Vessel Monitoring Or Inspection Patents (Class 376/249)
  • Patent number: 11221314
    Abstract: In accordance with an embodiment, a method for inspecting pipe is provided. The method includes transmitting an ultrasound pulse through a pipe or a fluid container from inside the pipe or the fluid container. The method further includes receiving echoes via a plurality of sensors, based on the ultrasound pulse, and combining echo data from the plurality of sensors. The method additionally includes deriving an environmental assessment based on the combining the echo data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2022
    Assignee: BAKER HUGHES OILFIELD OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey Earle Sutherland, Ryan Danny Eastcott
  • Patent number: 11035669
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are systems and methods for profiling a surface. In some embodiments, the systems and methods perform profiling using a robotic vehicle. The vehicle can include a drive system, one or more wheel encoders, and one or more distance sensors and/or inertial measurement units for capturing measurement data, such as the slope of the surface or the angle of the robotic vehicle relative to the surface or the gravity vector. A control computing system is included having one or more processors that execute instructions stored in software modules to process movement data. In some embodiments, the processed movement data determines a plurality of snapshots of the surface at different times and positions as the robotic vehicle traverses the surface. These snapshots are combined to generate a profile of the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2021
    Assignee: Saudi Arabian Oil Company
    Inventors: Sahejad Patel, Fadl Abdellatif, Brian Parrott
  • Patent number: 10902961
    Abstract: A tool is receivable into an interior region of a core shroud of a Boiling Water Reactor. The tool includes an elongated frame, an elevator apparatus situated on the frame, and a manipulator apparatus situated on the elevator apparatus. The tool further includes a reciprocation apparatus that is situated on the manipulator apparatus and that has a mount that is structured to carry a device thereon. The reciprocation apparatus includes an elongated rack of an arcuate profile. The elevator apparatus is operable to move the reciprocation apparatus along the longitudinal extent of the frame. The tool further includes a foot apparatus that is situated at an end of the frame and that is receivable on a core plate to enable the frame to be pivoted about an axis of elongation of the frame with respect to the core plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2020
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2021
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Kevin J. Foley, Andrew J. Gotliffe
  • Patent number: 10762996
    Abstract: An apparatus for performing an inspection on the beams of the top guide of a BWR includes a housing, an alignment assembly, and an inspection system. The housing is receivable atop the upper edges of a first pair of beams adjacent a receptacle of the top guide. The reception of the housing atop the upper edges of the first pair of beams is facilitated by the alignment assembly which includes a plurality of legs that are simultaneously moved between a retracted position wherein one or more of the legs is disengaged from the beams within the receptacle and an extended position wherein all of the legs are engaged with the beams of the top guide within the receptacle. The inspection system includes a pair of inspection elements that are translated above a second pair of beams that are adjacent the receptacle and that do not have the housing received thereon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2020
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Kevin J. Foley, Charles R. Barrett
  • Patent number: 10672526
    Abstract: A tool is receivable into an interior region of a core shroud of a Boiling Water Reactor. The tool includes an elongated frame, an elevator apparatus situated on the frame, and a manipulator apparatus situated on the elevator apparatus. The tool further includes a reciprocation apparatus that is situated on the manipulator apparatus and that has a mount that is structured to carry a device thereon. The reciprocation apparatus includes an elongated rack of an arcuate profile. The elevator apparatus is operable to move the reciprocation apparatus along the longitudinal extent of the frame. The tool further includes a foot apparatus that is situated at an end of the frame and that is receivable on a core plate to enable the frame to be pivoted about an axis of elongation of the frame with respect to the core plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2020
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Kevin J. Foley, Andrew J. Gotliffe
  • Patent number: 10551353
