Testing, Sensing, Measuring, Or Detecting A Fission Reactor Condition Patents (Class 376/245)
  • Patent number: 10354766
    Abstract: A method for simulating the fluid flow in a vessel of a nuclear reactor is provided. The reactor includes a core inside the vessel, the core including a lower plate, an upper plate and fuel assemblies extending between the plates, and having a volume axially delimited by first and second interfaces corresponding to the plates. The method includes computing, for the core volume, the fluid pressure and speed, from an initial value of the speed or pressure in the first interface and respectively in the second interface, and using the fluid mass, movement quantity and energy balance equations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: AREVA NP
    Inventors: Nicolas Goreaud, Jérémy Galpin, Benjamin Chazot, Hubert Salaün, Elodie Mery De Montigny
  • Patent number: 10311986
    Abstract: An inspection apparatus may include an installation platform and a scan head. The scan head may be configured to engage in an index movement, a theta movement, a wrist fold movement, and a scan movement. During the scan movement, a transducer of the scan head travels a circumferential path so as to allow an inspection of a surface that is opposite of a surface on which the installation platform is mounted. The inspection apparatus may be used to inspect a reactor component in a nuclear reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: GE-HITACHI NUCLEAR ENERGY AMERICAS LLC
    Inventors: Matthew Robert Hastings, Ryan M. Smith, Lenin N. Benicki
  • Patent number: 10229763
    Abstract: Provided are a neutron detector for detecting a neutron flux distribution of the inside of a reactor, a drive cable connected to the neutron detector, a drive unit for driving the drive cable, a plurality of guide thimbles provided being inserted from the outside of the reactor into the reactor, for inserting the neutron detector, a storage tube for storing the neutron detector, a path transfer device connected to the drive unit, for selecting one of insertion of the neutron detector into each of the guide thimbles and insertion of the neutron detector into the storage tube, and an inspection guide tube connecting the drive unit and the storage tube. The drive unit has a switching unit for switching between the path transfer device side and the inspection guide tube side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION
    Inventor: Kenji Ohsaka
  • Patent number: 10217609
    Abstract: A repeating setpoint generator module selectively varies a setpoint for an output parameter according to a predetermined pattern that repeats during successive time intervals. A closed-loop module, during a first one of the time intervals, generates N closed-loop values based on N differences between (i) N values of the setpoint at N times during the first one of the time intervals and (ii) N measurements of the output parameter at the N times during the first one of the time intervals, respectively. An adjusting module, during the first one of the time intervals, generates N adjustment values based on N differences between (i) N values of the setpoint at the N times during a second one of the time intervals and (ii) N measurements of the output parameter at the N times during the second one of the time intervals, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2019
    Assignee: MKS Instruments, Inc.
    Inventors: Larry J. Fisk, II, Aaron T. Radomski, Jonathon W. Smyka
  • Patent number: 10143192
    Abstract: An animal trap comprising a trap (106, 102, 302) section having at least one moveable wall section (136, 228, 314), being moveable with respect to one or more other walls of the trap section to thereby alter the size of the trap section; animal detection means (138, 242, 306) operable to detect the presence of an animal within the trap section and adapted to signal such a presence to control means, which control means is operable, upon receipt of said signal, to cause movement of the moveable wall section (136, 228, 314) and thus alter the size of the trap section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2018
    Assignee: Dasher Developments Ltd
    Inventor: Gordon Brown
  • Patent number: 10083768
    Abstract: A method for controlling the positions of a plurality of nuclear fuel assemblies (1) relative to an upper core plate (3) in a nuclear reactor core, the method including the following steps: choosing a reference point (13) in internals or in a reactor vessel; determining the positions of S-shaped holes of the nuclear fuel assemblies (1) relative to the reference point (13), each S-shaped hole being intended to cooperate with a corresponding centering pin of the upper core plate (3); acquiring the positions of the centering pins of the upper core plate (3) relative to the reference point (13); and comparing the positions of the S-shaped holes and the positions of the pins and deducing therefrom whether the nuclear fuel assemblies (1) are correctly positioned relative to the upper core plate (3).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2018
