Patents Examined by Ricardo Palabrica
  • Patent number: 8401141
    Abstract: A first intensity Az expressed as Az=az×E?, a first reference intensity A0 expressed as A0=a0×E?, a second intensity Bz expressed as Bz=bz×E, and a second reference intensity B0=b0×E, are evaluated. The first intensity and the first reference intensity are of radioactive nuclides generated by a neutron capture reaction of a heavy nuclide or a fission product nuclide. The second intensity and the second reference intensity are of radioactive fission product nuclides except nuclides generated by a neutron capture reaction. The reference intensities are measured where the void fraction is known. Also a correlation curve of (az/a0) and a void fraction is evaluated. Finally an axial void fraction distribution is evaluated based on the value of (az/a0) and the correlation curve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Makoto Ueda, Hironori Kumanomido, Ishi Mitsuhashi, Tsukasa Kikuchi, Kenichi Yoshioka, Tomoharu Sasaki, Kouji Hiraiwa
  • Patent number: 8374307
    Abstract: A nut assembly for connecting adjoining poles in a nuclear reactor may include an upper nut and a lower nut. The upper nut may include threads on an inner surface of the upper nut. The lower nut may include threads on an inner surface of the lower nut. The lower nut may include threads on an outer surface of the lower nut. The upper nut may rotate over the lower nut in order to lock the lower nut.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2013
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Gregory A. Francisco, Robert W. Whitling
  • Patent number: 8369473
    Abstract: A method for the surface tribological decontamination of nuclear fuel rods automates surface wiping by one or more bands of fabric. The band is distant from the axis of the rod, the rod is placed facing the band, and then the band is tensioned around the surface of the rod and moved. The rod may be immobile, moved in pure translation along its axis or with a wide-step helical movement. Preferably, the decontamination is carried by two bands simultaneously, so as to cover the total surface in one pass of the rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Assignee: Areva NC
    Inventors: Alain Dictor, Marc Fischer
  • Patent number: 8358732
    Abstract: Core debris generated during a molten reactor core in a reactor containment vessel penetrating the reactor containment vessel is configured to be caught by a core catcher located beneath the reactor containment vessel which has a main body having first stage cooling water channels and second stage surrounded by cooling fins extending radially. The number of the second stage cooling channels is larger than that of the first stage cooling channels. Cooling water is supplied from a cooling water injection opening and distributed to the first cooling water channels at a distributor. An intermediate header is formed between the first and the second cooling water channels, and the cooling water is distributed to the second cooling water channels uniformly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2013
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Takashi Sato, Ryoichi Hamazaki, Mika Tahara, Yoshihiro Kojima, Hirohide Oikawa, Tomohisa Kurita, Seiichi Yokobori, Yuka Suzuki
  • Patent number: 8358730
    Abstract: Methods and systems for non-intrusively detecting the existence of fissile materials in a container via the measurement of energetic prompt neutrons are disclosed. The methods and systems use the unique nature of the prompt neutron energy spectrum from neutron-induced fission arising from the emission of neutrons from almost fully accelerated fragments to unambiguously identify fissile material. These signals from neutron-induced fission are unique and allow the detection of any material in the actinide region of the nuclear periodic table.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2013
    Assignee: Passport Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: William Bertozzi, Robert J. Ledoux
  • Patent number: 8351561
    Abstract: An advanced digital rod position indication (ADRPI) system having rod drop monitoring capability. When a reactor trip occurs, the ADRPI system derives the rod drop time from the signals induced in the detector coils by the falling drive rods. The ADRPI system is linked to the reactor trip breaker to provide a reference point to allow accurate timing of the rod drop times.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Assignee: Analysis and Measurement Services Corporation
    Inventors: Hashem M. Hashemian, Gregory W. Morton, Brent D. Shumaker, Danny D. Beverly, Casey D. Sexton
  • Patent number: 8351562
    Abstract: A method for storing high level radioactive waste in a passively cooled cavity. In one embodiment, the invention comprises: (a) providing a container comprising an outer shell having an open top end and a hermetically closed bottom end, an inner shell forming a cavity, the inner shell positioned within the outer shell so as to form a space between the inner shell and the outer shell, and at least one opening in the inner shell that forms a passageway between the space and a bottom portion of the cavity; (b) lowering a hermetically sealed canister holding high level radioactive waste into the cavity via the open top end; and (c) positioning a lid having at least one inlet vent and at least one outlet vent atop the container such that the at least one inlet vent forms a passageway from an ambient atmosphere to the space and the at least one outlet vent forms a passageway from the cavity to the ambient atmosphere, the lid substantially enclosing the open top end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Inventor: Krishna P Singh
  • Patent number: 8345814
