Patents by Inventor Shawn C. Stafford

Shawn C. Stafford 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: 11127507
    Abstract: A sensor system for a fuel rod including a fuel pellet stack, the sensor system including a wireless interrogator disposed outside the fuel rod and a passive sensor component disposed within the fuel rod. The passive sensor component includes a receiver structured to receive an interrogation signal and output an excitation signal in response to receiving the interrogation signal, a reference transmitter structured to output a reference signal to the reference receiver in response to the excitation signal, a sensing transmitter structured to output a sensing signal to the sensing receiver in response to the excitation signal, and a core at least partially disposed within the sensing transmitter and coupled to move in conjunction with expansion or contraction of the fuel pellet stack, to move based on changes in pressure within the fuel rod, or to change temperature based on temperature changes within the fuel rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2021
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Arndt, Jorge V. Carvajal, Shawn C. Stafford
  • Patent number: 11094423
    Abstract: A method that provides a more direct indication of peak fuel rod centerline temperature and peak fuel rod clad temperature than conventionally inferred from the power distribution by directly and continuously measuring the fuel temperatures of the fuel pellets in one or more of the hottest fuel elements in the core. The peak fuel rod clad temperature is then obtained from the maximum measured peak fuel rod centerline temperature in combination with the maximum coolant core exit temperature and the minimum coolant flow rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2021
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Heibel, Jorge V. Carvajal, Shawn C. Stafford, Jeffrey L. Arndt
  • Publication number: 20210210233
    Abstract: A detection apparatus includes a resonant electrical circuit supported within an interior of a nuclear fuel rod generates a response pulse in response to an excitation pulse and transmits the response pulse through a cladding of the fuel rod to another location within a reactor in which the fuel rod is housed and without any breach in the cladding. A characteristic of the response pulse is indicative of a condition of the fuel rod. The detection apparatus also includes a transmitter positioned outside the cladding, in the reactor, in the vicinity of the fuel rod and configured to generate the excitation pulse and transmit the excitation pulse through the cladding to the resonant electrical circuit. A receiver is supported within the reactor outside of the cladding and, in response to the response pulse, communicates a signal to an electronic processing apparatus outside of the reactor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2020
    Publication date: July 8, 2021
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jorge V. CARVAJAL, Jeffrey L. ARNDT, Shawn C. STAFFORD, Melissa M. HEAGY, John R. ABEL, II, Emre TATLI
  • Publication number: 20210210232
    Abstract: A detection apparatus includes a resonant electrical circuit supported within an interior of a nuclear fuel rod generates a response pulse in response to an excitation pure and transmits the response pulse through a cladding of the fuel rod to another location within a reactor in which the fuel rod is housed and without any breach in the cladding. A characteristic of the response pulse is indicative of a condition of the fuel rod. The detection apparatus also includes a transmitter positioned outside the cladding, in the reactor, in the vicinity of the fuel rod and configured to generate the excitation pulse and transmit the excitation pulse through the cladding to the resonant electrical circuit. A receiver is supported within the reactor outside of the cladding and, in response to the response pulse, communicates a signal to an electronic processing apparatus outside of the reactor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2020
    Publication date: July 8, 2021
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jorge V. CARVAJAL, Jeffrey L. ARNDT, Shawn C. STAFFORD
  • Publication number: 20210074441
    Abstract: A sensor system for a fuel rod including a fuel pellet stack, the sensor system including a wireless interrogator disposed outside the fuel rod and a passive sensor component disposed within the fuel rod. The passive sensor component includes a receiver structured to receive an interrogation signal and output an excitation signal in response to receiving the interrogation signal, a reference transmitter structured to output a reference signal to the reference receiver in response to the excitation signal, a sensing transmitter structured to output a sensing signal to the sensing receiver in response to the excitation signal, and a core at least partially disposed within the sensing transmitter and coupled to move in conjunction with expansion or contraction of the fuel pellet stack, to move based on changes in pressure within the fuel rod, or to change temperature based on temperature changes within the fuel rod.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 9, 2019
    Publication date: March 11, 2021
    Applicant: Westnghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Arndt, Jorge V. Carvajal, Shawn C. Stafford
  • Publication number: 20200402680
    Abstract: A dry cask storage system for spent nuclear fuel includes a detection apparatus having a resonant electrical circuit, with resonant electrical circuit being situated within an interior region of a metallic vessel wherein the SNF is situated. The detection apparatus includes a transmitter that generates an excitation pulse that causes the resonant circuit to resonate and to generate a response pulse. The resonant circuit includes an inductor that is formed with a core whose magnetic permeability varies with temperature such that the frequency of the resonant circuit varies as a function of temperature. The response pulse is then used to determine the temperature within the interior of the vessel where the SNF is situated. Pressure detection is also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 21, 2019
    Publication date: December 24, 2020
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jorge V. Carvajal, Justin P. Schimidt, Jeffrey L. Amdt, Paul M. Sirianni, Shawn C. Stafford, Kathryn E. Metzger
  • Patent number: 10832825