    Abstract: According to an embodiment, a detection system includes a plurality of first sensors, a second sensor, a first calculator, and a second calculator. Each of the first sensors is configured to detect an elastic wave generated from a structure, and convert the elastic wave into a detection signal. The second sensor is configured to detect a noise propagating from surroundings, and convert the noise into a reference signal. The first calculator is configured to calculate a plurality of difference detection signals based on the respective detection signals and the reference signal. The second calculator is configured to calculate a position of a generation source of the elastic wave from the plurality of difference detection signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2020
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Takashi Usui, Kazuo Watabe
  • Patent number: 10501132
    Abstract: The present invention discloses an apparatus and method for patrol-inspection of a rigid cage channel. The patrol-inspection apparatus comprises a moving member, a transmission member, a driving member, a guide member, and a housing on a main bottom plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2019
    Assignee: CHINA UNIVERSITY OF MINING AND TECHNOLOGY
    Inventors: Gongbo Zhou, ZhaoXing Gao, Chaoquan Tang, Zhencai Zhu, Guohua Cao, Ping Zhou, Hao Chen
  • Patent number: 10444287
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, a robot device includes a robot and a station part. The robot is inserted into a gap between an outer peripheral surface of a first part of a first member and a second member surrounding the outer peripheral surface. The first member includes the first part and a second part. A step is formed between the first part and the second part. The station part includes an elevating mechanism. The elevating mechanism lowers the robot onto the outer peripheral surface of the first member on a lower stage side of the step, and raises the robot from the outer peripheral surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Hiroaki Kuwahara, Hideo Chikaoka, Tomio Iwata, Fujio Terai, Yuuichiro Gunji, Akihiro Matsuzaki
  • Patent number: 10190966
    Abstract: A metal-pipe use support system (10a) includes: a metal pipe information reception unit (11a) for receiving identification data for each of a plurality of metal pipes; a use condition reception unit (12a) for receiving use condition data about a condition under which a metal pipe is to be used; a pipe-specific data acquisition unit (13a) for accessing a data recording unit (2) storing pipe-specific data indicative of a property of each metal pipe and corresponding identification data in an associated manner and acquiring the pipe-specific data associated with the received identification data; a pipe determination unit (14a) for determining a metal pipe to be used from among the plurality of metal pipes based on the pipe-specific data and the use condition data; and an output unit (15a) for outputting information relating to the determined metal pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2019
    Assignee: NIPPON STEEL & SUMITOMO METAL CORPORATION
    Inventors: Yuya Matsuda, Takanori Tanaka, Masami Ikeda, Junpei Yashina
  • Patent number: 10134494
    Abstract: In an installation device of a reactor repair device and a method, an installation pole (111) connected with an upper portion of a water jet peening device (101), a lifting device (112) that can suspend and support an upper portion of the installation pole (111) and can lift the installation pole (111) from a work floor (121), a moving device (113) that can move the lifting device (112) in two directions intersecting in a horizontal direction, and a position adjustment device (114) that can move the installation pole (111) in the horizontal direction in a state where the installation pole (111) is supported by the lifting device (112).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Akio Minamiyama, Yutaka Nishitsuji, Koji Okimura, Kazuyuki Hinami, Tomochika Hamamoto, Takao Konno
  • Patent number: 10113993
    Abstract: A system for non-destructively characterizing laser welds that includes at least one phased array probe that includes a plurality of ultrasonic transducer elements arranged in an array at one end of the probe, wherein the transducer elements are operative to both generate ultrasonic signals and to receive reflections thereof, wherein the transducer elements are further arranged into discrete subgroups, and wherein each subgroup may be activated independently of the other subgroups and at different time intervals; a combination of materials for allowing the probe to conform to a contoured surface of a laser weld while enabling sound energy to be transferred directly into a laser weld under test conditions, wherein the combination of materials further includes a flexible membrane mounted on the end of the probe and a fluid filled chamber material disposed between the membrane and the array of ultrasonic transducer elements; and a data processor in communication with the at least one phased array probe that incl
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2018
    Assignee: Edison Welding Institute, Inc.
