Patents Examined by Brooks H. Hunt
  • Patent number: 5280507
    Abstract: A method and apparatus of sensing obstructions in a tubular nuclear fuel rod or the like is disclosed. A nozzle is positioned to engage one end of the fuel rod in an air tight sealed relationship. A first gas flows through the nozzle and then into and through the fuel rod. The pressure is sensed and compared with a standardized pressure to determine any excess back pressure in the nozzle indicating an obstruction present therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1989
    Date of Patent: January 18, 1994
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventor: Denis Yeo
  • Patent number: 5249209
    Abstract: A remotely controlled robotic welding arm is provided that is designed to service the omega seal site between the control rod drive mechanism and adapter tube of a nuclear reactor stalk head and is specifically concerned with welding the canopy seal to contain radioactive steam released in the event of an omega seal failure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1993
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventor: Horst Kwech
  • Patent number: 5237595
    Abstract: An improved guide plate of the type used in the guide tubes of a nuclear reactor and having a central orifice for conducting coolant, and circular guide holes interconnected by slots for guidingly conducting the movement of control rodlets and control rod vanes through the guide tube is disclosed. The improvement comprises a plurality of vent openings in the form of vent holes uniformly disposed between the slots of the plate and vent gaps disposed between the outer periphery of the guide plate and the inner wall of the guide tube for reducing turbulence in the flow of coolant through the central orifice, thereby advantageously reducing both fretting and frictional engagement between the control rodlets and the guide holes. The resulting turbulence reduction further advantageously reduces the rodlet drop time through the guide tube, thereby enhancing reactor safety.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 1990
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1993
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventor: Joel Woodcock
  • Patent number: 5217682
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor system including a main heat transport path around which a first coolant is pumped by main circulation pumps to transport heat from the reactor core to a steam generator. A heat exchanger is located in the main heat transport path after the outlet from the steam generator, the secondary side of that heat exchanger being in a decay heat removal loop which contains a second liquid coolant. A vapor separator in the decay heat removal loop is connected to an outlet of the heat exchanger with the vapor separator's outlet being connected to an inlet of a further heat exchanger located in a large tank of water which forms a heat sink. The further heat exchanger's outlet is connected to the heat exchanger's inlet forming a closed loop. The further heat exchanger is located at a higher elevation than the heat exchanger whereby a natural convection flow can occur in the decay heat removal path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1991
    Date of Patent: June 8, 1993
    Assignee: Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
    Inventor: Norman J. Spinks
  • Patent number: 5217676
    Abstract: The plug (8) comprises a body in two parts (9, 10) in the form of flanges assembled together so as to be locked against rotation about their common axis and movable in axial translational motion relative to one another. A gasket (11) made of flexible material is inserted between the peripheral parts of the two flanges, and the flanges are axially clamped. The space (12) between the flanges (9, 10) can be evacuated before such clamping.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 8, 1993
    Assignee: Framatome
    Inventor: Jean-Claude Morandiere
  • Patent number: 5202062
    Abstract: The present invention adds carbonates or chlorides of alkaline earth metals to the radioactive wastes containing sodium sulfate and subjects sulfate group in the radioactive wastes to reduction treatment, thereby converts the sulfate group into sulfides of alkaline earth metals which are chemically stable substances while suppressing SOx generation, and solidifies the radioactive wastes stably for an extended period of time by applying to the converted radioactive wastes solidifying treatment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 1991
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1993
    Assignee: Hitachi Ltd.
