Gas Sensors (e.g., Hydrogen Detectors) Patents (Class 376/256)
  • Patent number: 10366797
    Abstract: Disclosed are a system and method for preventing and monitoring a leakage of water from a tank liner at a storage tank having: a concrete reservoir; the tank liner made up of a wall liner that is formed by coupling a plurality of first panels and is attached to an inner wall of the concrete reservoir, and a floor liner that is formed by coupling a plurality of second panels, is attached to a floor of the concrete reservoir, and is coupled to the wall liner by welding; a leaking water collecting plate formed by welding a plurality of third panels and inserted between the floor liner and the floor of the concrete reservoir; and an edge leaking water collecting channel buried in an edge of the storage tank and configured to collect leaking water discharged between the floor liner and the leaking water collecting plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2019
    Assignee: Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute
    Inventors: Jong Min Lee, Byung Ho Kwak, Un-Soo Jung, Jeong-Soo Ryu
  • Patent number: 9448186
    Abstract: A system for determining a concentration of gas in a confined space includes a first frequency generator for generating a first RF signal. A first antenna transmits the first RF signal across the confined space and second antenna receives the first RF signal. First and second RF signal power detectors detect the power of the first RF signal both prior to and after transmission through the confined space. A first comparator circuit determines a concentration of oxygen in the confined space based on the power of the first RF signal prior to transmission through the confined space and the power of the first RF signal received by the second antenna.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2016
    Assignee: Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
    Inventor: John A. Marchetti
  • Patent number: 9291530
    Abstract: An apparatus and method are disclosed for sampling and analyzing the exhaust gas or liquid from an internal combustion engine or other device that generates a flow of exhaust gas or liquid during use. The apparatus includes a connector that is adapted to be secured adjacent to an aperture formed through an outlet conduit of an engine or other device that generates a flow of exhaust gas or liquid therethrough during use. A conduit communicates with the connector and is adapted to receive and pass therethrough at least a portion of the exhaust gas or liquid from the outlet conduit. A sensor chamber communicates with the conduit and is adapted to receive and pass therethrough at least a portion of the exhaust gas or liquid from the conduit. A one-way valve only allows the exhaust gas or liquid in the sensor chamber to exit therefrom. Lastly, a sensor senses at least one characteristic of the exhaust gas or liquid in the sensor chamber and generates a signal that is representative of such characteristic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2016
    Assignee: Techlusion Corporation
    Inventors: Mark E. Dobeck, Jacob Fraser
  • Patent number: 9255918
    Abstract: An apparatus adapted to measure gaseous hydrogen concentrations in a mechanical vacuum pump (MVP) gas stream includes connection ports adapted to allow the apparatus to be connected to an MVP system and allow a gas stream sample to be taken from the MVP gas stream. The apparatus further includes a hydrogen concentration analyzer to measure H2 concentrations of the gas stream sample taken from the MVP gas stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2016
    Assignee: ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC.
    Inventors: Andrew D. Odell, Robert J. Scholz, James A. Tangen, Gerald F. Davina, Joseph F. Giannelli, Susan Elaine Garcia
  • Publication number: 20120294404
    Abstract: A hydrogen treatment facility for treating hydrogen without using a power source is disposed outside a reactor containment vessel and in an upper portion of a reactor building. A hydrogen detector detecting hydrogen in the reactor building is connected to a control apparatus operated by an independent power source activated at the time of a station black-out. A circulation passage for air circulation generated in the reactor building is disposed in the reactor building and outside the reactor containment vessel. A hydrogen treatment duct connects to the circulation passage and a gangway and a room with equipment. During a severe accident and station black-out and when hydrogen concentration detected by the hydrogen detection apparatus exceeds a set concentration, the hydrogen treatment duct is put in use by the control apparatus. Air containing the hydrogen is introduced into the hydrogen treatment facilities through the hydrogen treatment duct and the circulation passage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2012
    Publication date: November 22, 2012
    Applicant: Hitachi-GE Nuclear Engergy, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoichi WADA, Masaya OHTSUKA, Hideaki NISHIKAWA
  • Publication number: 20110051877
