For Minimizing Radioactive Contamination Within An Underground Chamber Or Of The Material Removed Therefrom Patents (Class 376/274)
  • Patent number: 9159459
    Abstract: Illustrative embodiments provide systems, applications, apparatuses, and methods related to nuclear fission deflagration wave reactor cooling. Illustrative embodiments and aspects include, without limitation, nuclear fission deflagration wave reactors, methods of transferring heat of a nuclear fission deflagration wave reactor, methods of transferring heat from a nuclear fission deflagration wave reactor, methods of transferring heat within a nuclear fission deflagration wave reactor, and the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2015
    Assignee: TERRAPOWER, LLC
    Inventors: Charles E. Ahlfeld, John Rogers Gilleland, Roderick A. Hyde, Muriel Y. Ishikawa, David G. McAlees, Nathan P. Myhrvold, Thomas Allan Weaver, Charles Whitmer, Lowell L. Wood, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8693609
    Abstract: Highly radioactive material is permanently disposed of by first forming a borehole by a metal fusion drilling method with a metal lining from a casting continuously formed from a metal melt and then depositing the highly radioactive material for final storage in a lower area of the lined borehole. This lining is melted locally immediately above this lower area after deposition of the material to separate the lower area holding the material from the rest of the lining and permit this lower area and the material held therein to migrate automatically downward toward the center of the earth. To promote this downward migration, the wall thickness of the metallic lining of the lower borehole region has a wall thickness that increases from the top downward and on the lower area is formed with a downwardly directed conical tip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2014
    Inventor: Werner Foppe
  • Patent number: 8098790
    Abstract: Systems and methods for storing spent nuclear fuel below grade that afford adequate ventilation of the spent fuel storage cavity. In one aspect, the invention is a system comprising: a shell forming a cavity for receiving a canister of spent nuclear fuel, at least a portion of the shell positioned below grade; and at least one inlet ventilation duct extending from an above grade inlet to a below grade outlet at or near a bottom of the cavity; the inlet ventilation duct connected to the shell so that the cavity is hermetically sealed to ingress of below grade fluids.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2012
    Inventor: Krishna P. Singh
  • Publication number: 20090252274
    Abstract: A system and method for storing spent nuclear fuel that affords adequate cooling capabilities under “smart flood” criteria.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 10, 2005
    Publication date: October 8, 2009
    Inventor: Krishna P. Singh
  • Patent number: 7590213
    Abstract: A system and method for storing spent nuclear fuel that affords adequate cooling capabilities under “smart flood” criteria.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2009
    Inventor: Krishna P. Singh
  • Patent number: 7485871
    Abstract: In accordance with the principles of the present invention utilizing a first radiation monitoring module, radiation information associated with the first radiation monitoring module within a tunnel is wirelessly transmitted to a second radiation monitoring module. The second radiation monitoring module is able to receive radiation information from the first radiation monitoring module for relay of the received radiation information to a central monitoring system. The radiation monitoring modules of the present invention allow long term monitoring of a tunnel's radiation levels with maintenance simply requiring replacement of a non-operational tunnel monitoring module by a robot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2009
    Assignee: Celestech, Inc.
