Patents Examined by Daniel Wasil
  • Patent number: 11133115
    Abstract: Disclosed is a nuclear fuel rod including at least one or more fuel pellets, a cladding tube surrounding the fuel pellets, and burnable absorber inside the cladding tube. The burnable absorber comprises a burnable absorber material and a cladding material surrounding the burnable absorber material. The burnable absorber has a disk shape, and the cladding material is an alloy comprising zirconium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2020
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2021
    Assignee: KOREA ADVANCED INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
    Inventors: Yonghee Kim, Seongdong Jang, Xuan Ha Nguyen
  • Patent number: 11127507
    Abstract: A sensor system for a fuel rod including a fuel pellet stack, the sensor system including a wireless interrogator disposed outside the fuel rod and a passive sensor component disposed within the fuel rod. The passive sensor component includes a receiver structured to receive an interrogation signal and output an excitation signal in response to receiving the interrogation signal, a reference transmitter structured to output a reference signal to the reference receiver in response to the excitation signal, a sensing transmitter structured to output a sensing signal to the sensing receiver in response to the excitation signal, and a core at least partially disposed within the sensing transmitter and coupled to move in conjunction with expansion or contraction of the fuel pellet stack, to move based on changes in pressure within the fuel rod, or to change temperature based on temperature changes within the fuel rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2021
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Arndt, Jorge V. Carvajal, Shawn C. Stafford
  • Patent number: 11114212
    Abstract: A method of generating power using a Thorium-containing molten salt fuel is disclosed. One example includes the steps of providing a vessel containing a molten salt fuel, generating a proton beam externally to the vessel, where the externally generated proton beam being of an energy level sufficient to interact with the salt in the vessel to produce a (p, n) reaction resulting in the generation of a neutron at the first energy level. Neutrons generated within the vessel through the (p, n) reactions caused by the externally generated proton's interaction with the at least one salt are utilized to produce a fission reaction where the fission reaction increases the heat content of the molten salt within the vessel. In the example, a heat exchanger is used to extract heat from the molten salt within the vessel and power is generated from the extracted heat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2021
    Assignee: Texas Thorium, LLC
    Inventors: Lin Shao, Yassin A. Hassan, Rodolfo Vaghetto, Holloway H. Frost, Trevor D. Parker
  • Patent number: 11101046
    Abstract: The invention concerns a nuclear reactor comprising a vessel closed at the top by a radially external fixed closing structure and by a radially internal mobile closing structure. The vessel contains a core immersed in a primary cooling fluid and comprising fuel elements, control rods, shutdown rods, and a hydraulic separation structure delimiting a hot manifold and a cold manifold in which the primary fluid circulates. The control rods and the shutdown rods are inserted in respective penetrations of the fixed closing structure and are therefore located radially external to the mobile closing structure and external to an upper portion of the separation structure containing respective heads of the fuel elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2021
    Assignee: HYDROMINE NUCLEAR ENERGY S.A.RL.
    Inventor: Luciano Cinotti
  • Patent number: 11094423
    Abstract: A method that provides a more direct indication of peak fuel rod centerline temperature and peak fuel rod clad temperature than conventionally inferred from the power distribution by directly and continuously measuring the fuel temperatures of the fuel pellets in one or more of the hottest fuel elements in the core. The peak fuel rod clad temperature is then obtained from the maximum measured peak fuel rod centerline temperature in combination with the maximum coolant core exit temperature and the minimum coolant flow rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2021
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Heibel, Jorge V. Carvajal, Shawn C. Stafford, Jeffrey L. Arndt
  • Patent number: 11081241
    Abstract: Nuclear fuel elements may include: a fuel zone including fuel particles disposed in parallel layers in a matrix including graphite powder; and a shell comprising graphite and surrounding the fuel zone. The fuel particles may include fissile particles, burnable poison particles, breeder particles, or a combination thereof. The fuel zone may include a central region and a peripheral region surrounding the central region, and a fuel particle density of the peripheral region may be greater than a fuel particle density of the central region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2021
    Assignee: X-ENERGY, LLC
    Inventors: Peter Pappano, Martin Peter Van Staden
  • Patent number: 11079512
    Abstract: The detection and assay of fissionable material is carried out on a container known or suspected to have a material with at least one fissionable isotope. The material is irradiated with neutrons from two or more different neutron sources. The fission rates inducted at each irradiation energy are acquired with at least one neutron detector. A multispectral active neutron interrogation analysis (MANIA) is carried out to compare the detected fission rates of the neutron spectra with calculated fission rates where an iterative algorithm is carried out on a system of linear equations to solve for the isotopic composition of one or more isotopes to determine the presence, identity, and quantities of fissionable isotopes in said container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2021