    Inventors: Roger Spencer, Paul C. Boulware, Jeong K. Na
  • Patent number: 9845914
    Abstract: The invention relates to a narrow gap inspection system, having a tube to be inspected, in particular a boiler tube, which extends in the axial direction and, surrounding this at a radial distance with a hollow-cylindrical gap, a casing, in particular a casing tube. The casing has an axially extending opening with an opening angle running perpendicular to the axial direction, and radially over the opening there is provided an axially mobile support system which supports a ring which is arranged in the gap and is able to rotate about the tube and has an inspection device that can be placed over the tube by means of a respective axial movement of the support system and a respective rotation of the ring in the gap. The invention also relates to a method for installing a narrow gap inspection system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2017
    Assignee: WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC GERMANY GMBH
    Inventors: Alexander Riecker, Christian Röllig, Jens Meissner, Wolfgang Obierai, Phetoury Souvannavong
  • Patent number: 9797867
    Abstract: Systems and methods for inspecting a hole in a laminated structure. An exemplary system includes a transducer assembly configured to direct sound waves substantially parallel to a surface of the hole. The system further includes a controller that collects A-scan data for multiple rotational positions of the transducer assembly as the transducer assembly is rotated within the hole. The controller processes the A-scan data for the multiple rotational positions of the transducer assembly to generate B-scan data, and displays the B-scan data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: Jeffrey R. Kollgaard, William J. Tapia
  • Patent number: 9789585
    Abstract: In a WJP execution method for a reactor vessel lid, WJP is executed on the inner surface of the reactor vessel lid in a state in which an underwater environment is formed on the inner surface of the reactor vessel lid and an aerial environment is formed on the outer surface thereof. In addition, the reactor vessel lid with a waterproof jig attached thereto is arranged in water, the waterproof jig having a cylindrical shape extending to the side of the outer surface of the reactor vessel lid and constituting a vessel with the reactor vessel lid as the bottom portion thereof. Moreover, the reactor vessel lid is arranged on a base installed in the water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventor: Hideshi Sakashita
  • Patent number: 9793016
    Abstract: There is provided an inspection device for inspecting an inner surface of a nozzle provided in a reactor vessel. The inspection device includes: a device frame, an inspection unit provided on the device frame, an inspection unit push-out moving mechanism for pushing out and moving the inspection unit to the inner surface of the nozzle, a rotation moving mechanism for rotating and moving the inspection unit, a calibration test unit arranged on the device frame for calibrating the inspection unit; and a calibration test unit forward/backward moving mechanism for moving the calibration test unit forward or backward in the direction along the central axis with regard to a track where the inspection unit makes push-out movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Kazushige Namba, Tomonori Shichida, Naoto Kawase
  • Patent number: 9646727
    Abstract: Embodiments provide a system and apparatus for visual inspection of a nuclear vessel. The system includes a submersible remotely operated vehicle (SROV) system that is movable to an area within a nuclear vessel. The SROV system includes a maneuverable inspection camera assembly for visual inspection of nuclear vessel components, where the inspection camera assembly is maneuverable in relation to the SROV system. The system also includes a control system located in an area remote from the area within the nuclear vessel. The control system is configured to control the movement of the SROV system and the maneuvering of the inspection camera assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: GE-HITACHI NUCLEAR ENERGY AMERICAS LLC
    Inventors: Brandon Lee Smith, Colin F. Kelemen, Vladimir V. Ghita
  • Patent number: 9601221
    Abstract: An opening and closing device that opens and closes an access port opened from a substantially cylindrical working platform disposed inside a reactor vessel and used to access a nozzle stub of the reactor vessel from the inside of the working platform, the opening and closing device includes: a cover that is slidable along an outer peripheral surface or an inner peripheral surface of the working platform from a closing position where the access port is closed to an opening position where the access port is opened; and moving device for sliding the cover.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Atsushi Sugiura, Takumi Hori, Kenji Nishikawa, Ken Onishi, Noriaki Shimonabe, Satoshi Tsuzuki, Ikuo Wakamoto