    Abstract: Illustrative embodiments provide a nuclear fission reactor, a vented nuclear fission fuel module, methods therefor and a vented nuclear fission fuel module system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 8, 2009
    Publication date: March 3, 2011
    Inventors: Charles E. Ahlfeld, Pavel Hejzlar, Roderick A. Hyde, Muriel Y. Ishikawa, David G. McAlees, Jon D. McWhirter, Nathan P. Myhrvold, Ashok Odedra, Clarence T. Tegreene, Joshua C. Walter, Kevan D. Weaver, Thomas Allan Weaver, Charles Whitmer, Lowell L. Wood, JR., George B. Zimmerman
  • Publication number: 20100067643
    Abstract: A boiling water reactor core power level monitoring system includes a desired length of high dielectric, non-linear material insulated coaxial type cable in close proximity to the reactor core and a time domain reflectometry apparatus configured to measure a temporary characteristic impedance change associated with the coaxial type cable in response to at least one of neutron or gamma irradiation generated via the reactor core.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2008
    Publication date: March 18, 2010
    Applicant: GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY
    Inventors: Daniel Qi Tan, Michael Joseph Krok
  • Patent number: 7574337
    Abstract: A method for determining a fresh fuel bundle design for a core of a nuclear reactor may include defining a plurality of inputs including user-defined target conditions for evaluating one or more reference fresh fuel bundle designs for each of N bundle groups, and generating a response surface based on making single rod-type changes in each (i,j) rod location of each bundle of a given reference bundle design being evaluated for each of the N bundle groups. A search algorithm may be iterated to evaluate a given combination of multiple rod-type changes made simultaneously across each of the N bundle groups using the generated response surface to determine an accepted fuel bundle design for each of the N bundle groups that satisfies the user-defined target conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2009
    Assignee: Global Nuclear Fuel - Americas, LLC
    Inventors: David Joseph Kropaczek, Mehdi Asgari, Matthew Anderson Jessee
  • Patent number: 7424412
    Abstract: In the method, a reference core design is generated based on a defined set of limits. The set of limits may include a target hot excess reactivity constraint to be satisfied over a given core energy cycle and a given desired control blade definition that is set for the cycle. A reference core design is generated based on the defined limits. A unique subset of fresh fuel bundles is subject to an iterative improvement process including replacing, at each fuel location, at least one of the current fresh fuel bundles with at least one of the selected fresh fuel bundles, and simulating reactor operation on the reference core design to obtain a plurality of outputs to be ranked based on the defined set of limits. The highest ranked output may represent an accepted core design with set control blade definition that satisfies the target hot excess reactivity constraint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2008
    Assignee: Global Nuclear Fuel - Americas, LLC
    Inventors: David Joseph Kropaczek, Mehdi Asgari, Richard Dean McCord
  • Publication number: 20080175345
    Abstract: A sampling system for taking a sample from the atmosphere in a reactor containment of a nuclear plant, includes a sampling line which is connected to a vacuum system and to an analysis system. The sampling line opens into the reactor containment and has a restriction device connected upstream thereof on the gas side for connection to the atmosphere in the reactor containment. A method for taking such a sample is also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 13, 2007
    Publication date: July 24, 2008
    Inventors: Axel Hill, Bernd Eckardt
  • Patent number: 7231333
    Abstract: In the method, a set of limits applicable to a core may be defined, and a test core loading pattern design, to be used for loading the core, may be determined based on the limits. Reactor operation on at least a subset of the core may be simulated to produce a plurality of simulated results. The simulated results may be compared against the limits, and data from the comparison may indicate whether any of the limits were violated by the core during the simulation. A designer or engineer may use the data to modify the test core loading pattern, creating one or more derivative core loading pattern design(s) for simulation and eventual perfection as an acceptable core loading pattern design for the core.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2007
    Assignee: Global Nuclear Fuel - Americas, LLC
    Inventors: William Earl Russell, II, David Joseph Kropaczek, Steven Barry Sutton, William Charles Cline, Christian Carlos Oyarzun, Glen Alan Watford, Carey Reid Merritt
  • Patent number: 7200541