    Assignee: University of Florida Research Foundation, Incorporated
    Inventors: Kelly A. Jordan, Jason M. Lewis
  • Patent number: 11075013
    Abstract: This disclosure describes various configurations and components of a molten fuel fast or thermal nuclear reactor in which one or more primary heat exchangers are located above the reactor core of the nuclear reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2021
    Assignee: TerraPower, LLC
    Inventors: Ryan Abbott, Anselmo T. Cisneros, Jr., Mark R. Werner
  • Patent number: 11069449
    Abstract: An electrochemically modulated molten salt reactor (EMMSR) that contains a vessel and a power source. The vessel houses a fuel salt, at least a portion of a neutron moderator, and at least a portion of an insulator. The fuel salt includes enough dissolved fissile isotopes to cause continued self-sustaining fission reactions during the operation of the EMMSR. The neutron moderator is configured to slow down fast neutrons produced by the dissolved fissile isotopes. The insulator is configured to electrically isolate the neutron moderator from the vessel. The power source has a positive potential and a negative potential. The positive potential is received by the neutron moderator and the negative potential is received by the vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2021
    Assignee: Department of Energy
    Inventor: Junhua Jiang
  • Patent number: 11062812
    Abstract: A floating nuclear power reactor including one or two nuclear power reactors positioned in a floating vessel such as a barge or the like. Means is disclosed for flooding the containment structure of the nuclear reactor and for flooding the reactor vessels to cool the same.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2021
    Inventor: Palvannanathan Ganesan
  • Patent number: 11062811
    Abstract: A thermal control system for a reactor pressure vessel comprises a plate having a substantially circular shape that is attached to a wall of the reactor pressure vessel. The plate divides the reactor pressure vessel into an upper reactor pressure vessel region and a lower reactor pressure vessel region. Additionally, the plate is configured to provide a thermal barrier between a pressurized volume located within the upper reactor pressure vessel region and primary coolant located within the lower reactor pressure vessel region. One or more plenums provide a passageway for a plurality of heat transfer tubes to pass fluid through the wall of the reactor pressure vessel. The plurality of heat transfer tubes are connected to the plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2021
    Assignee: NuScale Power, LLC
    Inventors: Tamas Liszkai, Seth Cadell, Alex Kruskamp, Matthew Mallet
  • Patent number: 11049625
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a sintered nuclear fuel pellet wherein one or more consolidated bodies of a burnable absorber are inserted inside, wherein the one or more consolidated bodies of the burnable absorber do not include nuclear fuel which includes UO2, and the one or more consolidated bodies of the burnable absorber are inserted into a radially central region of the sintered nuclear fuel pellet, such that the one or more consolidated bodies are surrounded by the nuclear fuel pellet without being exposed to an outside of the sintered nuclear fuel pellet. The present invention can optimize the regulation of excess reactivity by optimizing the self-shielding and the burning speed of the burnable absorber using one or more consolidated bodies the burnable absorber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: KOREA ADVANCED INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
    Inventors: Yonghee Kim, Ho Jin Ryu, Mohd Syukri bin Yahya, Qusai Mahmoud Mohammad Mistarihi, Chihyung Kim
  • Patent number: 11037687
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and devices of the various embodiments enable a Nuclear Thermionic Avalanche Cell (NTAC) to capture gamma ray photons emitted during a fission process, such as a fission process of Uranium-235 (U-235), and to breed and use a new gamma ray source to increase an overall emission flux of gamma ray photons. Various embodiments combine a fission process with the production of Co-60, thereby boosting the output flux of gamma ray photons for use by a NTAC in generating power. Various embodiments combine a fission process with the production of Co-60, a NTAC generating avalanche cell power, and a thermoelectric generator generating thermoelectric power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2021
    Assignee: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS REPRESENTED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF NASA
    Inventors: Sang H. Choi, Ronald J. Litchford
  • Patent number: 11037688
    Abstract: Fuel bundles for a nuclear reactor are described and illustrated, and in some cases includes fuel elements each having a first fuel component of recycled uranium, and a second fuel component of at least one of depleted uranium and natural uranium blended with the first fuel component, wherein the blended first and second fuel components have a first fissile content of less than 1.2% wt of 235U. Other fuel bundles are also described and illustrated, and include a first fuel element including recycled uranium, the first fuel element having a first fissile content of no less than 0.72 wt % of 235U; and a second fuel element including at least one of depleted uranium and natural uranium, the second fuel element having a second fissile content of no greater than 0.71 wt % of 235U.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2021