  • Patent number: 9581086
    Abstract: A device receives sensed operation parameters related to the operation of a machine. The device utilizes the sensed operation parameters in a first analyzer that generates first characteristics related to degradation of the machine and utilizes the sensed operation parameters in a second analyzer configured to generate second characteristics related to thermal characteristics of the machine, wherein the thermal characteristics include thermal stresses present in the machine. The device also utilizes the first and second characteristics and a third characteristic related to operator behaviors related to the current operation of the machine to generate remaining useful life characteristics of components of the machine and generates operational set points for control of the machine based in part on the remaining useful life characteristics, desired machine performance characteristics based on the operator behaviors, and maintenance characteristics of the machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Awadesh Kumar Tiwari, Mahendhra Muthuralingam, Praveen Kumar Gali
  • Patent number: 9524803
    Abstract: A reactor vessel that performs work inside a nozzle stub of the reactor vessel, including a platform unit that is provided at an upper portion inside the reactor vessel and includes a substantially cylindrical side wall portion and a bottom portion blocking the lower end of the side wall portion; an access window that is provided at the side wall portion of the platform unit an access window moving device that opens and closes the access window; a working device; and a control device that is provided at the outside of the reactor vessel and controls the access window moving device and the working device, wherein the control device drives the access window moving device to open the access window, drives the working device to perform work inside the nozzle stub, and then drives the access window moving device to close the access window after the performance of the work.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2016
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Atsushi Sugiura, Takumi Hori, Kenji Nishikawa, Ken Onishi, Noriaki Shimonabe, Satoshi Tsuzuki, Ikuo Wakamoto
  • Patent number: 9318226
    Abstract: This invention generally concerns robotic systems and is particularly concerned with improved apparatus and methods for remotely inspecting, modifying or repairing a core shroud in a nuclear reactor. The apparatus of the invention includes a partial upper track which horizontally movable along the core shroud, a head and frame assembly which is horizontally movable along the partial upper track, a lower track which is connected to the head and frame assembly and is horizontally movable along the core shroud, and a carriage and arm assembly which extends downward into an annulus formed by the reactor pressure vessel and the core shroud, wherein the arm includes at least one sensor for inspecting the core shroud.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Kevin J. Foley, Mark Steve Everett, Charles R. Barrett
  • Patent number: 9269463
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for inspecting the upper portion of a core shroud of a nuclear power plant is provided. The upper shroud scanner mounts on an arcuic section of a steam dam of the core shroud and moves back and forth there along. A vertical arm with transducers thereon extend down from a Y-car portion of the upper shroud scanner. Transducers adjacent the core shroud emit and receive an ultrasonic sound to inspect for flaws and defects in the core shroud.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2016
    Assignee: IHI Southwest Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Ramon O. Villagomez
  • Patent number: 9082518
    Abstract: Vibration of a jet pump installed in a reactor pressure vessel of a boiling water reactor is monitored. Ultrasonic waves are transmitted from an ultrasonic sensor installed on an outer surface of the reactor pressure vessel toward a throat and a diffuser of the jet pump. When the ultrasonic waves reach respective outer surfaces of the throat and diffuser, reflected waves are generated at the respective outer surfaces. The ultrasonic sensor receives those reflected waves. The ultrasonic signal process section obtains a distance in the horizontal direction between the throat and the diffuser based on a time difference of the reflected waves reflected from respective reflection surfaces of the throat and diffuser and a sound speed in reactor water in the neighborhood of the throat and diffuser. A relative vibration is obtained based on the change with time of the distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd.
