpot tube to the bottom nozzle; attaching the guide tube to the skeleton; and bulging the guide tube onto the external dashpot tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2022
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Yuriy Aleshin, Brian Millare, Michael O. Bausch, Carter Eliot Lunde
  • Patent number: 11286569
    Abstract: The invention relates to methods for mitigating the recontamination of carbon steel surfaces in a nuclear reactor or related water-containing systems and components, which have undergone a decontamination process. The methods include conducting a passivation process of the carbon steel surfaces directly following completion of the decontamination process, prior to the system or component being returned to service. In certain embodiments, a chelating agent is used in the decontamination process and is retained following completion of the process, for use in the subsequent passivation process. The passivation process forms a passivation film that is effective to reduce recontamination of the decontaminated carbon steel surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2022
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Darik J. Tippetts, Randall A. Duncan, Cornelius A. Swift
  • Publication number: 20220090948
    Abstract: A system for determining coolant flow rate in a nuclear reactor primary cooling loop includes a processor and a memory. The memory stores physical measurements of the mechanical components comprising the primary cooling loop. The memory also stores instructions that cause the processor to: receive pressure data from a plurality of pressure sensors in the cooling loop; calculate a model of fluid flow through the primary cooling loop based on the mechanical component measurements; compare the data from the pressure sensors with estimated data from the fluid flow model; and calculate a statistical weighting of the pressure data from the pressure sensors based on the estimated pressure data from the fluid flow model. In another system, the flow rate is determined from a combination of the estimate from the modeled fluid flow with an estimate based on a calorimetric thermal exchange calculation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 22, 2020
    Publication date: March 24, 2022
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Matthew M. SWARTZ, John LOJEK