    Assignee: AREVA NP
    Inventors: Audrey Tournant, Frederic Alain Magre, Benjamin Loriot
  • Patent number: 9997263
    Abstract: A method involving periodic implementation, during the same operating cycle of the reactor, the method including following steps of: a) calculating, from measurements provided by sensors present in the reactor, the three-dimensional distribution of the local power in the core, b) simulating at least one accidental transient occurrence of power applied to the calculated three-dimensional distribution of local power, c) identifying, using thermomechanical calculations, at least one rod which is the most likely to be subject to a fracture of the cladding thereof during the simulated transient occurrence of power, and d) determining, using thermomechanical calculations on the rod identified, the value of the parameter which is representative of the operability of the reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: AREVA NP
    Inventors: Gilles Andre Poyaud, Bruno Julien, Jean-Lucien Mourlevat
  • Patent number: 9949644
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a torsional vibration resonance frequency measuring method and a novel amplitude transformer for assessing the stability of dental implants. In one example, a torsional vibration resonance frequency measuring method includes installing an amplitude transformer on a dental implant, energizing a torsional vibration mode, gathering resonance signals, and analyzing a resonance frequency. In another example, an amplitude transformer for measuring torsional vibration resonance frequency in a dental implant, includes an anti-rotary horizontal double-winged component and a central bolt. The central bolt is configured to closely connect with the inner threads of the dental implant, such that the amplitude transformer can integrate with the dental implant sufficient to vibrate as an integral structure under energizing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2018
    Assignee: Fourth Military Medical University of Chinese People's Liberation Army
    Inventors: Dehua Li, Yulong Tang, Bing Li
  • Patent number: 9721683
    Abstract: A system for monitoring a condition of a nuclear reactor pressure vessel disposed in a radioactive environment includes an instrument structured to monitor a condition of the nuclear reactor pressure vessel; a powered wireless transmitting modem disposed in the radioactive environment, the wireless transmitting modem being electrically coupled to the instrument; a receiving modem disposed in the line of sight of the transmitting modem, the receiving modem being in wireless communication with the transmitting modem; and a signal processing unit electrically coupled to the receiving modem, the signal processing unit being structured to determine the condition of the nuclear reactor pressure vessel from the instrument. The transmitting modem is powered by a thermocouple disposed in or on the reactor pressure vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventor: Richard W. Morris
  • Patent number: 9689722
    Abstract: A method for monitoring a transmitter (1) with a measurement (2) and a transmission unit (3), with which a measurement (2) signal is generated that is dependent on a measurement quantity, and with the transmission unit (3) receiving the measurement signal, and based on the measurement signal, an output signal is transferred to a signal transmission element (4). To makes it possible to recognize an error, an input signal is taken from the signal transmission element (4) and is transferred to the measurement unit (2) as a comparison signal which corresponds to the input is compared with a stored signal and based upon the outcome of the comparison, either the measurement signal is transferred from the measurement unit (2) to the transmission unit (3) or the transmission unit (3) is shifted into a definable state and an error signal is transferred to it.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2017
    Assignee: KROHNE Messtechnik GmbH
    Inventor: Vincent Pichot
  • Patent number: 9684302
    Abstract: A nuclear power plant control system including: a detection unit for detecting a specific event occurring in the nuclear power plant; an on-site equipment handling the event; and a majority decision judging device and an on-site equipment control device which constitute a plurality of control devices respectively operating independently. Each of the control devices includes a plurality of arithmetic units which perform arithmetic processes independently and in parallel based on a detection result of the detection unit, and output a signal for controlling the on-site equipment according to the results of operations of the arithmetic processes. The plurality of arithmetic units perform a matching process for harmonizing process statuses of the arithmetic processes of respective arithmetic units with each other when starting up the control devices, and after completing the matching process, respectively perform the arithmetic processes independently and in parallel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Shinji Kiuchi, Hironobu Shinohara, Yasutake Akizuki, Toshiki Fukui, Hiroshi Shirasawa
