Patents Examined by Sharon M Davis
  • Patent number: 10468148
    Abstract: In various embodiments, a method of processing one or more semiconductor wafers is provided. The method includes positioning the one or more semiconductor wafers in an irradiation chamber, generating a neutron flux in a spallation chamber coupled to the irradiation chamber, moderating the neutron flux to produce a thermal neutron flux, and exposing the one or more semiconductor wafers to the thermal neutron flux to thereby induce the creation of dopant atoms in the one or more semiconductor wafers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2019
    Assignee: INFINEON TECHNOLOGIES AG
    Inventors: Markus Bina, Hans-Joachim Schulze, Werner Schustereder
  • Patent number: 10460844
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor containment system including a nuclear reactor and a container enclosing the nuclear reactor. The container includes a number of heat removal systems each having an active state and an inactive state, wherein the heat removal systems dissipate heat from the container more efficiently in the active state than in the inactive state, and wherein the heat removal systems are structured to switch from the inactive state to the active state based on a temperature of the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Yasir Arafat, Jurie Van Wyk
  • Patent number: 10462893
    Abstract: Design and making methods of a neutrons generating target are described. In some embodiments, a surface of a target substrate can be modified to form one or more surface features. In some embodiments, a neutron source layer can be disposed on the surface of the target substrate. In some embodiments, the neutron source layer and the target substrate can be heated to an elevated temperature to form a bond between the two. In some embodiments, the surface modification of the target substrate can reduce blistering and material exfoliation in the target. The target can be used in boron neutron capture therapy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Assignee: NEUTRON THERAPEUTICS, INC.
    Inventors: William H. Park, Jr., Mark Lambert, Joseph Gillespie, Noah Smick, Takao Sakase
  • Patent number: 10446278
    Abstract: Non-intrusive error detection techniques for control and shutdown rod position in nuclear reactors, including methods of monitoring digital rod position indication (DRPI) signals of a DRPI system of a nuclear power plant. The methods include acquiring digital rod position signals at a point between a DRPI display cabinet and a DRPI data cabinet of the DRPI system, and processing the digital rod position signals to identify variations in a signal level and a signal timing of the digital rod position signals to determine rod position errors of the DRPI system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: Analysis and Measurement Services Corporation
    Inventors: Samuel Caylor, Hashem M. Hashemian, Gregory W. Morton
  • Patent number: 10446282
    Abstract: Methods implemented by at least one electronic processor for generating pointwise fast neutron spectra may include receiving composition data; receiving source data or calculating the source data; receiving nuclear data; and calculating the pointwise fast neutron spectrum based on numerical integration using the composition, source, and nuclear data. Systems for generating pointwise fast neutron spectra may include a bus; at least one electronic processor connected to the bus; an input device connected to the bus; and a communication link connected to the bus. The at least one electronic processor may be configured to receive composition data from the input device via the bus, to receive source data from the input device via the bus or to calculate the source data, to receive nuclear data from the communication link via the bus, and to calculate the pointwise fast neutron spectrum based on numerical integration using the composition, source, and nuclear data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: GE-HITACHI NUCLEAR ENERGY AMERICAS LLC
    Inventor: Brian S. Triplett
  • Patent number: 10446285
    Abstract: An apparatus, system and method for handling and translating high level radioactive waste. 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 apparatus additionally supports the storage cask during spent nuclear fuel transfer procedures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Inventor: Krishna P. Singh
  • Patent number: 10438713
    Abstract: An accelerator neutron source (ANS) including a field ionization (FI) array configured to generate deuterium and tritium ions and a plasma for containing the deuterium and tritium ions produced by the FI array. The ANS also includes a target comprising deuterium and tritium ions and the ANS is configured to accelerate deuterium and tritium ions produced by the FI array toward the target to generate neutrons by applying a voltage to an accelerating electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2019
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Juan Navarro-Sorroche, Weijun Guo
  • Patent number: 10438708
    Abstract: A self-powered integral in-core instrument thimble assembly for monitoring the temperature and radiation levels surrounding a nuclear fuel assembly, that transmits output signals wirelessly to a remote location. The in-core instrument thimble assembly is activated by a short exposure within a reactor core and remains active after the fuel assembly is removed from the reactor core to continuously provide a remote monitoring capability for the fuel assembly as it is transported or stored at a remote location, without an external power source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2019
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Heibel, Daniel P. Kistler, Jorge V. Carvajal
  • Patent number: 10418137
    Abstract: A neutron absorber apparatus for use in restoring reactivity control to a nuclear fuel rack. The apparatus comprises an elongated tubular insert assembly configured for insertion in a storage cell of the rack. First and second absorber plates, each formed of a boron-containing material, are coupled together by upper and lower stiffening bands at the insert extremities and form a longitudinally-extending cavity configured for receiving a fuel assembly. The absorber plates and stiffening bands may have a rectilinear cross sectional configuration in one embodiment. At least one elastically deformable locking protrusion mounted proximate to the lower end of the absorber plates lockingly engages an available lower edge disposed in the cell sidewall above its bottom end. This fixes the tubular insert axially in the cell, thereby preventing its withdrawal after installing the insert. In one embodiment, the edge may be the bottom of existing absorber sheathing in the cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Inventors: Krishna P. Singh, Stephen J. Agace
