Patents Examined by Marshall P O'Connor
  • Patent number: 10354764
    Abstract: A welding method includes welding a base material (1) of low alloy steel which is irradiated with neutrons using a welding material (2) of austenitic stainless steel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Kazuhiko Kamo, Toshihide Nakano, Takeshi Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 10332642
    Abstract: A system for storing and/or transporting high level radioactive waste, and a method of manufacturing the same. In one aspect, the invention is a ventilated vertical overpack (“VVO”) having specially designed inlet ducts that refract radiation back into the storage cavity. A clear line-of-sight does not exist through the inlet ducts and, thus, the canister can be supported on the floor of the VVO. Also disclosed is a method of manufacturing a variable height VVO that falls within a regulatory license previously obtained for a shorter and taller version of the VVO.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Inventor: Krishna P. Singh
  • Patent number: 10319482
    Abstract: A plurality of heat transfer pipes; a first header and a second header to which both ends of each of the heat transfer pipes that are disposed in parallel are fixed, respectively; a plurality of plate-shaped fins through which each of the heat transfer pipes is penetrated and that are provided at intervals in a direction in which the heat transfer pipes extend between the first header and the second header; and a fan that circulates an airflow between the plate-shaped fins are included. The first header and the second header are formed to be sectioned into multiple rows, the heat transfer pipes are disposed densely in an sectioned area of the first header and the second header, and the heat transfer pipes are disposed sparsely in an area between the sectioned areas of the first header and the second header.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Nobuhide Hara, Koichi Tanimoto, Fumikazu Ogata, Masahiro Yoshioka, Ryo Morita
  • Patent number: 10304572
    Abstract: Illustrative embodiments provide nuclear fission igniters for nuclear fission reactors and methods for their operation. Illustrative embodiments and aspects include, without limitation, a nuclear fission igniter configured to ignite a nuclear fission deflagration wave in nuclear fission fuel material, a nuclear fission deflagration wave reactor with a nuclear fission igniter, a method of igniting a nuclear fission deflagration wave, and the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Inventors: Charles E. Ahlfeld, John R. Gilleland, Roderick A. Hyde, Muriel Y. Ishikawa, David G. McAlees, Nathan P. Myhrvold, Charles Whitmer, Lowell L. Wood, Jr.
  • Patent number: 10304574
    Abstract: A nuclear plant has a containment shell and a pressure relief line passing out of the containment shell and sealed by a shut-off valve, and through which a pressure relief flow can flow during relief operation, such that it is configured for particularly reliable management of critical scenarios where there is a considerable pressure increase within the containment shell at the same time as the release of hydrogen and/or carbon monoxide. A gas flow treatment device is provided upstream from the respective pressure relief line, and contains a flow duct and has a lower inflow opening and an upper inflow/outflow opening. Catalytic elements for eliminating hydrogen and/or carbon monoxide are arranged in the flow duct above the lower inflow opening. During a critical fault, the flow duct is flowed through from bottom to top by a gas mixture present in the containment shell by the principle of natural convection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: Framatome GmbH
    Inventors: Sebastian Buhlmann, Bernd Eckardt, Norbert Losch
  • Patent number: 10290380
    Abstract: Example embodiments disclose an apparatus for inspecting welds in a nuclear reactor. The apparatus may include a body, a rotatable pad on the body, a pair of opposing horizontal pads for moving the device in a vertical direction, a pair of opposing vertical pads for moving the device in a horizontal direction, and an inspection device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: GE—HITACHI NUCLEAR ENERGY AMERICAS LLC
    Inventor: William Aaron Morrison
  • Patent number: 10283222