  • Patent number: 9645871
    Abstract: For a soft error of an electronic device, a technique capable of ensuring high reliability because of a low soft error rate (SER) is provided. By using building data including information of a structural object of a building and facility data including information of a plurality of facilities including an electronic device arranged in the building, a SER calculating device calculates a model including an attenuation index value representing a degree of attenuation of radiation entering the building attenuated by the structural object of the building until the radiation reaches a position of the facility arranged in the building, calculates a SER at each position of the facility arranged in the building by using the model including the attenuation index value, and outputs information including the SER at each position of the facility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kenichi Shimbo, Tadanobu Toba, Takumi Uezono
  • Patent number: 9576689
    Abstract: A critical heat flux prediction device, a critical heat flux prediction method, a safety evaluation system, and a core monitoring system using the safety evaluation system can predict critical heat flux in a core of a reactor with a high degree of accuracy by obtaining a correlation plot distribution representing a relation of critical heat flux on a thermal equilibrium quality based on experimental data, approximating a correlation plot distribution through a logistic function that is a model function in which critical heat flux is expressed by a function of a thermal equilibrium quality, and obtaining a critical heat flux correlation of critical heat flux and a thermal equilibrium quality.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2017
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventor: Tadakatsu Yodo
  • Patent number: 9401229
    Abstract: An inspection apparatus for a penetration pipe of a nuclear reactor head comprising: a body; a probe module installed at the body and having a probe which is inserted in the penetration pipe to inspect damage of the penetration pipe; a fixing module installed along a longitudinal direction of the body and having an expanding cylinder which is inserted in the penetration pipe to support an inner diameter of the penetration pipe; and a rotating module installed in the longitudinal direction of the body and having an expanding cylinder which is inserted in the penetration pipe to support the inner diameter of the penetration pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2016
    Assignee: KOREA PLANT SERVICE & ENGINEERING CO., LTD
    Inventors: Min Su Park, Hong Seok Ryu, Youn Kyu Kim, Dong il Kim, Bae Jun Kang, Joon Hong Kim, Won Taik Lim, Sak Lee
  • Patent number: 9268389
    Abstract: Energy savings can be obtained by masking a computationally-intensive task from a processor performance management system which selects the processor performance state based on the load on the processor (CPU). By preventing the PPM system from reacting to the computational load the application places on the processor, the time to complete execution of the application increases but the energy used by the application may be greatly reduced and thermal stress on the CPU is also reduced (preventing noisy fans from operating). This approach makes it convenient to run a computationally intensive task as a background task. The masking can be achieved by running the task in tiny bursts, with micro-sleeps in between them, so that the average CPU load is low over a time period that the PPM system uses for measuring CPU activity/load.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2016
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Peter Hanappe
  • Patent number: 9207217
    Abstract: This invention relates generally to ultrasonic inspection of welds and more particularly, to apparatus and methods for ultrasonic inspection of welds on access hole covers found in boiling water reactors having jet pumps. The apparatus includes a base, a center frame coupled to the base and projecting vertically relative to the access hole cover, a radial arm structured to rotate on the center frame and having attached thereto a first pneumatic linear thruster and a second pneumatic linear thruster, and a skew motor assembly and transducer are attached to the first pneumatic linear thruster for scanning the access hole cover weld. The skew motor assembly is structured to control the angle of the transducer and the first pneumatic linear thruster is structured to raise and lower the transducer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2015
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: John R. Carbonell, Roy C. May, Charles R. Barrett
  • Patent number: 9057145