    Inventors: Masahiro Hiratsuka, Atsushi Baba, Masahiro Koike, Taro Ikezumi, Minoru Ootaka
  • Patent number: 9044857
    Abstract: A control system that guides a robot or articulated device with a laser distance meter for 3D motion, or guides a robot or articulated device with a computer pointing device (such as a mouse) for 2D or 3D motion. User needs to point to a desired physical location of the end point, and then the difficult work of finding the right joint angles to get there is done by a computer. System works like hand eye coordination. The hand goes wherever the eye is pointed so long as the eye is pointed within the reachable boundary of the jointed arm or articulated device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2015
    Inventor: Jerry Neal Sommerville
  • Publication number: 20150131767
    Abstract: A construction method of a pipeline that forms a pipeline by joining tubular members to each other by butt welding, includes: a tubular member preparation step for preparing a tubular member having a smooth length of an outer surface along an axial direction from a joined end, which is set based on conditions of ultrasonic inspection of a welded portion, which are determined by usage conditions of the pipeline; a tubular member welding step for welding together prepared tubular members; and a welded portion inspection step for inspecting a welded portion by ultrasonic inspection.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 25, 2014
    Publication date: May 14, 2015
    Applicant: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Naoto Kawase, Isao Seki, Takayuki Matsuura
  • 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
  • Patent number: 8938044
    Abstract: A robotic tubesheet walker having two rails connected by a central hinge, wherein the central hinge can be opened or closed by an actuation device. Upon each rail is mounted a carriage, wherein each carriage can move along its respective rail toward or away from the central hinge by means of a drive mechanism. Each carriage further contains at least two “gripper” attachment mechanisms, such as camlocks, to grip the tubesheet. The grippers either insert into tube holes within the tubesheet to fasten the respective carriage to the tubesheet, or retract to disengage. Further attached to the central hinge is a tool support fixture, and attached to the tool support fixture is a coupler that holds maintenance or inspection tools.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2015
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Lyman J. Petrosky, Phillip J. Hawkins
  • Publication number: 20140355729
    Abstract: A nuclear plant manipulator system is disclosed which can include a manipulator with an image acquisition device and remote-control drive, a remote-operating device, as well as an analysis device for analyzing image data of the image acquisition device. The analysis device can be configured in such a way that when the manipulator moves along a path of movement based on image data, respective known objects that are found along the path of movement are automatically identified, and when such an object is passed, depending on the direction, an object counter is incremented or decremented, whereby the current value of the object counter is provided to the remote-operating device. A method is disclosed for controlling a manipulator of the nuclear plant manipulator system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 3, 2014
    Publication date: December 4, 2014
    Applicant: WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC GERMANY GmbH
    Inventors: Marko ECKERT, David KISJUHASZ
  • Publication number: 20140341329
    Abstract: A device for monitoring and collecting information (10) from an area with potential risk of irradiation, including at least one storage box (12) intended to be positioned permanently in a nuclear infrastructure (2) and including a unit for communication with a control station (14) intended to be positioned outside (8) the nuclear infrastructure (2), characterized in that the storage box (12) is intrinsically protected from any external stresses, and includes a televisual inspection unit and a unit for measuring environmental parameters that can be deployed from inside the nuclear infrastructure (2).
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 14, 2014
    Publication date: November 20, 2014
    Applicant: ECA ROBOTICS
    Inventors: Thierry GODER, Victorien FRADEL
  • Patent number: 8891722
    Abstract: An improved support apparatus is structured to support a dosimetry system within an interior region of a containment apparatus. The dosimetry system is supported in a region between an interior surface of the containment apparatus and an exterior surface of a reactor apparatus that is disposed within the interior of the containment apparatus. The support apparatus includes a retention apparatus having a plurality of brace elements that each have a receptacle formed therein. The receptacles are aligned with one another when installed within the interior of the containment apparatus. The support apparatus further includes a tube apparatus that includes a plurality of tube segments that are connectable together. The dosimetry system is situated within an elongated cavity formed in the tube apparatus. The tube apparatus is situated in the receptacles and thereby supports the dosimetry system on the containment apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Joel A. Kulesza, Arnold H. Fero, Alexander W. Harkness
  • Publication number: 20140270038