    Abstract: In the method, a set of limits are defined and a reference core design is generated based on the limits, and includes an initial loading pattern of current fresh fuel bundles arranged in a plurality of fuel locations. A unique subset of fresh fuel bundles is selected for evaluation as the reference core design is subjected to an iterative improvement process. The iterative process includes replacing, at each fuel location, at least one of the current fresh fuel bundles with at least one of the selected fresh fuel bundles, and simulating reactor operation on the reference core design to obtain a plurality of outputs. The outputs may be ranked based on the defined set of limits, and the highest ranked output may be selected as an accepted core design for the nuclear reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2007
    Assignee: Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas, LLC
    Inventors: David Joseph Kropaczek, William Earl Russell, III, Steven Barry Sutton, Christian Carlos Oyarzun, William Charles Cline
  • Patent number: 7157054
    Abstract: A gas sensor includes a semiconductor substrate and a sensing membrane. The sensing membrane is located at the bottom of a recess, which is formed by etching the substrate, and includes a heater, heater extension electrodes, a gas sensitive film, and gas-sensitive-film extension electrodes. A first end of each heater extension electrode is in contact with the heater, and a second end of each heater extension electrode extends outward from the sensing membrane. A first end of each gas-sensitive-film extension electrode is in contact with the gas sensitive film, and a second end of each gas-sensitive-film extension electrode extends outward from the sensing membrane. All of the heater, the heater extension electrodes, and the gas-sensitive-film extension electrodes are made of polycrystalline silicon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2007
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventors: Inao Toyoda, Yasutoshi Suzuki
  • Patent number: 6873672
    Abstract: The method involves measuring hydrogen permeation in the tubes by mass spectrometry, wherein the tube is inserted into a high or ultrahigh vacuum device in which a mass spectrometer and a total pressure gauge are located. H2 or H2 and inert gas mixtures are circulated inside the tube at the required partial pressure. The tube is then heated and the appearance of H2 outside the tube is observed. The flow thereof inside the tube and emergence time, called permeation time, are determined based on permeation curves. The emergence time of the first microcrack is also determined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2005
    Assignees: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Iberdrola
    Inventors: José Luis Sacedón Adelantado, Eduardo Santamera Gago, Marcos Díaz Muñoz, José Serafin Moya Corral, Elisa Román García, Angel Samuel Pérez Ramírez, Begoña Remartínez Zato
  • Publication number: 20040101083
    Abstract: A system and method is provided for a continual updating of the optimization of multiple operational control-variables during the operation of a nuclear reactor over a plurality of fuel cycles. A networked computer system includes one or more hosts programmed to execute an optimization process to identify and make changes in quantitative values of operational control-variables that result in improved efficiency and operational flexibility. Optimization and updating of operational control-variables may proceed selectively under manual control for inputting specific optimization constraints and reactor state-point information or may proceed autonomously through a repetitive performing of the optimization process based upon a predetermined user-defined strategy stored on the network.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2003
    Publication date: May 27, 2004
    Inventors: William Earl Russell, David Joseph Kropaczek, Glen Alan Watford
  • Patent number: 6731714
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method of measuring the tritium activity of a drum (1) of radioactive waste containing a quantity of radioactive waste (2) and a free volume, the method consisting of measuring the quantity of 3He produced by the decay of the tritium contained in said radioactive waste during a defined period of time and deducing from it the corresponding activity of the tritium contained in said radioactive waste (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignee: Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique
    Inventors: Philippe Bugeon, Bernard Bachet, Didier Devillard
  • Patent number: 6478948
    Abstract: A method for monitoring and reducing corrosion in furnace boiler tubes measures electrochemical noise associated with corrosion mechanisms while corrosion is occurring at the surface of the tubes as they are exposed to combustion products. This noise is detected using a probe at the boiler waterwall surface that is connected to a corrosion monitor. The monitor contains a computer and software which determines a corrosion rate from the measured electrochemical noise. That rate is compared to a standard to determine if the rate is within acceptable limits. If not, the operator of the furnace or an Adaptive Process Controller (APC) is notified and adjusts one or more burners to change the combustion products that are responsible for the corrosion. Such an adjustment could be made by changing the amount of air or fuel being provided to the burner or other air slots or air ports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2002
    Assignee: ESA Corrosion Solutions, Ltd.