    Abstract: A method for electrodepositing a metal layer from an electrolytic bath is described, wherein the concentrations of at least two components of the electrolytic bath are monitored by carrying out the following steps: (a) a sample is taken from the electrolytic bath; (b) the sample is supplied to a column for solid phase extraction, which contains a solid sorbent material; (c) the column is subjected to a washing procedure with a first eluent, wherein the at least two components remain on the column, and undesired components are eluted from the column; (d) the at least two components are eluted from the column by a second eluent; (e) the concentrations of the at least two components in the eluate obtained in step (d) are determined without separating the components from each other. In this method the use of poly(divinyl benzene-co-N-vinyl pyrrolidone) for solid phase extraction is particularly advantageous.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2015
    Assignee: Atotech Deutschland GmbH
    Inventors: Jürgen Barthelmes, Robert Rüther, Florence Lagorce-Broc, Olaf Kurtz, Oleg Sprenger, Marta Sainz-Vila, Thomas Moritz, Josef Gaida
  • Patent number: 9020090
    Abstract: This document's object is to provide an axial power distribution control method in which only the control of an axial power distribution in a nuclear reactor with a simple operation with a clear operational target keeps the control of a xenon oscillation, thereby suppressing the xenon oscillation to an extremely small magnitude in advance at the same time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventor: Yoichiro Shimazu
  • Patent number: 9001957
    Abstract: Electrochemical corrosion potential (ECP) probe assemblies may be used to monitor ECP of materials due to coolant chemistry in an operating nuclear reactor. Example embodiment assemblies include at least one ECP probe that detects ECP of potentially several different materials, a structural body providing a fluid flow path for the coolant over the ECP probes, and a signal transmitter that transmits or carries ECP data to an external receiver. The ECP probes may be of any number and/or type, so as to detect ECP for different component materials, including stainless steel, a zirconium alloys, etc. The ECP probes may further detect ECP due to ion concentration, pH, etc. The ECP data may be transmitted through wired or wireless signal transmitters. Example methods include installing and using example embodiment ECP probe assemblies in nuclear reactors and facilities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventors: Filemon Tecson Cabrera, Angelito Foz Gonzaga, Edgardo V. Nazareno, Russell Seeman, Samson Hettiarachchi
  • Publication number: 20150092902
    Abstract: A neutron detector system and method for discriminating fissile material from non-fissile material wherein a digital data acquisition unit collects data at high rate, and in real-time processes large volumes of data directly into information that a first responder can use to discriminate materials. The system comprises counting neutrons from the unknown source and detecting excess grouped neutrons to identify fission in the unknown source. Comparison of the observed neutron count distribution with a Poisson distribution is performed to distinguish fissile material from non-fissile material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 15, 2014
    Publication date: April 2, 2015
    Inventors: Mark S. Rowland, Neal J. Snyderman
  • Patent number: 8995601
    Abstract: An axial power distribution control device includes an axial offset calculation unit 52, a parameter calculation unit 53, and an axial offset determining unit 55. The axial offset determining unit 55 predicts whether a core axial offset of the power distribution is increased or decreased after a current time, based on a major axis of an ellipse drawn by the xenon parameter and the iodine parameter calculated by the parameter calculation unit 53 and the xenon parameter and the iodine parameter at the current time. This makes it possible to predict a change of the axial offset of the power distribution of a reactor for suppressing a xenon oscillation in the reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Masayuki Kauchi, Masatoshi Nagai
  • Patent number: 8995602
    Abstract: A jet pump beam (hereinafter, referred to as a beam) is fitted into a pair of projecting portions installed to a transition piece, and after the beam is arched, a beam bolt engaged with the beam is tightened. An end of the beam bolt comes in contact with a top surface of an insert member fitted into an elbow disposed between the pair of projecting portions. An ultrasonic sensor head is fixed to the beam bolt, and ultrasonic waves are sent to the beam bolt from the ultrasonic sensor in the ultrasonic sensor head. An ultrasonic measuring apparatus obtains echo intensity of each of reflected waves generated at the end of the beam bolt and a bottom surface of the insert member, and based on the echo intensities, an echo intensity ratio R is calculated. The installed state of the beam is checked using the echo intensity ratio R.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd.