    Assignee: ATOMIC ENERGY OF CANADA LIMITED
    Inventors: Sermet Kuran, Mustapha Boubcher, Cathy Cottrell, Eric Carl Alemendra Araujo
  • Patent number: 11031148
    Abstract: Various embodiments of a transportable nuclear power generator having a plurality of subcritical power modules are disclosed. Each of the plurality of subcritical power modules includes a fuel cartridge, a power conversion unit, and a housing substantially enclosing the fuel cartridge and the power conversion unit. The fuel cartridge contains a nuclear fuel and has a proximal end and a distal end. The power conversion unit includes a compressor turbine disposed at the proximal end of the fuel cartridge and a power turbine disposed at the distal end of the fuel cartridge. At least one of the plurality of subcritical power modules is movable with respect to the other of the plurality of subcritical power modules between a first position and a second position to control criticality of the nuclear fuel contained in the fuel cartridges of the plurality of subcritical power modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: CARBON FREE HOLDINGS LLC
    Inventor: Claudio Filippone
  • Patent number: 11031141
    Abstract: A method including providing a nuclear reactor neutron source that includes an enclosure delimiting a chamber, a nuclear reactor core arranged inside the chamber and configured to produce neutrons from a nuclear fuel element inside the nuclear reactor core; installing a beam generator arranged to generate a beam directed into the chamber; and installing, inside the chamber, a target arranged to eject neutrons upon impact of the beam such that neutrons are ejected from the target and emitted from the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignees: European Spallation Source Eric, Mifler Consulting KFT
    Inventors: Ferenc Mezei, Luca Zanini
  • Patent number: 10991473
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing a fuel assembly for use in a core of a nuclear power reactor. The method includes manufacturing each of a plurality of elongated fuel elements by mixing powdered fuel material with powdered metal non-fuel material. The mixed powdered fuel material and metal non-fuel material is sintered to create a fuel core stock, the fuel core stock is surrounded with a cladding material, and the fuel core stock and cladding material are co-extruded to create the fuel element. The fuel element has a spirally twisted, multi-lobed profile that defines a plurality of spiral ribs. The multi-lobed profile includes lobe tips and intersections between adjacent lobes. The cladding is thicker at the tips than at the intersections. The plurality of elongated fuel elements are mounted to a frame of the fuel assembly. A moderator:fuel ratio in a region of the fuel elements is 2.5 or less.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2021
    Assignee: THORIUM POWER, INC.
    Inventors: Sergey Mikhailovich Bashkirtsev, Valentin Fedorovich Kuznetsov, Valery Vladimirovich Kevrolev, Alexey Glebovich Morozov, Michael H. Montgomery
  • Patent number: 10984919
    Abstract: A zirconium alloy nuclear reactor cylindrical cladding has an inner Zr substrate surface, an outer volume of protective material, and an integrated middle volume of zirconium oxide, zirconium and protective material, where the protective material is applied by impaction at a velocity greater than 340 meters/second to provide the integrated middle volume resulting in structural integrity for the cladding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2021
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jason P. Mazzoccoli, Edward J. Lahoda, Peng Xu
  • Patent number: 10971274
    Abstract: There is disclosed a toroidal field coil for use in a spherical tokamak. The toroidal field coil comprises a central column and a plurality of return limbs. The central column comprises a plurality of exfoliated HTS tapes, and the return limbs comprise a plurality of substrated HTS tapes. Each exfoliated HTS tape comprises a ReBCO layer bonded to respective metal interface layers on each side of the ReBCO layer, each metal interface layer being bonded to a metal stabiliser layer. Each substrated HTS tape comprises a ReBCO layer bonded on one side to a metal interface layer and on the other side to an oxide buffer stack, the metal interface layer being bonded to a metal stabiliser layer and the oxide buffer stack being bonded to a substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: Tokamak Energy Ltd.
    Inventors: Greg Brittles, David Kingham, Robert Slade
  • Patent number: 10957458
    Abstract: A control rod drive system and an inspection method of the control rod drive system capable of performing inspection safely and effectively. A control rod drive system controlling operation by supplying a hydraulic pressure to control rod drive mechanisms. A plurality of first hydraulic control units supply the hydraulic pressure to corresponding control rod drive mechanisms and a second hydraulic control unit supplies the hydraulic pressure to corresponding control rod drive mechanisms of the first hydraulic control unit as an inspection target instead of the first hydraulic control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2021
    Assignee: HITACHI-GE NUCLEAR ENERGY, LTD.
    Inventors: Kento Ooka, Naoto Misawa, Hiroshi Okazawa