    Inventors: Bernard P. Breen, Dennis Tobias, David Eden, James E. Gabrielson, Ralph W. McConnell
  • Publication number: 20010055360
    Abstract: An apparatus for treating air containing hydrogen gas used in an area such as an interior of a nuclear reactor containment vessel where hydrogen gas is generated and apt to be accumulated so as to treat rapidly and safely the hydrogen. A treating apparatus (30) for treating air containing hydrogen gas in a nuclear reactor containment vessel, comprises a housing (31) provided with an air intake port (33) and an exhaust port (35) and defining a gas passage therein, a catalyst bed (37) disposed in said gas passage, and a heater (39) disposed in or close to said catalyst bed. The catalyst bed is composed of plate type catalysts, honeycomb type catalysts, or spherical catalysts and activated by being heated with an electric heater. Hydrogen and oxygen in the air containing hydrogen gas flowing in come into contact with the catalyst bed and recombine together such that the hydrogen gas is thus removed from the air.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 19, 2001
    Publication date: December 27, 2001
    Inventor: Masao Ogino
  • Patent number: 5896432
    Abstract: An electrochemical corrosion potential sensor is fabricated by initially joining an electrical conductor to a sensor tip. An electrical cable is joined to the tip conductor. Ceramic powder is fused under heat around the tip conductor to form an integral annular electrically insulating band therearound to insulate the tip from the cable. The band may be formed by plasma spraying, or it may be molded and sintered to seal it to the tip and conductor without brazing. In a preferred embodiment, the band is formed of yttria-stabilized-zirconia or magnesia-stabilized-zirconia.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1999
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Young Jin Kim, Samson Hettiarachchi, Minyoung Lee, Svante Prochazka
  • Patent number: 5848113
    Abstract: An electrochemical corrosion potential sensor includes a sensor tip electrically joined to a conductor, and a ceramic insulator joined to the tip around the conductor. A sleeve is joined to the insulator around the conductor, and is electrically insulated from the tip by the ceramic insulator. The insulator has an exposed surface axially separating the tip and sleeve, and a ceramic coating is bonded thereto for preventing dissolution of the insulator by reactor water. In a preferred embodiment, the ceramic insulator is sapphire, and the ceramic coating is yttria-stabilized-zirconia or magnesia-stabilized-zirconia which may be plasma sprayed over the insulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Young Jin Kim, Peter Louis Andresen, Dennis Michael Gray
  • Patent number: 5546435
    Abstract: The invention relates to an arrangement for carrying out leak detection of a fuel assembly for a pressurized-water nuclear reactor. A substantially vertical hollow mast means open in both ends houses the fuel assembly to be examined. The fuel assembly is drawn to the inside of the mast means from its lower side. The part of the mast means housing the fuel assembly is lifted to a position in which the fuel assembly is provided near but below the water surface of water inside the nuclear reactor. Water is sucked from a position inside the mast means above the fuel assembly. A gas separating means separates gases present in water sucked from the inside of the mast means. The separated gas is analyzed in a gas analyzing means regarding its amount of gaseous fission products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 13, 1996
    Assignee: ABB Atom AB
    Inventors: Per Collin, Roland Deleryd, Roland Ivars, Fredrik Lundqvist, Norman R. Stolzenberg
  • Patent number: 5535253
    Abstract: The method and the device are applicable to the penetrations (2) of a pressurised water nuclear reactor vessel head (1) during operation.The device includes a double circuit for picking off two gas samples (100, 16, 17; 12, 13, 14, 15) and a measurement assembly (18) which regularly compares the content, especially of water vapour, in the two samples picked off. The first sample is taken from the volume of a chamber (7) where the possible leak (10) emerges, and the second in proximity to the head (1) outside the region immediately affected by the leak. The assembly (18) makes it possible to generate (19) an alarm in the event of a leak and to distinguish it from operational alarms.Techniques and means are also provided for determining the flow rate of sweeping in the volume of the chamber (7) and for checking the pick-off and detection systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 9, 1996
    Assignee: Electricite de France - Service National
    Inventors: Francois Loisy, Jean-Luc Germain
  • Patent number: 5467375
    Abstract: A gas injection system of a nuclear power plant including a reactor and a gaseous waste disposal system, comprises a hydrogen injection unit for injecting hydrogen into a reactor of a nuclear power plant, an oxygen injection unit for injecting oxygen into a gaseous waste disposal system in which the oxygen is recombined with the hydrogen passed by way of the reactor, a densitometer for measuring a balance of concentration between the hydrogen and the oxygen in the gaseous waste disposal system, a flowmeter for measuring a flow rate of an exhaust gas of the gaseous waste disposal system, and a controlling unit for controlling the quantities of the hydrogen gas and the oxygen gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 14, 1995
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventor: Noriyuki Sasaki
  • Patent number: 5465281
    Abstract: A method for mitigating crack initiation and propagation on the surface of metal components in a water-cooled nuclear reactor. An electrically insulating coating is applied on the surfaces of IGSCC-susceptible reactor components. The preferred electrically insulating material is yttria-stabilized zirconia. The presence of an electrically insulating coating on the surface of the metal components shifts the corrosion potential in the negative direction without the addition of hydrogen and in the absence of noble metal catalyst. Corrosion potentials .ltoreq.-0.5 V.sub.she can be achieved even at high oxidant concentrations and in the absence of hydrogen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 7, 1995