    Abstract: A single-pass heavy-ion fusion system for power production from fusion reactions alone, power production that uses additional energy of fission reactions obtained by driving a sub-critical fission pile with the neutrons from fusion reactions, destroying high-level and/or long-lived radioactive waste by intense bombardment with fusion neutrons, or for the production of neutron beams for various applications includes a new arrangement of current multiplying processes that employs a multiplicity of isotopes to achieve the desired effect of distributing the task of amplifying the current among all the various processes, to relieve stress on any one process, and to increase the design margin for assured ICF (inertial confinement fusion) ignition for applications including but not restricted to the above list. The energy content and power of the ignition-driver pulses are greatly increased, thus increasing intensity of target heating and rendering reliable ignition readily attainable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: Arcata Systems
    Inventors: Robert J. Burke, Alexander Thomas Burke
  • Patent number: 10278276
    Abstract: Short pulse neutron generators are described herein. In a general embodiment, the short pulse neutron generator includes a Blumlein structure. The Blumlein structure includes a first conductive plate, a second conductive plate, a third conductive plate, at least one of an inductor or a resistor, a switch, and a dielectric material. The first conductive plate is positioned relative to the second conductive plate such that a gap separates these plates. A vacuum chamber is positioned in the gap, and an ion source is positioned to emit ions in the vacuum chamber. The third conductive plate is electrically grounded, and the switch is operable to electrically connect and disconnect the second conductive plate and the third conductive plate. The at least one of the resistor or the inductor is coupled to the first conductive plate and the second conductive plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC
    Inventor: Juan M. Elizondo-Decanini
  • Patent number: 10276268
    Abstract: The invention provides a nuclear reactor cladding, wherein at least one layer of coating is deposited on the exterior surface of the cladding. A nuclear reactor cladding, wherein at least one layer of coating is deposited on the interior surface of the cladding. A method of coating a nuclear reactor cladding, with the steps of selecting the cladding and depositing at least one layer of a first coating on the cladding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: UCHICAGO ARGONNE, LLC
    Inventors: A. M. Yacout, Michael J. Pellin, Michael Billone
  • Patent number: 10274225
    Abstract: Methods, apparatuses, devices, and systems for (i) producing and controlling and fusion activities of nuclei, and (ii) heating liquid via heat generated as a result of the fusion activities. Hydrogen atoms or other neutral species (neutrals) are induced to rotational motion in a confinement region as a result of ion-neutral coupling, in which ions are driven by electric and magnetic fields. The controlled fusion activities cover a spectrum of reactions including aneutronic reactions such as proton-boron-11 fusion reactions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: Alpha Ring International, Ltd.
    Inventor: Alfred Y. Wong
  • Patent number: 10269460
    Abstract: A rod position indication system includes a drive rod operably coupled to a control rod that is configured to be both withdrawn from and inserted into a reactor core. A number of sensing devices are arranged along a path of the drive rod, and an end of the drive rod passes by or through one or more of the sensing devices in response to movement of the control rod relative to the reactor core. The sensing devices are arranged into a plurality of groups, and each group includes two or more of the sensing devices electrically coupled together. The rod position indication system further includes a control rod monitoring device electrically coupled to each group of sensing devices by a routing wire.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: NUSCALE POWER, LLC
    Inventor: Paul Butchart
  • Patent number: 10269458
    Abstract: Methods, apparatuses, devices, and systems for producing and controlling and fusion activities of nuclei. Hydrogen atoms or other neutral species (neutrals) are induced to rotational motion in a confinement region as a result of ion-neutral coupling, in which ions are driven by electric and magnetic fields. The controlled fusion activities cover a spectrum of reactions including aneutronic reactions such as proton-boron-11 fusion reactions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: Alpha Ring International, Ltd.