    Abstract: A jet pump comprising: a nozzle apparatus having a header portion including, inside, a first pipe member forming a suction fluid passage for introducing suction fluid and the header portion surrounding the first pipe member, for introducing driving fluid, and a nozzle portion connected to the header portion, surrounding the first pipe member and forming an annular ejection outlet for ejecting the driving fluid; a jet pump body for mixing the driving fluid and the suction fluid sucked by the ejection of the driving fluid, and discharging the mixed fluid; and a second pipe member having one end connected to the nozzle apparatus, for introducing the driving fluid to the header portion, wherein the first pipe member is disposed through the one end inside a driving fluid passage formed in the second pipe member, and forms an opening portion of the suction fluid passage opened to the outside of the second pipe member; and the driving fluid passage is formed so that the driving fluid flowing toward the one end hi
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Naoyuki Ishida, Hisamichi Inoue
  • Patent number: 8345815
    Abstract: A fuel assembly for a pressurized water nuclear reactor contains a multiplicity of fuel rods which are guided in a plurality of axially spaced spacers which in each case form a square grid, composed of grid webs, with a multiplicity of cells arranged in rows and columns. In each case one control rod guide tube is guided through a number of these cells. At least one spacer is configured to be mechanically stronger in a first partial region than in a second partial region. In this second partial region, the spacer is provided with at least one resisting element which protrudes into a flow sub-channel formed between the fuel rods and increases the flow resistance. The resisting element counteracts a reduction associated with the mechanically weaker configuration, in the flow resistance in the second partial region and in this manner effects a homogenization of the hydraulic behavior of a spacer which is mechanically inhomogeneous on account of the varying mechanical configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Areva NP GmbH
    Inventors: Jürgen Stabel, Udo Borsdorf
  • Patent number: 8345813
    Abstract: An apparatus, system and method for handling and translating a spent nuclear fuel storage cask. The apparatus comprises a body for supporting the cask close to the ground so that the cask and the apparatus can pass underneath over head doors. The apparatus further comprises rollers for translating the cask, the rollers adapted to move between a retracted position and an extended position, wherein when the rollers are in the retracted position, the rollers do not contact a ground surface. The apparatus additionally supports the storage cask during spent nuclear fuel transfer procedures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Inventor: Krishna P. Singh
  • Patent number: 8331522
    Abstract: A maintenance/repair device for reactor internal structure 6 of the present invention includes a device body 6a configured to be fixed on a reactor internal structure 49. Connected to the device body 6a is a welding-part repair mechanism 6b configured to repair a welding part 49a of the reactor internal structure 49. Thus, a welding part 2a of the reactor internal structure 49 can be repaired by the welding-part repair mechanism 6b, while the device body 6a is fixed on the reactor internal structure 49.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Yoshiaki Ono, Hidekazu Sasaki, Takuya Uehara, Hiromi Kato, Toshihiro Yasuda
  • Patent number: 8331523
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor in which a primary coolant is contained, the primary coolant moves upwardly from the core by an operation thereof. An annular steam generator is arranged in an upper side of the core into which the upwardly moving primary coolant flows and transfers heat in the primary coolant into water therein to generate a steam. A passage structure defines a coolant passage for the primary coolant to an outside of the core. The heat-transferred primary coolant in the annular steam generator flows downwardly in the coolant passage so as to flow into the core, thereby moving upwardly. A reactor vessel is arranged to surround the coolant passage so as to contain the core, the annular steam generator and the passage means therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventor: Yohei Nishiguchi
  • Patent number: 8325872
    Abstract: A working apparatus has: a working equipment for doing works on a structure; a folding/unfolding mechanism for conveying the working equipment to the working position in a folded state; a conveyance mechanism (such as a horizontal thruster) for conveying the working equipment and the folding/unfolding mechanism to the working position; a pressing mechanism (such as a ballast tank) for pressing the working equipment against the lower surface of the structure; and a traveling mechanism including a wheel for traveling along the lower surface of the structure and positioning the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Mitsuaki Shimamura, Takeshi Maehara, Ikuko Kameyama, Hiroyuki Adachi, Yasuhiro Yuguchi, Toru Taguchi
  • Patent number: 8320513
    Abstract: A nuclear fission reactor, flow control assembly, methods therefor and a flow control assembly system. The flow control assembly is coupled to a nuclear fission module capable of producing a traveling burn wave at a location relative to the nuclear fission module. The flow control assembly controls flow of a fluid in response to the location relative to the nuclear fission module. The flow control assembly comprises a flow regulator subassembly configured to be operated according to an operating parameter associated with the nuclear fission module. In addition, the flow regulator subassembly is reconfigurable according to a predetermined input to the flow regulator subassembly. Moreover, the flow control assembly comprises a carriage subassembly coupled to the flow regulator subassembly for adjusting the flow regulator subassembly to vary fluid flow into the nuclear fission module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Inventors: Charles E. Ahlfeld, Roderick A. Hyde, Muriel Y. Ishikawa, David G. McAlees, Jon D. McWhirter, Nathan P. Myhrvold, Ashok Odedra, Clarence T. Tegreene, Thomas A. Weaver, Charles Whitmer, Victoria Y. H. Wood, Lowell L. Wood, Jr., George B. Zimmerman