    Abstract: This invention generally concerns robotic systems and is specifically concerned with an improved apparatus and method for inspecting nuclear reactor components in limited access areas, such as, the core annulus, core spray and feedwater sparger regions of a nuclear reactor. This invention includes an apparatus for remotely operating and positioning at least one inspection device for inspecting at least one component in an annulus region of a reactor pressure vessel of a nuclear power plant. The apparatus includes a track, a braking system and a frame assembly which has a frame movably connected to the track, at least one mast assembly and at least one mast positioning assembly. The at least one inspection device is attached to the at least one mast assembly. In certain embodiments, the at least one mast assembly includes a mast that is capable of becoming rigidly stable in both an extended tube form and a retracted rolled form.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY LLC
    Inventors: JONATHAN K. DELAUNE, MICHAEL E. FREEMAN
  • Publication number: 20140241482
    Abstract: There is provided an inspection device for inspecting an inner surface of a nozzle provided in a reactor vessel. The inspection device includes: a device frame, an inspection unit provided on the device frame, an inspection unit push-out moving mechanism for pushing out and moving the inspection unit to the inner surface of the nozzle, a rotation moving mechanism for rotating and moving the inspection unit, a calibration test unit arranged on the device frame for calibrating the inspection unit; and a calibration test unit forward/backward moving mechanism for moving the calibration test unit forward or backward in the direction along the central axis with regard to a track where the inspection unit makes push-out movement.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 26, 2014
    Publication date: August 28, 2014
    Applicant: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Kazushige Namba, Tomonori Shichida, Naoto Kawase
  • 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
  • Patent number: 8794083
    Abstract: An inspection assembly for inspecting a hollow member, with a probe head, which includes at least one sensor, and a flexible shaft connected to the probe head to transmit motive force. The shaft encloses at least one wire operatively connected to the probe head for sensory operation of the sensor. The shaft has a first part adjacent to the probe head and a second part distal therefrom. The first part is relatively more flexible that the second part. The shaft has an improved ability to follow a torturous path of the hollow member and for aiding in kink prevention of the shaft. In one aspect, the first part is made of polymer material and has a reduced-diameter and corrugations. Optionally, at least one non-metallic retrieval cable is enclosed within the shaft and connected to the probe head for transmitting a pulling force to the probe head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Jeffrey Bishop Draper, Matthew Barton Wolf, Michael Alphonse Terhaar, Lance Edmund Maggy
  • Publication number: 20140211902
    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: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: July 31, 2014
    Applicant: Korea Plant Service & Engineering Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Korea Plant Service & Engineering Co., Ltd.
  • Patent number: 8784726
    Abstract: Illustrative embodiments provide systems, methods, apparatuses, and applications related to annealing nuclear fission reactor materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2014
    Assignee: TerraPower, LLC
    Inventors: Charles E. Ahlfeld, John Rogers Gilleland, Roderick A. Hyde, David G. McAlees, Jon David McWhirter, Ashok Odedra, Clarence T. Tegreene, Joshua C. Walter, Kevan D. Weaver, Charles Whitmer, Lowell L. Wood, Jr., George B. Zimmerman
  • 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: 8737557
    Abstract: A method to assess light water reactor fuel integrity is presented having the steps of granting access in a nuclear reactor fuel pool to at least one of a discharged fuel rod and a nuclear fuel assembly, calculating an operating flux for the fuel rod, measuring a thickness of CRUD on the fuel rod, measuring a thickness of oxide on the fuel rod, calculating a maximized flux for the at least one fuel rod for a position of the one fuel rod in a nuclear reactor, calculating a maximized deposit for the fuel rod, calculating a maximized oxide thickness for the fuel rod, calculating a fuel condition index of the fuel rod, comparing the fuel condition index to an index constant, and removing the fuel rod from operation when the fuel condition index is greater than the index constant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Assignee: AREVA Inc.
    Inventors: Mihai G. M. Pop, Brian Glenn Lockamon
  • Patent number: 8711999
    Abstract: A tool for inspecting a cell formed by grid beams of a top guide structure in a nuclear reactor is provided. The tool includes a camera; a support structure coupled to the camera for contacting at least one of the grid beams to support the camera within the cell; and at least one actuator moving the camera with respect to the support structure and along one of the grid beams, the at least one actuator coupling the camera to the support structure. A method for inspecting a cell formed by grid beams of a top guide structure in a nuclear reactor is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2014
    Assignee: AREVA Inc.