    Inventor: Alfred Y. Wong
  • Patent number: 10271417
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and apparatuses to identify functional issues of a neutron radiation generator are described. In certain aspects, a method includes receiving an operation extractor signal from an extractor electrode of a radiation generator, determining a calculated extractor signal of the radiation generator, and comparing the operation extractor signal to the calculated extractor signal. The calculated extractor signal may be determined from an operation acceleration signal from an acceleration member of the radiation generator, an operation electron beam signal from electrons backstreaming in the radiation generator, an ion signal of an ion beam of the radiation generator, or a combination thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: SCHLUMBERGER TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Joel L. Groves, Peter Wraight
  • Patent number: 10249398
    Abstract: Target assembly for an isotope production system. The target assembly includes a target body having a production chamber and a beam cavity that is adjacent to the production chamber. The production chamber is configured to hold a target liquid. The beam cavity opens to an exterior of the target body and is configured to receive a particle beam that is incident on the production chamber. The target assembly also includes a vibrating device that is secured to the target body. The vibrating device is configured to cause vibrations that are experienced within the production chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Tomas Eriksson, Bert Holmgren
  • Patent number: 10229757
    Abstract: The present invention relates generally to electric power and process heat generation using a modular, compact, transportable, hardened nuclear generator rapidly deployable and retrievable, comprising power conversion and electric generation equipment fully integrated within a single pressure vessel housing a nuclear core. The resulting transportable nuclear generator does not require costly site-preparation, and can be transported fully operational. The transportable nuclear generator requires an emergency evacuation area substantially reduced with respect to other nuclear generators as it may be configured for operation with a melt-proof conductive ceramic core which allows decay heat removal even under total loss of coolant scenarios.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Assignee: LOGOS TECHNOLOGIES LLC
    Inventors: Claudio Filippone, Francesco Venneri
  • Patent number: 10186334
    Abstract: A power module assembly includes a reactor core immersed in a coolant and a reactor vessel housing the coolant and the reactor core. An internal dry containment vessel submerged in liquid substantially surrounds the reactor vessel in a gaseous environment. During an over-pressurization event the reactor vessel is configured to release the coolant into the containment vessel and remove a decay heat of the reactor core through condensation of the coolant on an inner surface of the containment vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2019
    Assignee: NUSCALE POWER, LLC
    Inventors: Jose N. Reyes, Jr., John T. Groome
  • Patent number: 10176899
    Abstract: Nuclear fuel spacers include a deflection-limited elastic rod contact. Spacers may additionally include a rigid contact without elastic functionality. A degree of deflection may be chosen based on plastic deformation threshold, maximum fuel rod movement, anticipated transverse loads related to fuel assembly, inspection, handling, transportation, operation, accidents, and/or any other operating characteristic. Spacers include deflection-limited elastic contacts and/or rigid contacts in several arrangements within the spacer and/or on a single fuel rod. Spacers are compatible with a simple fabrication method that forms rigid, deflection-limiting, and elastic components from a single substrate. Nuclear fuel spacers are useable with several fuel assembly types.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2019
    Assignee: Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas, LLC
    Inventor: Kathryn M. Martin
  • Patent number: 10176898
    Abstract: Fuel bundles for a nuclear reactor are described and illustrated, and in some cases include fuel elements each having a fissile content of 235U between about 0.9 wt % 235U and 5.0 wt % 235U, and wherein at least one of the fuel elements is a poisoned low-enriched uranium fuel element including a neutron poison in a concentration greater than about 5.0 vol %.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2019
    Assignee: ATOMIC ENERGY OF CANADA LIMITED
    Inventors: Mustapha Boubcher, Sermet Kuran, Cathy Cottrell, Robert R. Bodner
  • Patent number: 10147507
    Abstract: A steam generator for a nuclear reactor comprises plenums proximate with a first plane, wherein the first plane intersects a bottom portion of a riser column of a reactor vessel. The steam generator may further comprise plenums proximate with a second plane, approximately parallel with the first plane, wherein the second plane intersects a top portion of the riser column of the reactor vessel. The steam generator may further include a plurality of steam generator tubes that convey coolant from a plenum located proximate with the first plane to one of the plenums proximate with the second plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2018
    Assignee: NuScale Power, LLC
    Inventors: John T. Groome, Sooyun Joh, James Allan Nylander
  • Patent number: 10134491
    Abstract: Application of axial seed magnetic fields in the range 20-100 T that compress to greater than 10,000 T (100 MG) under typical NIF implosion conditions may significantly relax the conditions required for ignition and propagating burn in NIF ignition targets that are degraded by hydrodynamic instabilities. Such magnetic fields can: (a) permit the recovery of ignition, or at least significant alpha particle heating, in submarginal NIF targets that would otherwise fail because of adverse hydrodynamic instability growth, (b) permit the attainment of ignition in conventional cryogenic layered solid-DT targets redesigned to operate under reduced drive conditions, (c) permit the attainment of volumetric ignition in simpler, room-temperature single-shell DT gas capsules, and (d) ameliorate adverse hohlraum plasma conditions during laser drive and capsule compression. In general, an applied magnetic field should always improve the ignition condition for any NIF ignition target design.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Assignee: Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC
    Inventors: Lindsay John Perkins, Jim H. Hammer, John D. Moody, Max Tabak, George Beedon Zimmerman, Burl Grant Logan