    Abstract: A detection apparatus includes a resonant electrical circuit supported within an interior of a nuclear fuel rod generates a response pulse in response to an excitation pulse and transmits the response pulse through a cladding of the fuel rod to another location within a reactor in which the fuel rod is housed and without any breach in the cladding. A characteristic of the response pulse is indicative of a condition of the fuel rod. The detection apparatus also includes a transmitter positioned outside the cladding, in the reactor, in the vicinity of the fuel rod and configured to generate the excitation pulse and transmit the excitation pulse through the cladding to the resonant electrical circuit. A receiver is supported within the reactor outside of the cladding and, in response to the response pulse, communicates a signal to an electronic processing apparatus outside of the reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2020
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jorge V. Carvajal, Jeffrey L. Arndt, Shawn C. Stafford, Melissa M. Heagy, John R. Abel, II, Emre Tatli
  • Patent number: 10811153
    Abstract: A detection apparatus includes a resonant electrical circuit supported within an interior of a nuclear fuel rod generates a response pulse in response to an excitation pulse and transmits the response pulse through a cladding of the fuel rod to another location within a reactor in which the fuel rod is housed and without any breach in the cladding. A characteristic of the response pulse is indicative of a condition of the fuel rod. The detection apparatus also includes a transmitter positioned outside the cladding, in the reactor, in the vicinity of the fuel rod and configured to generate the excitation pulse and transmit the excitation pulse through the cladding to the resonant electrical circuit. A receiver is supported within the reactor outside of the cladding and, in response to the response pulse, communicates a signal to an electronic processing apparatus outside of the reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2020
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jorge V. Carvajal, Jeffrey L. Arndt, Shawn C. Stafford
  • Publication number: 20200185116
    Abstract: An enclosure for non-organic electronic components is provided which includes an inner cavity for housing non-organic electronic components and a neutron shielding barrier surrounding the inner cavity and the electronic components housed within the cavity. The barrier is formed from a neutron reflecting material in solid or powdered form and a neutron absorbing material in solid or powdered form. An optional structural support is provided in certain aspects of the enclosure design.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 5, 2018
    Publication date: June 11, 2020
    Applicant: WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY, LLC
    Inventors: JEFFREY L. ARNDT, JORGE V. CARVAJAL, SHAWN C. STAFFORD, MELISSA M. HEAGY, JOHN R. ABEL, II, ROBERT W. FLAMMANG, MICHAEL R. ICKES
  • Publication number: 20200027599
    Abstract: A method that provides a more direct indication of peak fuel rod centerline temperature and peak fuel rod clad temperature than conventionally inferred from the power distribution by directly and continuously measuring the fuel temperatures of the fuel pellets in one or more of the hottest fuel elements in the core. The peak fuel rod clad temperature is then obtained from the maximum measured peak fuel rod centerline temperature in combination with the maximum coolant core exit temperature and the minimum coolant flow rate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 1, 2019
    Publication date: January 23, 2020
    Applicant: Westnghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Heibel, Jorge V. Carvajal, Shawn C. Stafford, Jeffrey L. Arndt
  • Publication number: 20200027598
    Abstract: A detection apparatus includes a resonant electrical circuit supported within an interior of a nuclear fuel rod generates a response pulse in response to an excitation pulse and transmits the response pulse through a cladding of the fuel rod to another location within a reactor in which the fuel rod is housed and without any breach in the cladding. A characteristic of the response pulse is indicative of a condition of the fuel rod. The detection apparatus also includes a transmitter positioned outside the cladding, in the reactor, in the vicinity of the fuel rod and configured to generate the excitation pulse and transmit the excitation pulse through the cladding to the resonant electrical circuit. A receiver is supported within the reactor outside of the cladding and, in response to the response pulse, communicates a signal to an electronic processing apparatus outside of the reactor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 10, 2018
    Publication date: January 23, 2020
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jorge V. Carvajal, Jeffrey L. Arndt, Shawn C. Stafford, Melissa M. Heagy, John R. Abel II, Emre Tatli
  • Publication number: 20190180884
    Abstract: A detection apparatus includes a resonant electrical circuit supported within an interior of a nuclear fuel rod generates a response pulse in response to an excitation pulse and transmits the response pulse through a cladding of the fuel rod to another location within a reactor in which the fuel rod is housed and without any breach in the cladding. A characteristic of the response pulse is indicative of a condition of the fuel rod. The detection apparatus also includes a transmitter positioned outside the cladding, in the reactor, in the vicinity of the fuel rod and configured to generate the excitation pulse and transmit the excitation pulse through the cladding to the resonant electrical circuit. A receiver is supported within the reactor outside of the cladding and, in response to the response pulse, communicates a signal to an electronic processing apparatus outside of the reactor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 10, 2018
    Publication date: June 13, 2019
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jorge V. Carvajal, Jeffrey L. Arndt, Shawn C. Stafford
  • Patent number: 9998025
    Abstract: A high voltage power supply comprising a Line Powered Switcher module for converting a mains powered alternating current input to a direct current output and a High Voltage Switcher module for raising the voltage level of the direct current output. Both modules are independent switched mode power supplies and the high voltage power supply includes ripple, overcurrent and overvoltage protection as well as protection against electromagnetic interference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventor: Shawn C. Stafford