    Inventor: Charles E. Werner
  • Patent number: 8701493
    Abstract: The present invention provides a vibration monitoring apparatus that monitors vibration of a jet pump disposed in a reactor pressure vessel using ultrasonic wave, including: an ultrasonic sensor that is attached to an outside the reactor pressure vessel, and transmits and receives ultrasonic wave; a reflector that is mounted on a surface of a riser pipe of the jet pump, and includes a planar reflecting surface that can reflect ultrasonic wave; and a signal processing unit that performs signal processing of the ultrasonic wave transmitted by the ultrasonic sensor, reflected by the reflecting surface of the reflector, and received by the ultrasonic sensor, and measures a vibration amplitude of the riser pipe and calculates a vibration waveform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Masanobu Watanabe, Yasumi Kitajima, Tsuyoshi Hagiwara, Masahiko Warashina, Mieko Sato
  • 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
  • Publication number: 20140098922
    Abstract: This invention generally concerns robotic systems and is particularly concerned with improved apparatus and methods for remotely inspecting, modifying or repairing a core shroud in a nuclear reactor. The apparatus of the invention includes a partial upper track which horizontally movable along the core shroud, a head and frame assembly which is horizontally movable along the partial upper track, a lower track which is connected to the head and frame assembly and is horizontally movable along the core shroud, and a carriage and arm assembly which extends downward into an annulus formed by the reactor pressure vessel and the core shroud, wherein the arm includes at least one sensor for inspecting the core shroud.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 13, 2013
    Publication date: April 10, 2014
    Applicant: WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY LLC
    Inventor: WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY LLC
  • Publication number: 20140064424
    Abstract: A method for separating amorphous iron oxides is provided. The method includes steps of sampling, filtering, dissolving and separating, analyzing the solution containing amorphous radioactive iron oxides and analyzing granules containing crystalline radioactive iron oxides. Characteristics of the radioactive iron oxides during various periods are acquired to solve the radiation buildup problem. Parameters for improving water quality and chemistry performance indicator are thus provided. Crystalline deposits are separated while the dissolving rate of radioactive iron oxides reaches more than 90%. The present invention does not use complex utilities, is easy to use and has a low operation cost for fast analysis.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2013
    Publication date: March 6, 2014
    Applicant: Institute of Nuclear Energy Research, Atomic Energy Council, Executive Yuan, R.O.C.
    Inventor: Institute of Nuclear Energy Research, Atomic Energy Council, Executive Yuan, R.O.C.
  • Patent number: 8638897
    Abstract: In an underwater remote surface inspection method for a reactor constituting member, in order to improve the precision of an operation of inspecting a surface shape of the reactor constituting member, an underwater remote surface inspection apparatus includes a replica picking head, an ultrasonic vibrator, and a replica agent cartridge. The replica picking head is pressed against a surface of core internal structure as an inspection target. A replica agent is supplied from the replica agent cartridge into the replica agent supply region formed inside the replica picking head and contacting with the surface of the core internal structure. After the operation of supplying the replica agent ends, an ultrasonic wave is transmitted from an ultrasonic vibrator to the replica agent inside the replica agent supply region. Accordingly, gas bubbles or liquid bubbles existing inside the replica agent supply region rise up so as to be discharged to the outside of the replica picking head through an air extracting hole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2014
    Assignee: Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd.
    Inventors: Satoru Aoike, Masaaki Tanaka, Koichi Kurosawa
  • Patent number: 8619939
    Abstract: An object of the present invention is to provide an inspection apparatus for inspecting weld zones in a reactor pressure vessel, the inspection apparatus comprising: an ultrasonic probe 6 for emitting an ultrasonic wave; a probe holding unit 60 for holding the ultrasonic probe 6 such that a ultrasonic wave transmitting surface of the ultrasonic probe 6 is kept in direct contact with or at a constant distance from the outer surface of the reactor pressure vessel 1; a pressing unit 50 for pressing the probe holding unit 60 parallel to a central axis of a control rod drive housing 8 against the reactor pressure vessel; and a rotator 40 for rotating the probe holding unit 60 and the pressing unit 50 about the central axis of the control rod drive housing 8.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd.
    Inventors: Motoyuki Nakamura, Yoshio Nonaka, Naoyuki Kono, Masahiro Miki, Satoshi Shinohara
  • Publication number: 20130329848
    Abstract: There is disclosed a remotely deployed and operated boiling water reactor camera inspection arm. In an embodiment, the remotely deployed and operated boiling water reactor camera inspection arm has a vertical actuator, that includes a bi-stable lightweight reelable tube configurable from a rolled retracted state to an extended tubular state by unrolling downwardly, and back to a rolled retracted state by rolling upwardly. An inspection camera is attached to an end of the reelable tube. Other embodiments are also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 12, 2013
    Publication date: December 12, 2013
    Inventor: Paul Damon Linnebur
  • Patent number: 8576974
    Abstract: An object of the present invention is to provide an inspection apparatus for inspecting weld zones in a reactor pressure vessel, the inspection apparatus comprising: an ultrasonic probe 6 for emitting an ultrasonic wave; a probe holding unit 60 for holding the ultrasonic probe 6 such that a ultrasonic wave transmitting surface of the ultrasonic probe 6 is kept in direct contact with or at a constant distance from the outer surface of the reactor pressure vessel 1; a pressing unit 50 for pressing the probe holding unit 60 parallel to a central axis of a control rod drive housing 8 against the reactor pressure vessel; and a rotator 40 for rotating the probe holding unit 60 and the pressing unit 50 about the central axis of the control rod drive housing 8.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd.