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Peter L. Andresen, Young J. Kim
  • Patent number: 5465278
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus for measuring the degree of intergranular stress corrosion cracking protection in the area of the core shroud weldments. Electrochemical potential sensors are attached to the shroud wall and the upper core spray line at locations near the actual weld surface of concern to ensure the accuracy of the electrochemical potential measurements. A working electrode doped or coated with noble metal and a reference electrode are implanted into the reactor core shroud. A throughhole is drilled or machined into the shroud wall at an elevation just below the top guide support ring, i.e., near the core shroud weldments. Then a plug containing the working and reference electrodes is inserted into the throughhole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 7, 1995
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Robert L. Cowan, II, Gerald M. Gordon, Donald A. Hale, Richard W. Perry
  • Patent number: 5457720
    Abstract: A process and system for the rapid concentration, separation and measurement of Kr-85 and Xe-133. By measuring the amount of Kr-85 radioisotope which is present, false positive signals for the vacuum sipping process can be eliminated. The fission gases are trapped by passing the recirculating gas stream through an adsorbing media. During this process, a known mixture of nonradioactive krypton and xenon is added to the gas stream which enters a thermal conductivity (TC) detector to calibrate the latter. The trapped gases are desorbed and injected into the inlet of a separating column. The column discharges into the TC detector. The TC detector discharge is diverted for counting to an evacuated beta detector chamber during the time that krypton is sensed by the TC detector. Any minute amount of Kr-85 is captured in the chamber, free of Xe-133. The detector discharge is diverted for counting to another evacuated beta detector chamber during the time that xenon is sensed by the TC detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 10, 1995
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Dane T. Snyder, Raymond L. Armstrong
  • Patent number: 5369674
    Abstract: This invention concerns a plant diagnosis apparatus which comprises a first detecting unit for detecting a state of devices constituting a circulating system in which a fluid circulates and a second detecting unit for detecting a quality of the above-mentioned circulating fluid or a quality of the atmosphere surrounding the above-mentioned circulating system, and a unit for diagnosing the circulating system by output of the first and second detecting units, and therefore can diagnose anomaly of facilities such as a nuclear power plant with high reliability and rapidity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1992
    Date of Patent: November 29, 1994
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kenji Yokose, Makoto Nagase, Hiroshi Kamimura, Yamato Asakura, Tetsuya Matsui, Hidefumi Ibe, Yoshitaka Nishino, Shunsuke Uchida
  • Patent number: 5319955
    Abstract: A system for continuously monitoring the concentration of tritium in an aqueous stream. The system pumps a sample of the stream to magnesium-filled combustion tube which reduces the sample to extract hydrogen gas. The hydrogen gas is then sent to an isotope separation device where it is separated into two groups of isotopes: a first group of isotopes containing concentrations of deuterium and tritium, and a second group of isotopes having substantially no deuterium and tritium. The first group of isotopes containing concentrations of deuterium and tritium is then passed through a tritium detector that produces an output proportional to the concentration of tritium detected. Preferably, the detection system also includes the necessary automation and data collection equipment and instrumentation for continuously monitoring an aqueous stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 14, 1994
    Assignee: United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: Philippe Chastagner
  • Patent number: 5280507
    Abstract: A method and apparatus of sensing obstructions in a tubular nuclear fuel rod or the like is disclosed. A nozzle is positioned to engage one end of the fuel rod in an air tight sealed relationship. A first gas flows through the nozzle and then into and through the fuel rod. The pressure is sensed and compared with a standardized pressure to determine any excess back pressure in the nozzle indicating an obstruction present therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1989
    Date of Patent: January 18, 1994
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventor: Denis Yeo
  • Patent number: 5217596
    Abstract: An electrode probe suited for employment as an electrical potential reference electrode in an aqueous, high pressure, high temperature, and high radiation field environment such as the core of a nuclear reactor is described. The electrode is a brazed and welded assembly consisting of only ceramic and metal parts including a sapphire base which is brazed to a kovar/stainless steel housing, welded in turn, to a coaxial cable assembly for signal transfer. The base incorporates an integrally formed pedestal through which a conductor wire extends and over which is positioned a selectively coated cylindrically shaped sealing retainer. The device is particularly suited for employment with a silver/silver chloride electrode system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 1991
    Date of Patent: June 8, 1993
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Maurice E. Indig, William D. Miller
  • Patent number: 5192414
