Patents Examined by Lily C Garner
  • Patent number: 11069450
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor protection system includes a plurality of functionally independent modules, each of the modules configured to receive a plurality of inputs from a nuclear reactor safety system, and logically determine a safety action based at least in part on the plurality of inputs, each of the functionally independent modules comprising a digital module or a combination digital and analog module, an analog module electrically coupled to one or more of the functionally independent modules, and one or more nuclear reactor safety actuators communicably coupled to the plurality of functionally independent modules to receive the safety action determination based at least in part on the plurality of inputs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2021
    Assignees: NuScale Power, LLC, Rock Creek Innovations LLC
    Inventors: Gregory Wayne Clarkson, Rufino Ayala, Jason Pottorf
  • Patent number: 11062816
    Abstract: Apparatuses and methods for production of molybdenum targets, and the formed molybdenum targets, used to produce Tc-99m are described. The target includes a copper support plate having a front face and a back face. The copper support plate desirably has dimensions of thickness of about 2.8 mm, a length of about 65 mm and a width of about 30 mm; and the copper support plate desirably has either a circular or an elliptical cavity centrally formed therein by pressing molybdenum powder into the front face with a depth of about 200-400 microns. Also, the copper support plate includes cooling channels dispensed at the back face; wherein the copper support plate is water cooled by a flow of water during irradiation by a proton beam. Molybdenum powder is embedded and compressed onto the cavity of the copper support plate thereby creating a thin layer of molybdenum onto the copper support plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2021
    Inventors: Richard Ray Johnson, William Z. Gelbart, Brian Abeysekera, Lidia Matei, Glenn McRae
  • Patent number: 11049624
    Abstract: A liquid metal-cooled nuclear reactor includes, within a reactor pressure vessel, a primary electromagnetic pump (EMP) circulating liquid metal coolant through the reactor core and a backflow EMP. The nuclear reactor may be configured to at least partially mitigate liquid metal coolant backflow in response to a primary EMP failure. The backflow EMP is coupled in series with the primary EMP within the reactor pressure vessel. The backflow EMP may be selectively activated in response to failure of the primary EMP to mitigate liquid metal backflow through the primary EMP. The primary EMP and backflow EMP may receive power from separate power sources. Multiple backflow EMPs may be coupled in parallel to the primary EMP via parallel liquid metal coolant lines. A nuclear reactor may include multiple primary EMPs and multiple sets of backflow EMPs, where each separate set of backflow EMPs is coupled to a separate primary EMP.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: GE-HITACHI NUCLEAR ENERGY AMERICAS LLC
    Inventors: Eric Paul Loewen, Seth Ryan Paul Strege, Nicholas Francis O'Neill, Colin Christopher O'Connor, Chelsea Ann Curtin, Edwin Wu
  • Patent number: 11049622
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for pressurizing SiC clad rods of a nuclear core component. A lower end of the rod is sealed with a lower end plug and an upper end of the rod is sealed between the cladding and an external piece of an upper end plug that has a through opening through which a separate internal piece of the upper end plug extends. The internal piece of the upper end plug is initially moveable within the through opening between an upper position that forms a gas tight seal and a lower position that forms a gaseous path through the through opening. The rod is placed in a pressure chamber pressurized to a desired pressure. When the pressure is reduced within the pressure chamber the internal pressure in the rod biases the internal piece of the upper end plug in the upper sealed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Robert L. Oelrich, Jr., Peng Xu
  • Patent number: 11049623
    Abstract: A fuel rod for a nuclear reactor, including a cladding tube having a first end with an annular end face, a second end with an annular end face, and a cylindrical body portion extending therebetween, and a first tube end plug including a front portion, an annular lip with an annular end face, and a substantially straight cylindrical body portion extending therebetween, wherein the surface area of the annular end face of the first end of the cladding tube and the annular end face of the annular lip of the first tube end plug are substantially equal, and the annular end face of the first end of the cladding tube and the annular end face of the annular lip of the first tube end plug are connected by a resistance pressure weld.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: BWXT mPower, Inc.
