Patents by Inventor James Sparrow

James Sparrow has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 5444748
    Abstract: Disclosed is a grid structure for supporting fuel rods in a nuclear reactor. The grid structure is formed of a plurality of interconnected thin metal grid straps that are welded or brazed together to provide a structural network of interconnected open grid cells, similar to an "egg crate divider". The grid straps are provided at regular intervals, corresponding to the width of a grid cell, with pairs of spaced, substantially horizontal, slotted spring-like projections and a substantially X-shaped spring-like projection vertically intermediate the horizontal projections. The spring-like projections are designed to support and hold the fuel rods within the grid cells under both balanced and unbalanced forces acting on the fuel rod assembly while it is in service, surrounded by coolant in the nuclear reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 22, 1995
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corporation
    Inventors: Peter H. Beuchel, Yu C. Lee, James A. Sparrow
  • Patent number: 5180549
    Abstract: A double enclosure top nozzle subassembly for a nuclear fuel assembly includes an upper structure having a top plate and an outer depending peripheral sidewall enclosure, a lower structure having a lower adapter plate and an inner upstanding peripheral sidewall enclosure disposed below the top plate and within the outer sidewall enclosure. The outer and inner sidewall enclosures are slidably movable relative to one another as the top plate moves toward and away from adapter plate. A plurality of resiliently-yieldable biasing devices, such as leaf springs extend between and engage the top plate and lower adapter plate. Interengagable structure on the lower and upper edges of the respective outer and inner sidewall enclosures limit movement of the top plate and lower adapter plate away from one another so as to retain the outer and inner sidewall enclosures in sliding contacting relationship together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1993
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventors: James A. Sparrow, Robert W. Cantrell
  • Patent number: 5141711
    Abstract: A reconstitutable control assembly has a spider structure which supports control rods by detachable attachment joints. Each attachment joint includes a hollow connecting finger on the spider structure and an elongated detachable split upper end plug on each control rod. The split upper end plug includes a pair of separate upper and lower plug portions. The upper plug portion has upper, middle and lower sections, whereas the lower plug portion has upper, middle and lower segments. The upper section of the upper plug portion is rigidly attached to the connecting finger on the spider structure, whereas the lower segment of the lower plug portion is rigidly connected to the control rod. Also, the lower section of the upper plug portion and the middle segment of the lower plug portion have complementary threads defined thereon for rigidly threadably attaching the upper and lower plug portions to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 25, 1992
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventors: Robert K. Gjertsen, Ronald P. Knott, James A. Sparrow
  • Patent number: 5126098
    Abstract: A method of removing bow in a nuclear fuel assembly is disclosed. The fuel assembly has top and bottom ends fittings and a plurality of longitudinally extending thimble tube members interconnecting top and bottom end fittings. At least two transverse fuel rod support grids are axially spaced along the thimble tube members. A plurality of fuel rods are transversely spaced and supported by the fuel rod support grids. In one embodiment, a weight of known magnitude is secured on the bottom end fitting and the fuel assembly is raised with the weight secured thereon so that the weight exerts a downward force on the fuel assembly for straightening the fuel assembly and eliminating compressive stresses within the fuel assembly. In another embodiment, the bottom end fitting is secured onto the upender used for transporting fuel assemblies into and out of the containment building and the fuel assembly is pulled for straightening the fuel assembly and eliminating compressive stresses within the fuel assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1991
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1992
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventor: James A. Sparrow
  • Patent number: 5068083
    Abstract: A dashpot in a control rod guide thimble for a nuclear fuel assembly includes a lower tubular portion of an elongated main tube of the guide thimble, an auxiliary hollow tube inserted in the lower portion of the main tube, and an end plug attached to a lower end portion of the auxiliary tube. The auxiliary tube has an outside diameter slightly less than an inside diameter of the main tube to permit a close fitting relationship between an exterior surface of the auxiliary tube and an interior surface of the main tube lower portion. The auxiliary tube also has an upper end portion with an inside surface portion in axial cross-section flaring upwardly and outwardly to provide a tapered transition extending between and connecting an interior surface of the auxiliary tube with the exterior surface thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 1990
    Date of Patent: November 26, 1991
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventors: Clarence D. John, Jr., James A. Sparrow
  • Patent number: 4993864