    Inventors: Motoyuki Nakamura, Yoshio Nonaka, Naoyuki Kono, Masahiro Miki, Satoshi Shinohara
  • Patent number: 8571164
    Abstract: In a clamping jig and system for inspecting spacer grids for a nuclear fuel assembly, the jig firmly and precisely clamps a variety of grids on a measurement stage moving at high speed so that, among constituent parts of the nuclear fuel assembly, the spacer grids can be inspected using a non-contact measurer. The clamping jig includes a frame having a plurality of holding recesses into which the corresponding spacer grids are inserted, supporting means mounted in each holding recess of the frame to allow each spacer grid to be adjusted from below so it can be maintained in a horizontal state, clamping means installed around each holding recess to clamp two adjacent sides of each spacer grid to a corner of the respective holding recess, and resilient means installed on the sides opposite the clamping means and resiliently supporting the other two sides of each spacer grid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2013
    Assignee: Kepco Nuclear Fuel Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Se Ik Son, Hyung Sup Kim, Seok Bong Kim, Hae Gyoon Jung, Yong Tae Kim, Gab Jin Han
  • Patent number: 8565366
    Abstract: Method of repairing nuclear reactors that include one or more submerged lines welded to one or more support brackets may include: removing a damaged section of one of the one or more submerged lines; and replacing the damaged section of the one of the one or more submerged lines without welding. Methods of operating nuclear reactors that include one or more submerged lines welded to one or more support brackets may include: shutting down the nuclear reactor; repairing damage to at least one of the one or more submerged lines without welding; and starting up the nuclear reactor. Methods of operating nuclear reactors that include one or more submerged lines welded to one or more support brackets may include: cooling down the nuclear reactor; repairing damage to at least one of the one or more submerged lines without welding; and heating up the nuclear reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2013
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Fred Charles Nopwaskey, Ke Ling Lee, Alfred Wilhelm Dalcher
  • Patent number: 8561287
    Abstract: A tool for use in servicing an LPRM assembly of a nuclear reactor vessel includes a structural member having a first bore that is structured to receive an LPRM device associated with the LPRM assembly, a headpiece provided at a first end of the structural member, and a nut engaging assembly slideably mounted on the structural member. The headpiece has a plurality of projections structured to mate with a plurality of bores provided in a seal of the LPRM assembly to enable the seal to be removed, and the nut engaging assembly has a housing that defines a second bore and that has first and second nut engaging portions. The nut engaging assembly is free to slide along the structural member and over the headpiece to a position wherein the engaging portions extend beyond the headpiece so that they may be used to remove the assembly nut.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2013
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: David P. Ketcham, Stafford L. Turner, Brian C. Campbell
  • Publication number: 20130272469
    Abstract: A device for monitoring a reactor during normal and off-normal operating conditions may include a case formed of a rigid material, the case including a shielding layer configured to insulate an internal portion of the device from external heat and radiation; a coupling unit configured to adhere the case to a surface location of a reactor; a sensing unit configured to generate environmental measurements by measuring environmental conditions in the vicinity of the reactor; a data processing unit configured to generate measurement data by processing the environmental measurements; a transmitter configured to transmit the measurement data externally from the device; and a power unit configured to power the device independently of an external power source.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 11, 2012
    Publication date: October 17, 2013
    Applicant: GE-HITACHI NUCLEAR ENERGY AMERICAS LLC
    Inventors: Eric P. Loewen, Brian S. Triplett, Brett J. Dooies