    Inventors: Earl Brian Barger, Scott L. Fitzner, Jeffrey T. Lee, Roger D. Ridgeway
  • Patent number: 11043309
    Abstract: The present invention relates generally to the field of compensation methods for nuclear reactors and, in particular to a method for fail-safe reactivity compensation in solution-type nuclear reactors. In one embodiment, the fail-safe reactivity compensation method of the present invention augments other control methods for a nuclear reactor. In still another embodiment, the fail-safe reactivity compensation method of the present invention permits one to control a nuclear reaction in a nuclear reactor through a method that does not rely on moving components into or out of a reactor core, nor does the method of the present invention rely on the constant repositioning of control rods within a nuclear reactor in order to maintain a critical state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2021
    Assignee: BWXT Technical Services Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Erik T. Nygaard, Peter L. Angelo, Scott B. Aase
  • Patent number: 11043310
    Abstract: Apparatuses for reducing or eliminating Type 1 LOCAs in a nuclear reactor vessel. A nuclear reactor including a nuclear reactor core comprising a fissile material, a pressure vessel containing the nuclear reactor core immersed in primary coolant disposed in the pressure vessel, and an isolation valve assembly including, an isolation valve vessel having a single open end with a flange, a spool piece having a first flange secured to a wall of the pressure vessel and a second flange secured to the flange of the isolation valve vessel, a fluid flow line passing through the spool piece to conduct fluid flow into or out of the first flange wherein a portion of the fluid flow line is disposed in the isolation valve vessel, and at least one valve disposed in the isolation valve vessel and operatively connected with the fluid flow line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2021
    Assignee: BWXT mPower, Inc.
    Inventors: John D. Malloy, III, Michael J. Edwards
  • Patent number: 11043308
    Abstract: A method is described for forming duplex layers including an interlayer and a corrosion resistant boundary layer on a nuclear fuel rod cladding tube for use in a water cooled nuclear reactor. The method includes forming, by thermal deposition or physical vapor deposition, on the exterior of a substrate, an inner interlayer with Mo, Ta, W or Nb or other particles, and forming, by thermal deposition or physical vapor deposition, on the interlayer, an outer corrosion resistant layer with particles selected from the group consisting of Cr, a Cr alloy, and combinations thereof. The interlayer prevents eutectic formation between the corrosion resistant layer and the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2021
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Edward J. Lahoda, Peng Xu, Robert Oelrich, Kumar Sridharan, Benjamin Maier, Greg Johnson
  • Patent number: 11031140
    Abstract: Cover gas control systems include a reservoir and injection path for direct injection into fuel transfer machinery. If seals in the fuel handling machinery leak, cover gas is provided from the reservoir to flow to the leak without contamination from a reactor to which the fuel transfer machinery is joined. This providing cover gas may be passive or automatic in response to a detected low pressure level, detected ambient air ingress, low volume level of cover gas, or manually actuated through an operator. The cover gas may be injected from below the leak but above the reactor. A limitation in the injection path keeps cover gas injection at rates sufficient to allow operator reaction and sealing before the reservoir is depleted. A pressure pulse transmitter, blowout preventer, and transfer port plug are useable in the systems, which can be implemented in fuel handling machinery for reactors using a cover gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventors: Brian S. Hunt, Derek Bass
  • Patent number: 11031142
    Abstract: A fast neutron nuclear reactor contains a nuclear reactor core having an array of device locations. Some device locations in the nuclear reactor core contain fissile and fertile nuclear fuel assembly devices. One or more other device locations in the nuclear reactor core contain Doppler reactivity augmentation devices that amplify the negativity of the Doppler reactivity coefficient within the nuclear reactor core. In some implementations, a Doppler reactivity augmentation device can also reduce the coolant temperature coefficient within the nuclear reactor core. Accordingly, a Doppler reactivity augmentation device contributes to a more stable nuclear reactor core.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: TERRAPOWER, LLC
    Inventors: Jesse R. Cheatham, III, Mark W. Reed, Micah J. Hackett
  • Patent number: 11031145
    Abstract: A method is described that includes the steps of making a thin walled Zr alloy tube, loading nuclear fuel pellets into the tube, compressing the tube onto the fuel pellets to substantially reduce free space around the fuel pellets, positioning end plugs at each of two ends of the tube, filling the tube with a heat transferring gas, and coating the compressed tube with a corrosion resistant material using a thermal deposition process, such as cold spray, before inserting the tube into a pre-formed SiC composite cover having at least one closed end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Edward J. Lahoda, Andrew J. Mueller
  • Patent number: 11017907
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor protection system includes a plurality of functionally independent modules, each of the modules configured to receive a plurality of inputs from a nuclear reactor safety system, and logically determine a safety action based at least in part on the plurality of inputs; and one or more nuclear reactor safety actuators communicably coupled to the plurality of functionally independent modules to receive the safety action determination based at least in part on the plurality of inputs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignees: NuScale Power, LLC, Rock Creek Innovations, LLC