    Abstract: A reconstitutable control assembly has a spider structure which supports control rods by detachable attachment joints. Each attachment joint includes a hollow connecting finger on the spider structure and an elongated detachable split upper end plug on each control rod. The split upper end plug includes a pair of separate upper and lower plug portions. The upper plug portion has upper, middle and lower sections, whereas the lower plug portion has upper, middle and lower segments. The upper section of the upper plug portion is rigidly attached to the connecting finger on the spider structure, whereas the lower segment of the lower plug portion is rigidly connected to the control rod. Also, the lower section of the upper plug portion and the middle segment of the lower plug portion have complementary threads defined thereon for rigidly threadably attaching the upper and lower plug portions to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 1989
    Date of Patent: February 19, 1991
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventors: Robert K. Gjertsen, Ronald P. Knott, James A. Sparrow
  • Patent number: 4986959
    Abstract: An expandable top nozzle subassembly for a nuclear fuel assembly includes an upper structure having a top plate and a depending peripheral sidewall enclosure, a lower adapter plate disposed below the top plate and within the enclosure with the adapter plate and sidewall enclosure being slidably movable relative to one another so as to move the top plate toward and away from adapter plate, and a plurality of resiliently-yieldable biasing devices extending between and engaging the top plate and lower adapter plate. Interengagable structure on a lower edge of the enclosure and on a peripheral edge of the adapter plate capture and retain the adapter plate within the enclosure upon movement of the enclosure relative to the adapter plate which moves the top plate away from the adapter plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1989
    Date of Patent: January 22, 1991
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventors: James A. Sparrow, Yu C. Lee
  • Patent number: 4925619
    Abstract: An apparatus is disclosed for determining pressurization in a nuclear fuel rod and the like by measuring the increase in diameter of the fuel rod occasioned by the internal pressurization of the rod, and which includes an elongate receiving member having front and rear ends and an axial opening extending therein. A gauge is positioned in the axial opening and is adapted to coaxially surround the fuel rod and then measure an increase in diameter of a fuel rod caused by a pressure increase within the rod. The gauge is formed from a substantially C-shaped bracket having inner and outer surfaces, spaced distal end portions and a more thin medial portion, and with a strain gauge mounted on both the inner and outer medial surfaces. A microprocessor is connected to the strain gauges so that changes in electrical output from the strain gauges can be measured to determine the increase in diameter of the fuel rod upon pressurization of the fuel rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 15, 1990
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventors: James A. Sparrow, John J. McEvoy
  • Patent number: 4888151
    Abstract: A reconstitutable control assembly has a spider structure which supports control rods by detachable attachment joints. Each attachment joint includes a hollow connecting finger on the spider structure and an elongated detachable split upper end plug on each control rod. The split upper end plug includes a pair of separate upper and lower plug portions. The upper plug portion has upper, middle and lower sections, whereas the lower plug portion has upper, middle and lower segments. The upper section of the upper plug portion is rigidly attached to the connecting finger on the spider structure, whereas the lower segment of the lower plug portion is rigidly connected to the control rod. Also, the lower section of the upper plug portion and the middle segment of the lower plug portion have complementary threads defined thereon for rigidly threadably attaching the upper and lower plug portions to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 1988
    Date of Patent: December 19, 1989
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventors: Robert K. Gjertsen, Ronald P. Knott, James A. Sparrow
  • Patent number: 4755351
    Abstract: The leaf springs mounted in the upper nozzle of a prior art fuel assembly, which are compressed by the upper core plate to restrain the upward movement of the fuel assembly under the pressure of upwardly-flowing coolant, as dispensed with. Instead the fuel assembly is permitted to rise in a controlled manner into engagement with the upper core-support plate. The lower nozzle is provided with snubbers which engage, and exert low pressure, as required by the specifications governing a reactor, on the lower core plates when the fuel assembly is raised into engagement with the upper core plate by the force of the flowing coolant. In addition springs are provided between the pins extending from the upper and lower core plates and the walls of the holes in the upper and lower nozzles to suppress vibration under the transverse forces impressed by the flowing coolant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 1986
    Date of Patent: July 5, 1988
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventors: Frank J. Baloh, James A. Sparrow
  • Patent number: 4728480
    Abstract: A fuel assembly in a nuclear reactor has a spectral shift apparatus including a plurality of displacer rods for controlling reactivity in the assembly and an apparatus for refurbishing the displacer rods for reuse. Each displacer rod contains a quantity of water equivalent to a small fraction of the rod volume. Also, the spectral shift apparatus includes a manifold with a central plenum and a rupturable disk connected to the manifold. The manifold is connected in flow communication with the displacer rods. The disk which seals the displacer rods as well as the manifold plenum is rupturable at a given pressure differential thereacross so as to allow entry of the moderator/coolant liquid into the manifold and rods. Also, a screen adjacent the disk restricts it to rupturing in one direction only.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 1985
    Date of Patent: March 1, 1988
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventors: Frank J. Baloh, James A. Sparrow