    Inventors: Tsutomu Baba, Koichi Chino, Masami Matsuda, Takashi Nishi, Kiyomi Funabashi, Takashi Ikeda, Akira Sasahiro, Makoto Kikuchi, Shin Tamada
  • Patent number: 5202005
    Abstract: A method is provided for selective photoionization of the odd-numbered atomic mass gadolinium isotopes 155 and 157. The selective photoionization is accomplished by circular or linear parallel polarized laser beam energy effecting a three-step photoionization pathway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1991
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1993
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Jeffrey A. Paisner, Brian J. Comaskey, Christopher A. Haynam, Jon H. Eggert
  • Patent number: 5186868
    Abstract: Reagents and processes for reductively introducing deuterium or tritium into organic molecules are described. The reagents are deuterium or tritium analogs of trialkyl boranes, borane or alkali metal aluminum hydrides. The process involves forming these reagents in situ from alkali metal tritides or deuterides.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1990
    Date of Patent: February 16, 1993
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventors: Hendrik Andres, Hiromi Morimoto, Philip G. Williams
  • Patent number: 5182077
    Abstract: A fuel rod for a water cooled nuclear reactor comprises a cladding made of a continuous wound ceramic fiber tube. The wound fibers are impregnated with a matrix to achieve a required density and exposed to ammonia gas to create a solid gel. The gel is fired to form a ceramic composite having desirable thermal properties, strength, corrosion resistance, toughness and neutron capture cross-section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 26, 1993
    Assignee: Gamma Engineering Corporation
    Inventor: Herbert Feinroth
  • Patent number: 5176885
    Abstract: A process and an apparatus are provided which separate the lower molecular weight isotope fraction from the higher molecular weight isotope fraction of an element which forms a water soluble acid at temperatures amenable to ion exchange. The separation is accomplished by shifting the equilibrium constants for absorption and desorption by temperature variations of the acidic solution. The process and apparatus are preferably employed to enrich a boric acid solution in its boron-10 isotope fraction by employing the use of ion exchange resins which are capable of thermally storing and releasing boron isotopes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 5, 1993
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corporation
    Inventors: Albert J. Impink, Jr., Joseph A. Battaglia
  • Patent number: 5174946
    Abstract: To detect core-wide and regional neutron flux oxcillations in a nuclear reactor core induced by thermal-hydraulic instabilities, local power range monitoring (LPRM) strings radially distributed throughout the core and having plural vertically spaced neutron flux detectors are locally assigned to individual oscillation power range monitoring (OPRM) cells radially distributed throughout the core. Groups of OPRM cells are assigned to different OPRM channels based on their geographical positions. Detector signals of the LPRM strings assigned to each OPRM cell are processed pursuant to a unique trip algorithm to detect neutron flux oscillations, and, upon meeting prescribed amplitude and frequency criteria, the assigned OPRM channel is tripped. Suppression of a thermal hydraulic instability is initiated when at least two OPRM channels assigned to geographically adjacent OPRM cells are tripped.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1992
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Glen A. Watford, Kiran Kumar
  • Patent number: 5174950
    Abstract: A grid for use on a PWR fuel element comprises a belt of hexagonal shape and three sets of plates secured to the belt. The plates in each set are mutually parallel and are at an angle of with the plates of the two other sets. All plates have the same length and have a bend in their middle. Each plate is parallel to two successive faces of the belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1992
    Assignee: Compagnie Generale des Mattieres Nucleaires
    Inventor: Stephane Cachat
  • Patent number: 5173248
    Abstract: A remote control apparatus for maintaining a tokamak type nuclear fusion reactor comprises a rail having a plurality of arcuated links to be extended in a circumferential direction and a plurality of joints for pivotally connecting the adjacent arcuated links, a vehicle running on the rail extended so as to form a continuous arc with its center substantially coinciding with the center of the torus space, and at least one handling device mounted on the vehicle, for handling the in-vessel components. The remote control apparatus is further provided with a rail housing device for receiving the arcuated links in a folded state when they are not in use, a rail mounting device for sending out said arcuated links in succession into the torus space, extending them so that they form a continuous arc and supporting the arcuated link on the proximal end of the rail, and a rail supporting device for supporting the central portion of the rail extended in the torus space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 22, 1992
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Kiyoshi Shibanuma, Shin Murakami, Tadashi Munakata, Yoshinobu Ishikawa
  • Patent number: 5171517