    Inventors: Atsushi Baba, Yoshinori Musha, Masahiro Hiratsuka, Minoru Ootaka, Masahiro Koike
  • Patent number: 8958518
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for inspecting a fuel assembly in the pool of a nuclear plant, that comprises an image sensor with an observation field, and further comprising a boom with at least one removable fastener to the assembly, a reference graduation extending along an axis parallel to a longitudinal axis of the assembly, so that the image sensor can monitor within its field both the boom and the assembly. The device is designed so that the boom can be removably attached to the fuel assembly when the latter is suspended outside the pool by the hook of the machine for handling the fuel assemblies. The invention also relates to a corresponding method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Electricite de France
    Inventors: Richard Cauvin, Denis Tessier
  • Patent number: 8958519
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor comprises a pressure vessel, a nuclear reactor core comprising fissile material disposed in the pressure vessel, and a core basket disposed in the pressure vessel and containing the nuclear reactor core. An incore instrument is disposed in a guide tube of the nuclear reactor core. The incore instrument has a cable extending out of the bottom of the nuclear reactor core and making a 180° turn. A bottom support element is attached to the bottom of the core basket and defines or includes a routing tube that routes the cable of the incore instrument through the 180° turn. In some embodiments, the pressure vessel includes upper and lower vessel portions, the nuclear reactor core and core basket are disposed in the lower vessel portion, and the vessel penetration is through the lower vessel portion or through a mid-flange connecting the upper and lower vessel portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Babcock & Wilcox mPower, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew C. Whitten, Michael J. Edwards
  • Patent number: 8957781
    Abstract: A real time monitoring system of a spent fuel pool includes a detection unit configured to detect condition information using a sensor installed in the spent fuel pool; an input storage unit configured to receive and store configuration information of a spent fuel, history information related to burnup, and a normal value and a limit value of current condition information; an operation and determination unit configured to calculate the current condition information of the spent fuel by using the condition information detected by the detection unit and the configuration information and the history information stored in the input storage unit and configured to determine a risk level by comparing the current condition information with the limit value corresponding to the risk level; and a display unit configured to display the current condition information calculated by the operation and determination unit and configured to display the determined risk level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Kepco Nuclear Fuel Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Sang Jong Lee, Jae Don Choi, Young Baek Kim, Tae Je Kwon, Hae Chan Lee, Young Ho Park, Jae Il Lee, Jung Seon An, Seoung Eun Chun, Song Kee Sung
  • Patent number: 8948334
    Abstract: A system and method for predicting acoustic loads expected on a boiling water reactor (BWR) may include a BWR scale model, a test fixture for generating air flow in the scale model, and one or measurement devices for monitoring system behavior to predict how acoustic loads may affect plant operation for the BWR being evaluated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Daniel Charles Pappone, Daniel Verne Sommerville, Teddy Earl McDowell, John Joseph Lynch, David Galbally, Venkat Arunachalam Ramani, Jeffrey H. Sanders, Matthew Christopher O'Connor
  • Publication number: 20140369455
    Abstract: Systems and methods of monitoring step movements of control rods of a nuclear power plant, including measuring output signals of a plurality of rod movement coils during a step movement sequence of one or more control rods, analyzing the output signals to determine a direction of the step movement sequence, and comparing one or more output signals to reference output sequence to verify that a step of the control rod has occurred.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 18, 2013
    Publication date: December 18, 2014
    Inventors: Jacob R. McCulley, Samuel D. Caylor, Hashem M. Hashemian
  • Publication number: 20140369456
    Abstract: Systems and methods of monitoring rod control systems of nuclear power plants, including: measuring a particular signal applied to at least one coil of a rod movement mechanism at one or more predetermined times relative to an initial energizing of a mechanism coil; comparing the measured signal to a reference signal parameter, and determining if the measured signal deviates from the reference signal parameter by a predetermined amount to indicate degradation of the rod control system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 18, 2013
    Publication date: December 18, 2014
    Inventors: Samuel D. Caylor, Jacob R. McCulley, Gregory W. Morton, Hashem M. Hashemian
  • Publication number: 20140362965
    Abstract: A nuclear power distribution measurement assembly that is sized to fit within an instrumentation thimble of a nuclear fuel assembly, that employs a spaced tandem arrangement of thermo-acoustic engines, each of which has a heat source side that is insulated from the reactor coolant traversing the nuclear core in which the fuel assembly is to be placed and a cold side housing a resonator chamber with enhanced thermal conductance to the coolant. The resonator chamber of each of the thermo-acoustic engines is of a different length to generate a different frequency whose amplitude is proportional to the neutron activity at the axial and radial position of the thermo-acoustic engine. The frequency identifies the measurement assembly's position. Acoustic telemetry is employed to monitor the acoustic waves generated by the individual thermo-acoustic engines to provide a remote reading of the axial and radial power distribution of a reactor core.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 14, 2014