    Abstract: The present invention is addressed to an electrode for evaluating electrochemical potentials which has a robust structure particularly suiting it for employment within the rigorous environment of the reactor core of a nuclear power facility. The electrode of the present invention is comprised of five major segments: a metal cap electrode, an elongate annular metal jacket, an alumina retainer (i.e. an insulator), an annular metal transition sleeve, and a positioning and signal transfer assembly. The metal cap electrode has a tip and annulus extending therefrom formed from sidewalls having an interior surface. The elongate annular metal jacket has an annular retainer securing mouth at one end and an outlet at its opposite end. The alumina retainer has a recessed cap securing portion nestably secured to a portion of said cap electrode interior sidewall surface, and an oppositely-disposed recessed jacket securing portion nestably secured to the interior of said annular jacket retainer securing mouth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1990
    Date of Patent: March 9, 1993
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Maurice E. Indig, Jerry F. Hanlon
  • Patent number: 5133855
    Abstract: A container for electrochemical reactants for an electrode is provided, as well as electrodes employing the same. The electrodes can withstand the rigorous environment of a nuclear reactor core. The design of the container reduces stresses in the electrode and significantly improves its reliability. The container has a generally cylindrical member of an insulator. The member has a base region with a cut-out extending therethrough. Sidewall means extend from the base to define a cavity for containing electrochemical reactants, e.g., silver chloride. An insert of an insulator at one end mates with the cut-out and at another end mates with and is brazed to a cap for the container. The insert has a second sidewall means for holding the electrochemical reactants, and is shaped to fit within the first sidewall means. The base of the insert and the the cut-out are metallized for acceptance of a silver base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 1990
    Date of Patent: July 28, 1992
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Dale F. Taylor
  • Patent number: 5132075
    Abstract: Measurement values of conductivity of pH of water in the primary cooling water system of a boiling water atomic power plant are input through on-line and the measurement values of conductivity and pH at times of measurement when water quality changes are compared with values at the time of normal operation. Tendencies to increase or decrease the conductivity and pH are combined to prepare one diagnosis data, and causes of anomaly in progress in component apparatus members are discriminated and diagnosed by the diagnosis data. By using a correlation between logarithm of conductivity and pH in preparing the diagnosis data from combinations of conductivity and pH, causes of anomaly can be diagnosed more accurated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 1990
    Date of Patent: July 21, 1992
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yamato Asakura, Makoto Nagase, Motoaki Utamura, Shunsuke Uchida
  • Patent number: 5124114
    Abstract: In a system for detecting abnormal movement of a part of a gas-cooled nuclear reactor, for example abnormal tilting of a boiler unit caused by failure of a boiler support, a tracer material is released into the gas coolant path in response to the movement. The releasing of the material may be effected by causing a gas canister to be pierced as a result of the movement. The presence of the tracer material in the coolant is detected by the coolant monitoring system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 23, 1992
    Assignee: NNC Limited
    Inventor: Roy Bilsborough
  • Patent number: 5118913
    Abstract: A container for electrochemical reactants for an electrode is provided, as well as electrodes employing the same. The electrodes can withstand the rigorous environment of a nuclear reactor core. The design of the container reduces stresses in the electrode and significantly improves its reliability. The container has a generally cylindrical member of an insulator. The member has a base region whose outer surface is a surface attachment region. The base region has an annular channel for a lead. The base region also has a generally conical cut-out. Sidewall means extend from said base to define a cavity for containing electrochemical reactants, e.g., silver chloride. A generally conical insert of an insulator mates with the cut-out. The outer surface of the insert, cut-out, and surface attachment region is metallized, and the insert is set in place by brazing. In the electrode the lead is in electrical contact with the apex of the insert.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1992
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Dale F. Taylor
  • Patent number: 5096657
    Abstract: A system for detecting steam voids or bubbles within a reactor coolant system. A dynamic pressure transducer detects pressure fluctuations in the coolant system and produces signals representative of steam voids within the system. The signals produced by the transducer are conditioned and applied as an input to a microprocessor along with other inputs representative of other operating parameters for the reactor coolant system. The microprocessor adjusts the signals representative of steam voids within the system and displays same to the operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1989
    Date of Patent: March 17, 1992
    Assignee: The Babcock & Wilcox Company
    Inventor: Walter R. Merciez
  • Patent number: 5084229
    Abstract: An apparatus for testing, in situ, highly irradiated specimens at high temperature transients is provided. A specimen, which has a thermocouple device attached thereto, is manipulated into test position in a sealed quartz heating tube by a robot. An induction coil around a heating portion of the tube is powered by a radio frequency generator to heat the specimen. Sensors are connected to monitor the temperatures of the specimen and the induction coil. A quench chamber is located below the heating portion to permit rapid cooling of the specimen which is moved into this quench chamber once it is heated to a critical temperature. A vacuum pump is connected to the apparatus to collect any released fission gases which are analyzed at a remote location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 1990