    Inventors: Tell A. Gates, John W. Peel
  • Patent number: 6597755
    Abstract: A nuclear power plant (18) and its heat exhanger (26) are enclosed in an envelope (22) which is suspended above a bored shaft (14) from a support stem (30). When appropriate, the stem (30) can be melted by a furnace (34) to drop the envelope (22) to the bottom of the shaft (14). Sand (42) can then be dropped onto the envelope (22) through a drainage pipe (46). While the nuclear power plant (18) is operating and suspended in the shaft, spent fuel rods (70) are dropped into a sand blasting machine's hopper (130), mixed with sand and dropped into a bag (134) containing a small explosive device. The bag (134) is then dropped to the bottom of the shaft (14) and the explosive detonated to scatter the contents of the bag (134). Optionally, more sand or earth is then added to reduce heat and radiation to acceptable levels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Inventor: Leroy Paul Seefeld
  • Patent number: 5920602
    Abstract: The invention concerns an underground storage facility for the initial storage of waste transported in containers (34, 36), in particular radioactive waste such as spent fuel elements. The store has transport galleries (10) giving access to storage galleries (12) for storage of the waste. In order to ensure, among other things, safe storage and ease of introduction and transfer of the waste, the invention proposes that the storage gallery (12) runs underneath the transport gallery (10) and is separated from it by a floor (14), designed for the transport of the waste, with closable openings (18) for the introduction and removal of the waste.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 6, 1999
    Assignee: Nukem GmbH
    Inventors: Werner Botzem, Harry Spilker
  • Patent number: 5832392
    Abstract: A method for packaging spent nuclear fuel for long-term disposal in a geological repository. At least one spent nuclear fuel assembly is first placed in an unsealed waste package and a depleted uranium fill material is added to the waste package. The depleted uranium fill material comprises flowable particles having a size sufficient to substantially fill any voids in and around the assembly and contains isotopically-depleted uranium in the +4 valence state in an amount sufficient to inhibit dissolution of the spent nuclear fuel from the assembly into a surrounding medium and to lessen the potential for nuclear criticality inside the repository in the event of failure of the waste package. Last, the waste package is sealed, thereby substantially reducing the release of radionuclides into the surrounding medium, while simultaneously providing radiation shielding and increased structural integrity of the waste package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1998
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: Charles W. Forsberg
  • Patent number: 4971752
    Abstract: A nuclear power plant installation comprises a nuclear reactor that is disposed in an underground reactor room and connected to power generating equipment on the ground surface by pipes which pass between the underground reactor room and the ground surface. A plurality of underground cavities are disposed above the underground reactor room, each of said cavities comprising steel bridgework that defines the sides and tops of the cavity and an unreinforced concrete floor which supports a mass of particulate shielding material within the cavity. An explosive charge embedded within each such mass may be detonated in the event of a malfunction of the reactor to fracture the floor structure in the cavity if the floor has not been fractured by the reactor malfunction, thereby to cause tons of mixed sand and boron powder to fall from said cavities into the reactor room and bury the malfunctioning reactor within a few seconds after the explosion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1990
    Date of Patent: November 20, 1990
    Inventor: Louis W. Parker
  • Patent number: 4851183
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor for generating electricity is disposed underground at the bottom of a vertical hole that can be drilled using conventional drilling technology. The primary coolant of the reactor core is the working fluid in a plurality of thermodynamically coupled heat pipes emplaced in the hole between the heat source at the bottom of the hole and heat exchange means near the surface of the earth. Additionally, the primary coolant (consisting of the working flud in the heat pipes in the reactor core) moderates neutrons and regulates their reactivity, thus keeping the power of the reactor substantially constant. At the end of its useful life, the reactor core may be abandoned in place. Isolation from the atmosphere in case of accident or for abandonment is provided by the operation of explosive closures and mechanical valves emplaced along the hole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1988
    Date of Patent: July 25, 1989
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: Viktor E. Hampel
  • Patent number: 4483790
    Abstract: A shut-down atomic power plant or a section thereof, particularly the nuclear reactor, is disposed of by sinking it to below ground level by constructing a caisson with cutting edges from the foundations of said plant or section or by excavating a pit therebelow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1981
    Date of Patent: November 20, 1984
    Assignee: Alfred Kunz & Co.
    Inventor: Herbert Gaiser
  • Patent number: 4384793
    Abstract: The invention provides a method and apparatus for determining the approximate temperature profile of a large curved surface such as the outer surface of a chemical or hydrocarbon conversion reactor. At least two arrays of wire having a temperature dependent electrical resistance are placed over the surface to be monitored, with the arrays being aligned in different directions to cover the surface with a grid of overlapping wires. By measuring the resistance of each wire and comparing this resistance to predetermine reference values, wires which pass through regions of elevated temperature compared to the remainder of the surface may be located. By attributing the elevated temperatures to the area covered by the intersecting wires which show an increased resistance the areas of high temperature on the surface may be located.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1980
    Date of Patent: May 24, 1983
    Assignee: UOP Inc.
    Inventor: Dennis E. O'Brien