  • Patent number: 10410756
    Abstract: A container for storing and/or transporting spent nuclear fuel. The container includes a body that defines an internal cavity that holds the spent nuclear fuel and an outer surface. The outer surface has holes formed therein into which trunnions are positioned. The container can be lifted by a lift yoke by coupling the lift yoke to the trunnions. The trunnions may include first and second components such that the first component is slidable in its axial direction relative to the second component when a force that exceeds a threshold acts on the second component. Thus, the second component may be slidable between a protruded state in which a portion of the second component protrudes from the outer surface of the body and a retracted state in which the second component does not protrude from the outer surface of the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2019
    Inventor: Krishna P. Singh
  • Patent number: 10403405
    Abstract: A plasma containment system comprises a chamber, a magnetic field generator, and an annular plasma layer that comprises a circulating beam of ions. The chamber includes axial insulating breaks in the chamber wall that run along almost the entire length of the chamber. An inductive plasma source is mountable within the chamber and includes a shock coil assembly and a Laval nozzle to introduce gas into the inductive plasma source. A RF drive comprises a quadrupolar cyclotron located within the chamber and having four azimuthally symmetrical electrodes with gaps there between.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2019
    Assignee: THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
    Inventors: Vitaly Bystriskii, Eusebio Garate, Yuanxu Song, Michael Anderson
  • Patent number: 10395780
    Abstract: A fuel assembly for a nuclear power boiling water reactor, including: a fuel channel defining a central fuel channel axis, fuel rods, each having a central fuel rod axis, at least 3 water channels for non-boiling water, each water channel having a central water channel axis and each water channel having a larger cross-sectional area than the cross-sectional area of (the average) fuel rod. The fuel rods comprise a first group of full length fuel rods and a second group of shorter fuel rods. The fuel assembly comprises at least 5 fuel rods which belong to said second group and which are positioned such that the central fuel rod axis of each of these at least 5 fuel rods is closer to the central fuel channel axis than any of the water channel axes of the water channels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB
    Inventors: Uffe Bergmann, Jonas Aurén, Lars-Erik Johansson
  • Patent number: 10393915
    Abstract: The present specification discloses methods for inspecting an object. The method includes scanning an object in a two-step process. In the primary scan, a truck or cargo container (container) is completely scanned with a fan beam radiation, the transmitted radiation is measured with an array of detectors, and the transmission information and optionally the fission signatures are analyzed to determine the presence of high-density, high-Z and fissionable materials. If the container alarms in one or more areas, the areas are subjected to a secondary scan. This is done by precisely repositioning the container to the location of the suspect areas, adjusting the scanning system to focus on the suspect areas, performing a stationary irradiation of the areas, and analyzing the measured feature signatures to clear or confirm the presence of SNM.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: Rapiscan Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Tsahi Gozani, Joseph Bendahan, Michael Joseph King, Timothy John Shaw, John David Stevenson
  • Patent number: 10395786
    Abstract: A magnetostrictive wire control rod position indicator for determining a real-time position of a control rod using a mutual interference effect between a magnetic field formed by supplying a pulse current to a magnetostrictive wire provided inside a protecting tube and a magnetic field formed by a permanent magnet of a drive shaft includes magnet members installed at an upper limit position and a lower limit position of the magnetostrictive wire control rod position indicator to cause magnetic field interference with the permanent magnet of the drive shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute
    Inventors: Jae Seon Lee, Jong-Wook Kim, Keung Koo Kim
  • Patent number: 10395782
    Abstract: A support structure for attenuating seismic forces in one or more reactor modules housed in a reactor building includes a mounting structure that may be configured to securely connect the support structure to a floor of the reactor building. A receiving area may be sized to receive a lower portion of a reactor module, and the support structure may be configured to at least partially surround the lower portion of the reactor module within the receiving area. The support structure may further include a retention system located near a top surface of the support structure. The retention system may be configured to contact the reactor module during a seismic event, and an upper portion of the reactor module may extend above the retention system without contacting the support structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: NUSCALE POWER, LLC
    Inventors: Tamas Liszkai, Heqin Xu, Matthew Snyder, William Koski
  • Patent number: 10388415
    Abstract: A spacer grid includes interlocked straps comprising metal sheets or plates welded together to define a spacer grid having a top and bottom. The interlocked straps define a plurality of cells comprising vertical passages connecting the top and bottom of the spacer grid. The cells include: upper dimples proximate to the top of the spacer grid and distal from the mid-plane of the spacer grid; lower dimples proximate to the bottom of the spacer grid and distal from the mid-plane of the spacer grid; cantilevered upper springs having fuel rod engagement surfaces proximate to the top of the spacer grid and distal from the mid-plane of the spacer grid; and cantilevered lower springs having fuel rod engagement surfaces proximate to the bottom of the spacer grid and distal from the mid-plane of the spacer grid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2019
    Assignee: BWXT mPower, Inc.