    Publication date: December 11, 2014
    Applicant: WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Heibel, Robert W. Flammang, David M. Sumego
  • Patent number: 8903034
    Abstract: A method for determining a leaking nuclear fuel rod that remotely measures the internal pressure in the plenum region of the fuel rod by remotely measuring the thermal response of the rod when a localized heating is imposed on the outside of the rod in the plenum region. The temperature of the cladding at two symmetrically spaced points on either side of the location where the heating is imposed is remotely monitored as a function of time and compared to a standard to determine the internal pressure of the plenum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventor: Warren R. Junker
  • Patent number: 8903033
    Abstract: A high resolution digital rod position indication (high resolution DRPI) system having improved resolution. The high resolution DRPI system monitors the rod control cluster and provides an indication of the rod position with precision to a single step. In addition, the high resolution DRPI system is capable of producing a rod position output compatible with existing rod control systems. The improved resolution of the high resolution DRPI system allows the actual position of the control rods to be continuously monitored and eliminates the need for or reduces the frequency of offline re-initialization of the step counters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: Analysis and Measurement Service Corporation
    Inventors: Gregory M. Morton, Hashem M. Hashemian, Brent D. Shumaker, Danny D. Beverly, Casey D. Sexton
  • Patent number: 8891720
    Abstract: A neutron detector system and method for discriminating fissile material from non-fissile material wherein a digital data acquisition unit collects data at high rate, and in real-time processes large volumes of data directly into information that a first responder can use to discriminate materials. The system comprises counting neutrons from the unknown source and detecting excess grouped neutrons to identify fission in the unknown source. Comparison of the observed neutron count distribution with a Poisson distribution is performed to distinguish fissile material from non-fissile material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC
    Inventors: Mark S. Rowland, Neal J. Snyderman
  • Patent number: 8885789
    Abstract: A device for measuring and correcting a parallelism error of an upper plug end of a nuclear fuel rod comprising mechanisms for measuring a parallelism error and for correcting said error, and a mechanism for positioning said device on the fuel rod and cooperating with a rack on which the fuel rod is stored, said correction means being arranged opposite the measuring mechanism relative to the location of the fuel rod, in order to allow a measurement of the parallelism error during correction of said error.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2014
    Assignee: Areva NC
    Inventor: Daniel Lavios
  • Publication number: 20140321591
    Abstract: A nuclear power distribution measurement assembly that is sized to fit within an instrumentation thimble of a nuclear fuel assembly, that employs a spaced tandem arrangement of thermo-acoustic engines, each of which has a heat source side that is insulated from the reactor coolant traversing the nuclear core in which the fuel assembly is to be placed and a cold side housing a resonator chamber with enhanced thermal conductance to the coolant. The resonator chamber of each of the thermo-acoustic engines is of a different length to generate a different frequency whose amplitude is proportional to the neutron activity at the axial and radial position of the thermo-acoustic engine. The frequency identifies the measurement assembly's position. Acoustic telemetry is employed to monitor the acoustic waves generated by the individual thermo-acoustic engines to provide a remote reading of the axial and radial power distribution of a reactor core.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2013
    Publication date: October 30, 2014
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventor: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
  • Patent number: 8831163
    Abstract: A method for measuring the neutron flux in the core of a nuclear reactor, the method including several steps recurrently performed at instants separated by a period, the method comprising at each given instant the following steps: acquiring a total signal by a cobalt neutron detector placed inside the core of the reactor; assessing a calibration factor representative of the delayed component of the total signal due to the presence of cobalt 60 in the neutron detector; assessing a corrected signal representative of the neutron flux at the detector from the total signal and from the calibration factor; assessing a slope representative of the time-dependent change of the calibration factor between the preceding instant and the given instant; the calibration factor at the given instant being assessed as a function of the calibration factor assessed at the preceding instant, of the slope, and of the time period separating the given instant from the preceding instant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Areva NP
    Inventor: Maxime Pfeiffer
  • Patent number: 8831162