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for monitoring corrosion to members within the core of a nuclear reactor, particularly fuel rod cladding. A sensor means is submerged inside the core of a nuclear reactor near the member or fuel rods. The sensor means is comprised of a generally cylindrical section having an outer surface that is subject to corrosion and radiation, and has a cross-sectional area A.sub.1. The sensor means additionally has a reference section subjected to radiation but not to corrosion, and having a cross-sectional area A.sub.2. At least one pair of first probes, separated by a length L.sub.1, is placed in electrical contact with the cylindrical section. At least one pair of second probes separated by a length L.sub.2, is placed in electrical contact with the reference section. A current is passed throughout the sensor means to produce a potential gradient in the cylindrical section and reference section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 15, 1992
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Harvey D. Solomon, Gerald M. Gordon
  • Patent number: 5171546
    Abstract: The invention relates to the use of thioether ligands in accordance with the formula: ##STR1## in which R.sup.1 and R.sup.2, which can be the same or different, represent alkyl radicals, R.sup.3 is an alkyl radical and A represents a divalent radical chosen from among the radicals of formula:--(CH.sub.2).sub.m ----(CH.sub.2).sub.n --X--(CH.sub.2).sub.p -- ##STR2## in which m is equal to 0 or is an integer from 1 to 6, n and p are integers between 1 and 6 and X represents O or S, for recovering the palladium present in a nitric aqueous solution (A.sub.0) for dissolving irradiated nuclear fuel elements.For example, it is possible to use the ligand of formula (I) with A representing CH.sub.2 --S--CH.sub.2 and R.sup.1 and R.sup.2 representing C.sub.10 H.sub.21.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 15, 1992
    Assignee: Cogema-Compagnie Generale des Matieres Nucleaires
    Inventors: Alain Guy, Marc Lemaire, Jacques Foos, Gerard Le Buzit, Vincent Guyon, Thierry Moutarde, Rodolph Chomel, Micheline Draye
  • Patent number: 5171372
    Abstract: A thermoelectric device has hot and cold sides. The hot and cold sides include a plate of insulation material having "peanut" or rectangularly shaped tabs forming hot and cold side tab patterns. The tabs have circular or polygonal shaped pockets adjacent opposing ends of the tabs. Legs of p-type and n-type semiconductor material are attached in opposing end pockets of the tabs. Spade connectors are attached to end tabs of the cold side plate for connection to a dc source of power. The legs are vibrated into the pockets of one side (either the hot or cold side) and the tabs of the other side are positioned to opposing ends of the tabs of the other side (either the cold or hot side).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 15, 1992
    Assignee: Marlow Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Leonard J. Recine, Sr.
  • Patent number: 5171522
    Abstract: A fuel bundle of square cross section and standard vertical dimension is disclosed. The fuel bundle includes a matrix of upstanding vertical rods, a lower tie plate for supporting the matrix of vertical rods and permitting the inflow of liquid moderator coolant (preferably light water), and upper tie plate for holding the matrix of vertical fuel rods upright and permitting the outflow of liquid and vapor moderator coolant (water and steam), and a preferably square sectioned channel extending between the tie plate for confining the flow path between the tie plate around the fuel bundle. The novel characteristics of the invention is the introduction of a corresponding matrix of water rods (cylindrical rods with liquid phase water flow) positioned between the fuel rods, as opposed to the current practice of using or displacing a subset of fuel rods with large central water rod(s) for this purpose.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 15, 1992
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Larry E. Fennern
  • Patent number: 5169609
    Abstract: The transuranic (TRU) elements neptunium, plutonium and americium can be separated together with strontium from nitric acid waste solutions in a single process. An extractant solution of a crown ether and an alkyl(phenyl)-N,N-dialkylcarbanylmethylphosphine oxide in an appropriate diluent will extract the TRU's together with strontium, uranium and technetium. The TRU's and the strontium can then be selectively stripped from the extractant for disposal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1992
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: E. Philip Horwitz, Mark L. Dietz
  • Patent number: H1227
    Abstract: The invention is a method for the encapsulation of soluble radioactive waste chloride salts containing radionuclides such as strontium, cesium and hazardous wastes such as barium so that they may be permanently stored without future threat to the environment. The process consists of contacting the salts containing the radionuclides and hazardous wastes with certain zeolites which have been found to ion exchange with the radionuclides and to occlude the chloride salts so that the resulting product is leach resistant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1993
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Energy
    Inventors: Michele A. Lewis, Terry R. Johnson
  • Patent number: H1422
    Abstract: A high voltage, rechargeable lithium electrochemical cell is provided that exhibits high cycling efficiency over many cycles. The cell comprises metallic lithium as the anode, poly 3-methylthiophene (PMT) polymer as the cathode, and LiAsF.sub.6 salt dissolved in dimethylcarbonate (DMC) as the electrolyte.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 7, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army
    Inventors: Charles W. Walker, Jr., Steven M. Slane