    Inventors: Gregory Wayne Clarkson, Rufino Ayala, Jason Pottorf
  • Patent number: 11004570
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method for preparing a fully ceramic capsulated nuclear fuel material containing three-layer-structured isotropic nuclear fuel particles coated with a ceramic having a composition which has a higher shrinkage than a matrix in order to prevent cracking of ceramic nuclear fuel, wherein the three-layer-structured nuclear fuel particles before coating is included in the range of between 5 and 40 fractions by volume based on after sintering.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignees: UNIVERSITY OF SEOUL INDUSTRY COOPERATION FOUNDATION, KEPCO NUCLEAR FUEL CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Young Wook Kim, Jung Hye Eom, Yu Kwang Seo, Seung Jae Lee
  • Patent number: 10991472
    Abstract: A neutron absorbing insert for use in a fuel rack. In one aspect, the insert includes: a plate structure having a first wall and a second wall that is non-coplanar to the first wall; the first and second walls being formed by a single panel of a metal matrix composite having neutron absorbing particulate reinforcement that is bent into the non-coplanar arrangement along a crease; and a plurality of spaced-apart holes formed into the single panel along the crease prior to bending.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2021
    Inventors: Evan Rosenbaum, Thomas G. Haynes, III, Krishna P. Singh
  • Patent number: 10978214
    Abstract: A reactor that is operable to produce an isotope includes a region for containing a controlled nuclear fission reaction, the region segmented into a plurality of independent compartments, each of the compartments for containing a parent material in an aqueous solution that interacts with neutrons to produce the isotope via a fission reaction. Also provided are methods of producing an isotope using the same.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2021
    Assignee: SHINE Medical Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Gregory Piefer, Thomas Rockwell Mackie
  • Patent number: 10964438
    Abstract: A system for monitoring fissile material contents inside of a nuclear reactor can include at least a first neutron detector positioned outside a radiation shield and configured to detect a plurality of neutrons originating from the reactor core and having passed through the radiation shield, and configured to generate a first output signal, and a controller communicably linked to the first neutron detector to receive the first output signal and a power output of the nuclear reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2021
    Assignee: Atomic Energy Of Canada Limited / Energie Atomique Du Canada Limitee
    Inventors: Bryan van der Ende, Bhaskar Sur
  • Patent number: 10964437
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor seismic isolation assembly includes an enclosure that defines a volume; a plastically-deformable member mounted, at least in part, within the volume; and a stretching member moveable within the enclosure to plastically-deform the plastically-deformable member in response to a dynamic force exerted on the enclosure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2021
    Assignee: NuScale Power, LLC
    Inventor: Tamas Liszkai
  • Patent number: 10964436
    Abstract: A system for injecting hydrogen into Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) reactor support systems in operation during reactor startup and/or shutdown. The system the hydrogen injection system includes at least one hydrogen source, flow control equipment, and pressure control equipment. The pressure control equipment being configured to regulate a pressure of a hydrogen flow between the at least one hydrogen source and the at least one first BWR support system based upon an operating pressure of the at least one first BWR support system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2021
    Assignee: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventors: John C Whittaker, Angelo Foz Gonzaga, Paul Y Shu, Luong C Tran
  • Patent number: 10950357
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor protection system includes a plurality of functionally independent modules, each of the modules configured to receive a plurality of inputs from a nuclear reactor safety system, and logically determine a safety action based at least in part on the plurality of inputs, each of the functionally independent modules comprising a digital module or a combination digital and analog module, an analog module electrically coupled to one or more of the functionally independent modules, and one or more nuclear reactor safety actuators communicably coupled to the plurality of functionally independent modules to receive the safety action determination based at least in part on the plurality of inputs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignees: NuScale Power, LLC, Rock Creek Innovations LLC
    Inventors: Gregory Wayne Clarkson, Rufino Ayala, Jason Pottorf
  • Patent number: 10943703
    Abstract: According to an embodiment, a design method for a light-water reactor fuel assembly comprises: accumulating a determined fuel data, showing that each of a combination of p·n/N and e is feasible as the core or not, wherein N is a number of the fuel rods in the fuel assembly, n is a number of the fuel rods containing the burnable poison, p is a ratio wt % of the burnable poison in the fuel, and e is an enrichment wt % of the uranium 235 contained in the fuel assembly; formulating a criterion formula which determines whether a combination of p·n/N and e is feasible as a core or not and is formulated based on the determined fuel data; and determining whether a temporarily set composition of the fuel assembly is approved as a core or not based on the criterion formula.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2021
    Assignees: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba, Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation
    Inventors: Satoshi Wada, Hiroshi Matsumiya, Tsukasa Sugita, Rei Kimura, Rie Aizawa, Noriyuki Yoshida