    Abstract: A reactor core coolant temperature measuring apparatus for measuring the temperature of the coolant flowing in the reactor core of a nuclear reactor comprises a ?-ray thermometer having a temperature measuring section arranged below the bottom of the reactor core and a ?-ray heat generation detecting section arranged between the bottom and the top of the reactor core, a cable for transmitting the signal output from the temperature measuring section and an output signal processing means for receiving the signal and computationally determining the local temperature of the coolant at the position of placement of the temperature measuring section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Naotaka Oda, Tadashi Miyazaki
  • Patent number: 8824617
    Abstract: Systems and methods of monitoring position information of a control rod in a nuclear reactor, including detecting an output signal induced by movement of a control rod with respect to at least one detection coil of the control rod, the output signal having identifiable characteristics representative of a plurality of positions of the control rod within the at least one detection coil, and processing the identifiable characteristics to derive the positions of the control rod within the at least one detection coil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: Analysis and Measurement Services Corporation
    Inventors: Casey D. Sexton, Danny D. Beverly, Gregory W. Morton, Hashem M. Hashemian, Brent D. Shumaker
  • Patent number: 8817939
    Abstract: A method to determine the effective masses of deposits of fissile matter, including a first measuring step to measure the count rate of deposits of fissile matter of known effective masses to form a matrix [C]0, a second measuring step to measure the count rate of deposits of fissile matter to form a matrix [C], and a computing step to calculate the effective masses to be determined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives
    Inventors: Jean-Pascal Hudelot, Jean-Michel Girard
  • Patent number: 8817941
    Abstract: According to an embodiment, a pressurized water reactor plant has a primary system which includes: a reactor vessel for housing a reactor core which is cooled by a primary coolant, a single steam generator, a hot leg pipe for connecting the reactor vessel and the steam generator, cold leg pipes, at least two primary coolant pumps, and a pressurizer for pressurizing the primary coolant pressure boundary in which the primary coolant flows. The plant also has: a passive cooling and depressurization system which is a primary depressurization means for equalizing the primary system pressure to the secondary system pressure at the time of a tube rupture accident of the steam generator, and a reactor containment vessel containing the primary system and cooling the primary system by air cooling. Thus, a compact pressurized water rector with high economic efficiency, safety, and reliability can be provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Takashi Sato, Kazunori Hashimoto, Hirohide Oikawa, Yasunobu Fujiki, Makoto Akinaga, Hisaki Sato
  • Publication number: 20140211901
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a nuclear power plant cable including: conductors; at least one or more insulation layers adapted to correspondingly surround the conductors; a sheath adapted to surround the insulation layers; and monitoring means adapted to monitor the states of the insulation layers or the state of the sheath in real time.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 17, 2014
    Publication date: July 31, 2014
    Applicant: LS Cable & System Ltd.
    Inventors: Jae-Bok Lee, Chan-Yong Park, Hyun-Woong Kim
  • Patent number: 8781058
    Abstract: A device for detecting steel is provided. The steel is used in a nuclear plant. The device has a detecting circuit of electrochemical corrosion potential (ECP) and alternative current (AC) impedance. An environment in a boiling water reactor (BWR) is simulated under hydrogen water chemistry (HWC). The environment is used for detecting intergranular stress corrosion cracking (IGSCC) of components coated with different precious metals. Thus, effect of coating different precious metals on steels can be evaluated for HWC.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Institute of Nuclear Energy Research, Atomic Energy Council
    Inventors: Tung-Jen Wen, Ning-Yih Hsu
  • Patent number: 8774340
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor vibration surveillance system has a first ultrasonic transducer for transmission, an ultrasonic transmitter, a second ultrasonic transducer for reception, an ultrasonic receiver, a signal processor, and a display unit. The first ultrasonic transducer for transmission is arranged on the outer surface of a reactor pressure vessel and is configured to convert a transmission signal into an ultrasonic pulse signal and allow the ultrasonic pulse to be transmitted to a reactor internal component. The second ultrasonic transducer for reception is arranged on the outer surface of the reactor pressure vessel and is configured to receive a reflected ultrasonic pulse reflected by the reactor internal component and convert the received reflected ultrasonic pulse into a reception signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Hidehiko Kuroda, Mikio Izumi, Mitsuhiro Enomoto, Masaki Yoda, Mieko Sato
  • Patent number: 8767906
    Abstract: In one embodiment, the in-bundle force measurement device includes an elongated main body, and a sensing structure disposed at a distal end of the main body. The sensing structure is configured to output a measurement indicative of force applied to the sensing structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: Global Nuclear Fuel—Americas, LLC
    Inventor: Roger Howard Van Slyke
  • Patent number: 8767903