    Date of Patent: January 28, 1992
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Robert E. Welsh, Marvin J. Doman, Edward C. Wilson
  • Patent number: 5080693
    Abstract: This system measures tritium on-line and collects tritium from a flowing inert gas stream. It separates the tritium from other non-hydrogen isotope contaminating gases, whether radioactive or not. The collecting portion of the system is constructed of various zirconium alloys called getters. These alloys adsorb tritium in any of its forms at one temperature and at a higher temperature release it as a gas. The system consists of four on-line getters and heaters, two ion chamber detectors, two collection getters, and two guard getters. When the incoming gas stream is valved through the on-line getters, 99.9% of it is adsorbed and the remainder continues to the guard getter where traces of tritium not collected earlier are adsorbed. The inert gas stream then exits the system to the decay chamber.Once the on-line getter has collected tritium for a predetermined time, it is valved off and the next on-line getter is valved on.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 14, 1992
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Gary L. Bourne, David H. Meikrantz, Walter E. Ely, Dale G. Tuggle, Ervin G. Grafwallner, Keith L. Wickham, Herman R. Maltrud, John D. Baker
  • Patent number: 4990855
    Abstract: A conductivity probe able to withstand high water temperatures and pressures, and intense nuclear radiation is suitable for use within the core of the nuclear reactor. The probe is made with a ceramic insulator, such as sapphire, and a central electrode that is mounted on the insulator. A sleeve that supports the insulator and the central electrode is made from metals having a coefficient of thermal expansion compatible with the coefficient of thermal expansion of the insulator, such as Kovar. The central electrode and sleeve are bonded to the insulator by a brazed compressive seal that protects an internal conductor in the probe from intrusion of the reactor water. A counter electrode made from a corrosion resistant metal, such as Kovar, is attached to the sleeve so that it extends over the central electrode a fixed, spaced distance. A positioning and signal transfer arrangement operatively supports the sleeve and conveys electrical signals to and from the two electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1989
    Date of Patent: February 5, 1991
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Leonard W. Niedrach, Dale F. Taylor
  • Patent number: 4948492
    Abstract: An electrode probe suited for employment as a reference electrode in a high pressure, high temperature, and high radiation field environment such as adjacent the core of a nuclear reactor is described. The electrode is a brazed and welded assembly consisting of only ceramic and metal parts including a sapphire crucible which is brazed to a kovar/stainless steel housing, welded in turn, to a coaxial cable assembly for signal transfer. The crucible incorporates an integrally formed pedestal through which a conductor wire extends and over which is positioned a selectively coated cylindrically shaped sealing retainer. The device is particularly suited for employment with a silver/silver chloride electrode system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1989
    Date of Patent: August 14, 1990
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Leonard W. Niedrach, Maurice E. Indig, Laura L. H. King
  • Patent number: 4937038
    Abstract: This invention comprises electrochemical analytical devices capable of performing electrolysis in multiple pulse modes. It relates to a method of quantitative analysis and equipment for performing quantitative analysis which uses a combinaiton of these pulse modes to realize the measurement of concentrations of multiple substances to be measured, occurring in the test solution to be measured and also a nuclear reactor water quality control system employing such a quantitative analysis method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 1988
    Date of Patent: June 26, 1990
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Masanori Sakai, Katsumi Ohsumi, Noriyuki Ohnaka, Eiji Kikuchi, Katsumi Mabuchi, Takuya Takahashi
  • Patent number: 4935196
    Abstract: An atmospheric tritium sampler is provided which uses a carrier gas comprised of hydrogen gas and a diluting gas, mixed in a nonexplosive concentration. Sample air and carrier gas are drawn into and mixed in a manifold. A regulator meters the carrier gas flow to the manifold. The air sample/carrier gas mixture is pulled through a first moisture trap which adsorbs water from the air sample. The mixture then passes through a combustion chamber where hydrogen gas in the form of H.sub.2 or HT is combusted into water. The manufactured water is transported by the air stream to a second moisture trap where it is adsorbed. The air is then discharged back into the atmosphere by means of a pump.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 1987
    Date of Patent: June 19, 1990
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Otto A. Griesbach, Joseph R. Stencel
  • Patent number: 4874572
    Abstract: Apparatus and method determine the concentration of an individual component, such as water vapor, of a multi-component mixture, such as a gaseous mixture for cooling a nuclear reactor. A hygrometer apparatus includes an infrared source for producing a broadband infrared energy beam that includes a strong water vapor absorption band and a weak water vapor absorption region. The beam is chopped to select infrared pulses. A temporally first pulse has a wavelength in the weakly absorbing region, a temporally second pulse has a wavelength in the strong band and a temporally third pulse has a wavlength in the weakly absorbing region. A fourth reference pulse representing background radiation is interposed in such chopped pulses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1987
    Date of Patent: October 17, 1989
    Assignee: Ophir Corporation
    Inventors: Loren D. Nelson, Todd A. Cerni