  • Patent number: 8320515
    Abstract: A water reactor fuel cladding tube (4) is described. The tube (4) comprises an outer layer (6) of a first zirconium based alloy and has metallurgically bonded thereto an inner layer (7) of a second zirconium based alloy. The inner layer protects (7) the cladding tube (4) against stress corrosion cracking. The second zirconium based alloy comprises tin as an alloying material, and each one of the zirconium based alloys comprises at least 96 percent by weight zirconium. The first zirconium based alloy comprises at least 0.1 percent by weight niobium. A method of manufacturing the cladding tube (4) is also described and comprises the step of co-extruding two tubes of different zirconium based alloys to produce the cladding tube (4).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB
    Inventors: Lars Hallstadius, Mats Dahlback
  • Patent number: 8318102
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a cooling system for removing heat from a Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) slurry reactor. The cooling system including at least one downcomer having an upper portion, a lower portion, and a diameter; the at least one downcomer disposed within the F-T reactor to deliver a coolant downward through the F-T reactor at a predetermined velocity, the at least one downcomer extending a length within the F-T reactor wherein the coolant is introduced into the upper portion of the at least one downcomer in a substantially liquid phase; the diameter of the at least one downcomer and the pressure of the introduced coolant cooperate to increase the coolant velocity thereby generating backpressure in the at least one downcomer to maintain the coolant in the substantially liquid phase along the length of the at least one downcomer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: Syntroleum Corporation
    Inventors: H. Lynn Tomlinson, William Manning, William Schaefer, Tsungani Record
  • Patent number: 8311180
    Abstract: A fuel assembly, comprising: a plurality of first fuel rods including uranium and not including a burnable poison; a plurality of second fuel rods including said uranium and said burnable poison; and a water rod; wherein said second fuel rods are placed at corners of an outermost layer of a fuel rod array; other second fuel rods are placed, in said outermost layer, adjacent to said second fuel rods placed at said corners; and other second fuel rods are placed adjacent to said water rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takeshi Mitsuyasu, Motoo Aoyama, Tetsushi Hino
  • Patent number: 8300759
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a decay heat removal system, including: a decay heat exchanger that absorbs decay heat generated by a nuclear reactor; a heat pipe heat exchanger that receives the decay heat from the decay heat exchanger through a sodium loop for heat removal and then discharges the decay heat to the outside; and a sodium-air heat exchanger that is connected to the heat pipe heat exchanger through the sodium loop and discharges the decay heat transferred thereto through the sodium loop to the outside. According to the decay heat removal system, a heat removal capability can be realized by the heat pipe heat exchanger at such a high temperature at which the safety of a nuclear reactor is under threat, and a cooling effect can be obtained through the sodium-air heat exchanger at a temperature lower than that temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignees: Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Hae Yong Jeong, Chungho Cho, Yong Bum Lee, Dong Uk Lee, Jae Hyuk Eoh, Kwi Seok Ha
  • Patent number: 8295426
    Abstract: In a method of reducing corrosion of a material constituting a nuclear reactor structure, an electrochemical corrosion potential is controlled by injecting a solution or a suspension containing a substance generating an excitation current by an action of at least one of radiation, light, and heat existing in a nuclear reactor, or a metal or a metallic compound forming the substance generating the excitation current under the condition in the nuclear reactor to allow the substance generating the excitation current to adhere to the surface of the nuclear reactor structural material, and by injecting hydrogen in cooling water of the nuclear reactor while controlling the hydrogen concentration in a feed water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2012
    Assignees: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba, Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., The Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated
    Inventors: Seiji Yamamoto, Tadasu Yotsuyanagi, Nagayoshi Ichikawa, Tetsuo Oosato, Masato Okamura, Junichi Takagi, Kenji Yamazaki, Shunichi Suzuki, Kenro Takamori, Mitsuru Sambongi, Takeshi Shibano, Takashi Hirano, Yuichi Fukaya
  • Patent number: 8295425
    Abstract: A fast reactor having a reactivity control reflector has a reactor vessel in which a coolant is accommodated, a reactor core which is installed in the reactor vessel and dipped with the coolant, and a reflector installed outside of the reactor core so as to be movable in a vertical direction for controlling the reactivity of the reactor core. The reflector of the fast reactor has a lower neutron reflecting portion having a neutron reflection capability higher than that of the coolant and an upper cavity portion located above the neutron reflecting portion and having a neutron reflection capability lower than that of the coolant. The cavity portion is composed of a plurality of cylindrical hermetically-sealed vessels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2012
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Toshiro Sakai, Takanari Inatomi, Hiroshi Nakamura, Kenjiro Fukamichi, Toshiyuki Suzuki, Katsushi Hasegawa, Yasushi Tsuboi, Makoto Kuramochi