    Inventors: Lewis A. Walton, George S. Pabis, Andrew W. Doan, James G. Hatmaker
  • Patent number: 10373720
    Abstract: A migration prevention system for radioactive wastewater from an underground nuclear power plant. The underground nuclear power plant includes a nuclear island including an underground cavern group including a reactor cavity and auxiliary cavities. The migration prevention system includes a protective layer coating the reactor cavity and an impermeable layer surrounding the nuclear island. The protective layer includes an inner liner, a drainage layer, and a filling layer of rock fractures in that order. The inner liner is configured to prevent exosmosis of the radioactive wastewater of the reactor cavity. The drainage layer is configured to gather and drain seepage water. The impermeable layer is disposed in the periphery of the underground cavern group including the reactor cavity and the auxiliary cavities, and is configured to isolate the underground cavern group from natural underground water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: CHANGJIANG SURVEY PLANNING DESIGN AND RESEARCH CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Xinqiang Niu, Qigui Yang, Hongbin Li, Shuda Zhou, Xin Zhao, Huatang Shi, Qianlong Han, Nianfeng Xu, Haibo Liu, Jie He, Weina Yu, Lijun Su, Yanguo Fang
  • Patent number: 10373723
    Abstract: The invention provides methods, devices and systems for excimer fluorescence energy conversion from isotopes. Unprocessed spent nuclear fuel can be used as an isotope, and processed spent nuclear fuel can be used as an isotope. A method includes placing an excimer in the path of radiation decay from the isotope. The excimer is selected according to the isotope to absorb the radiation decay and emit photons in response. Surrounding environment is shielded from the radiation decay. Photons generated from the fluorescence of the excimer are received with photovoltaic material to generate electrical energy. The electrical energy is applied to a load. Systems of the invention can be based upon spent storage casks and handle unprocessed spent nuclear fuel, or can be greatly reduced in size and handle processed fuel, with single isotope isolation allowing consumer battery sized systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: The Curators of the University of Missouri
    Inventors: Robert V. Tompson, Jr., Mark A. Prelas
  • Patent number: 10354763
    Abstract: A sodium-cooled nuclear reactor includes at least one electromagnetic pump assembly and a backflow reduction pipe. The backflow reduction pipe may include an inlet, an outlet, at least one tubular section having a first length and a first diameter, and at least one fluid diode section between the inlet and the outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    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: 10347384
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus for detecting and/or repositioning annulus spacers used to maintain the position of a pressure tube within a calandria tube of a nuclear reactor. The method comprises the steps of: vibrationally isolating a section of the pressure tube; vibrating the wall of said pressure tube within said isolated section; detecting vibration of the wall at a minimum of two axial positions within said isolated sections; and detecting the reduction in vibration level of the wall at one or more of said axial positions in comparison to the remaining axial positions. The apparatus comprises a tool head to be inserted into the pressure tube, the tool head comprising a first end and a second and a clamping block m each of said ends. The clamping blocks are used to vibrationally isolate a section of the pressure tube located between said ends.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2019
    Assignee: ATOMIC ENERGY OF CANADA LIMITED
    Inventors: James M. King, Bruce A. W. Smith, Paul Feenstra