  • Patent number: 4761259
    Abstract: A device for detecting the presence of a gaseous phase in the tank of a nuclear reactor closed by a cover on which a plurality of vertical tubes are fixed for adapting the control rod actuating mechanism of the reactor, the adapter tubes not provided with mechanisms being closed by a plug. A plurality of ultrasonic emitter-receivers are fixed to the upper surface of the plugs of at least a part of the adapter tubes, so that each emitter-receiver directs an ultrasonic beam to the inside of the tank parallel to the axis of the corresponding tube, the latter being provided with at least one reflector placed inside the tube in the path of the ultrasonic beam. The invention is especially applicable to reactors cooled by pressurized water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1981
    Date of Patent: August 2, 1988
    Assignee: Framatome
    Inventors: Jean Marini, Jean-Claude Weilbacher
  • Patent number: 4663113
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor radioactive emission monitor measures quantities of a selected radioactive component in a stream of radioactive fluid. The device comprises two fluid paths with each path having a filter to absorb a radioactive component while passing the remainder of the stream of radioactive fluid; each fluid path also has a detector to measure the level of radioactivity emitted by the retained radioactive component in the two filters. A valve alternately directs the stream of fluid from the first fluid path to the second fluid path while simultaneously purging the remainder of the fluid from the non-selected fluid path. The output of one or more of the detectors is integrated as a function of time to indicate any increase in the radioactivity emitted by the radioactive component retained by the filter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1983
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1987
    Assignee: Research Corporation
    Inventors: William A. Jester, Ira B. McMaster, Anthony J. Baratta
  • Patent number: 4652420
    Abstract: The aim of the invention is to measure the partial pressure of very small amounts of free hydrogen gas at various sites in the core of a nuclear reactor. A further aim is to construct such a device to be so rugged as to survive in the reactor environment. Another aim is to construct such a device of materials which will not significantly affect reactivity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1983
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1987
    Assignee: Scandpower, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Smith
  • Patent number: 4612159
    Abstract: A nuclear fuel element comprises plutonium-containing fuel pellets filled in a cladding with both end sealed with end plugs. One end plug has a filter at the inside and a passage communicating with the space in the cladding through the filter. The passage is sealed at the surface part of the end plug by welding. The filter and the passage in the end plug are utilized for withdrawing a gas in the cladding filled with the fuel pellets in a process for fabricating the nuclear fuel element. The filter traps nuclear fissionable materials in the cladding to prevent its leakage to the outside. After the withdrawal of the gas, a helium gas is filled in the cladding through the passage in the end plug. After completion of these operations, the passage in the end plug is sealed as mentioned above.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1983
    Date of Patent: September 16, 1986
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ryusuke Abe, Makoto Shimizu, Yasuo Hirose
  • Patent number: 4582670
    Abstract: The counting system includes a portable gamma ray detector having a detecting portion electrically connected to instrumentation for analyzing the radioactivity of nuclear reactor fluids, a radiation shielded panel including a plurality of openings for receiving the detecting portion of the detector, and sample vessels for receiving a radioactive fluid located behind the panel. Samples of radioactive fluids such as reactor coolant, reactor coolant off-gas and containment air, are selectively introduced into the sample vessels. The reactor coolant is cooled, de-pressurized and de-gassed and the off-gas and the liquid are routed to separate sampling vessels. The radioactivity of the radioactive fluid contained in each sample vessel is determined by simply inserting the detecting portion of the detector into a corresponding panel opening. Radiation shielded plugs are inserted into each of unused panel openings to shield the operator against radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 1982
    Date of Patent: April 15, 1986
    Assignee: Sentry Equipment Corporation
    Inventors: Joseph Leon, Lloyd E. Eater
  • Patent number: 4567013
    Abstract: A hydrogen measuring apparatus comprising two gamma thermometers. Both gamma thermometers are mounted adjacent and parallel to each other. Each is provided with a plurality of annular enclosed spaces formed in an elongated rod. Each annular space is provided with a hot junction of a difference thermocouple. The annular spaces of one of the gamma thermometers is either filled with a gas other than hydrogen, or surrounded by a hydrogen blocking material to prevent hydrogen contamination of the annular spaces. The annular spaces in the other gamma thermometer are placed in a vacuum and become contaminated with hydrogen. By comparing the power generation readings of the two thermometers free hydrogen partial pressure can be calculated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1983
    Date of Patent: January 28, 1986
    Assignee: Scandpower, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Smith
  • Patent number: 4537740
    Abstract: A device for collecting fission gas released by a failed fuel rod which device uses a filter to pass coolant but which filter blocks fission gas bubbles which cannot pass through the filter due to the surface tension of the bubble.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1983
    Date of Patent: August 27, 1985
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: Richard P. Colburn