    Abstract: An in-core neutron monitor that employs vacuum microelectronic devices to configure an in-core instrument thimble assembly that monitors and wirelessly transmits a number of reactor parameters directly from the core of a nuclear reactor without the use of external cabling. The in-core instrument thimble assembly is substantially wholly contained within an instrument guide tube within a nuclear fuel assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: John G. Seidel, Robert W. Flammang, Jorge V. Carvajal, Michael A. James, Nicola G. Arlia
  • Patent number: 8755482
    Abstract: The method comprises the steps of: partitioning the core in cubes to constitute nodes of a grid for computer implemented calculation, splitting the cubes into a first category and a second category, each cube of the first category being adjacent only to cubes from the second category so that the first category and second category of cubes constitute a checkerboard-like pattern, ordering the cubes of the first category and then the cubes of the second category, calculating neutron flux and/or thermohydraulics parameters by using an iterative solving procedure of at least one linear system and/or an eigensystem, the components of an iterant of the linear system and/or the eigensystem constituting the neutron flux and/or thermohydraulics parameters to be calculated, wherein, during the iterative solving procedure, calculations are conducted on the cubes of the first category then on the cubes of the second category.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2014
    Assignee: Areva NP
    Inventor: Rene Van Geemert
  • Patent number: 8755481
    Abstract: A computer implemented method for modelizing a nuclear reactor core, including the steps of: partitioning the core in cubes to constitute nodes of a grid for computer implemented calculation, calculating neutron flux by using an iterative solving procedure of at least one eigensystem, the components of an iterant of the eigensystem corresponding either to a neutron flux, to a neutron outcurrent or to a neutron incurrent, for a respective cube to be calculated. A control parameter is varied to impact a neutron eigenvalue ? through a perturbed interface current equation and drive the neutron eigenvalue ? towards 1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2014
    Assignee: Areva NP
    Inventor: Rene Van Geemert
  • Patent number: 8744033
    Abstract: An object of the invention is to embody a small and inexpensive passage selector, which can be applied by commonly using an index device even if the number of detector passages is changed, and which is easy to make inspection and maintenance. The passage selector of a reactor in-core nuclear-measuring apparatus of the invention includes: a drive motor; an index device that is driven by the drive motor and that makes a rotary output of a predetermined index number; a central rotating shaft that is driven to rotate by the index device and that causes a passage selecting guide tube to be located in opposition to any detector passage; and a speed-increasing and decreasing device that is interposed between an output shaft of the index device and the central rotating shaft, and that adjusts the index number of the central rotating shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Electronic Corporation
    Inventors: Kenji Oosaka, Masami Yodogawa
  • Patent number: 8705684
    Abstract: A surface conditioning scheduling process is used to mitigate susceptibility to crack initiation or crack growth in a boiling water nuclear reactor using a plurality of working crews. A plurality of working zones are defined in an annulus region of a reactor vessel flange, and a plurality working zones are defined in a core region of the reactor vessel. One of the working crews is positioned in each of the annulus region working zones, and one of the working crews is positioned in each of the core region working zones. The working crews perform surface conditioning in areas of the reactor vessel accessible from their respective working zones such that the surface conditioning process can be completed in no more than thirty days.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Frank Ortega, Hsueh-Wen Na Pao, Henry Peter Offer, Ahdee Quan Chan
  • Patent number: 8699654
    Abstract: The invention concerns a method comprising measurement on a fuel channel (14) of fuel assemblies (8) for nuclear boiling water reactors. The method comprises that: the measurement is done by the use of a non-destructive inductive eddy current measurement method, the measurement is done on a fuel channel (14) which has been used at least a certain time during operation in the core of a nuclear boiling water reactor, the measurement is done when the fuel channel (14) is located in water, the measurement is done on different places on the fuel channel (14), wherein through the method at least the hydride content of the fuel channel (14) at said places is determined. The method can be used in order to find out how shadow corrosion from a neighboring control rod influences the properties of the fuel channel (14).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB
    Inventors: Kurt-Åke Magnusson, Holger Wiese, Björn Andersson, Göran Jergeus
  • Patent number: 8687760
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method of determining at least one technological uncertainty factor in respect of nuclear fuel elements (23) as a function of variations in the production parameters of the elements (23) in relation to nominal values. The inventive method comprises a step involving the use, for at least one production parameter, of a collective variation in said parameter in relation to the nominal value within a batch of produced elements (23). The invention can be used, for example, to design, produce and check pellets for light water reactors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Areva NP
    Inventors: Pascal Charmensat, Michel Pasquet