Including Getter Layer Or Barrier Layer Patents (Class 376/417)
  • Patent number: 10515728
    Abstract: An improved, accident tolerant fuel for use in light water and lead fast reactors is described. The fuel includes a ceramic cladding, such as a multi-layered silicon carbide cladding, and fuel pellets formed from U15N and from 100 to 10000 ppm of a boron-containing integral fuel burnable absorber, such as UB2 or ZrB2.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2019
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Edward J. Lahoda, Frank A. Boylan
  • Patent number: 9721676
    Abstract: The invention relates to compositions and methods for coating a zirconium alloy cladding of a fuel element for a nuclear water reactor. The coating includes a first tier or layer and a second tier or layer. The first layer includes an elemental metal and the second layer is an oxidation-resistant layer that includes elemental chromium. The first layer serves as an intermediate layer between the zirconium alloy substrate and the second layer. This intermediate layer can be effective to improve adhesion of the second layer to the zirconium alloy substrate. The multilayer coating forms a protective layer which provides improved capability for the zirconium alloy cladding to withstand normal and accident conditions to which it is exposed in the nuclear reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC
    Inventors: Jason P. Mazzoccoli, Peng Xu, Sumit Ray, Carroll J. Long, Jr., Grant L. Eddy
  • Publication number: 20150063524
    Abstract: A method of forming a nuclear fuel pellet, with the steps of obtaining a fuel form in a powdered state; coating the fuel form in a powdered state with at least one layer of a material; and sintering the powdered fuel form into a fuel pellet. A sintered nuclear fuel pellet, wherein the pellet is made from a powdered fuel form, wherein the powdered fuel form is coated with at least one layer of a material, and wherein the at least one layer of the material substantially surrounds each interfacial grain barrier after the powdered fuel form has been sintered.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 3, 2013
    Publication date: March 5, 2015
    Applicant: UCHICAGO ARGONNE, LLC
    Inventors: A. M. Yacout, Michael J. Pellin, Di Yun
  • Publication number: 20140254740
    Abstract: Nuclear reactor components are treated with thermal methods to increase wear resistance. Example treatments include thermal treatments using particulate or powderized materials to form a coating. Methods can use cold spray, with low heat and high velocities to blast particles on the surface. The particles impact and mechanically deform, forming an interlocking coating with the surface and each other without melting or chemically reacting. Materials in the particles and resultant coatings include metallic alloys, ceramics, and/or metal oxides. Nuclear reactor components usable with methods of increased wear resistance include nuclear fuel rods and assemblies containing the same. Coatings may be formed on any desired surface, including fuel rod positions where spacer contact and fretting is most likely.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 5, 2013
    Publication date: September 11, 2014
    Applicant: GLOBAL NUCLEAR FUEL - AMERICAS, LLC
    Inventors: Kevin L. Ledford, Yuk-Chiu Lau, David W. White, Yang-Pi Lin, Paul E. Cantonwine, Nicholas R. Gullette, Timothy W. Clark
  • Publication number: 20140185733
    Abstract: Disclosed embodiments include fuel assemblies, methods of making a fuel element, and methods of using a fuel element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 11, 2013
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Inventors: Gary Povirk, James M. Vollmer, Ryan N. Latta, Grant Helmreich, Phillip Schloss
  • Publication number: 20130077731
    Abstract: A novel containment system for encapsulating nuclear fuel particles is disclosed. The containment system has a gas-impervious ceramic composite hollow shell having a spheroidal or ovoidal shape. The shell has a pair of longitudinally aligned round openings that are sealed with a gas-impervious ceramic composite tube to define a cavity between the shell inner surface and the tube outer surface. A ceramic composite matrix containing the nuclear fuel particles is enclosed within the cavity. The ceramic composite matrix has a controlled porosity, and can contain moderators or neutron absorbing material. The tube and shell are composed of a ceramic matrix composite material composed of ceramic reinforcement material that is bound together by a polymer-derived ceramic material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 28, 2012
    Publication date: March 28, 2013
    Applicant: TORXX Group Inc.
    Inventors: Walter J. Sherwood, Douglas Bruce Coyle
  • Publication number: 20130010915
    Abstract: Fuel elements for use in reactors include a cladding tube having a longitudinal axis and fuel disposed therein. At least one channel is formed in at least one of the fuel and the cladding tube and extends in a direction along the longitudinal axis of the cladding tube. The fuel element further includes a plenum having at least one getter material disposed therein. Methods of segregating gases in fuel elements may include forming a temperature differential in the fuel element, enabling at least one gas to travel into at least one channel formed in the fuel element, and retaining a portion of the at least one gas with at least one getter material. Methods of segregating gases in fuel elements also may include enabling at least one gas to travel through at least one channel of a plurality of channels formed in the fuel element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 8, 2011
    Publication date: January 10, 2013
    Applicant: BATTELLE ENERGY ALLIANCE, LLC
    Inventors: John E. Garnier, George W. Griffith, Michael V. Glazoff, Sergey Rashkeev
  • Patent number: 8243871
    Abstract: The invention relates to a novel design and production of fuel element pebbles which satisfy the requirements of high temperature pebble bed nuclear reactors of the next generation. The invention uses a shell of the fuel element pebbles that is devoid of fuel and consists of silicon carbide (SiC) and/or zircon carbide (ZrC), in addition to natural graphite and graphitized petroleum coke, said shell having a maximum average nominal thickness of 5 mm and preferably only 3 mm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Assignee: ALD Vacuum Technologies GmbH
    Inventors: Milan Hrovat, Karl-Heinz Grosse, Rainer Schulten
  • Publication number: 20100054389
    Abstract: A pressurized water nuclear reactor fuel assembly designed to burn mixed oxide fuel that employs a fully annular fuel pellet stack in the fuel rods, and radial enrichment zoning within the assembly such that the intra-assembly rod power distribution is relatively smooth regardless of the characteristics of the adjacent assemblies.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 26, 2008
    Publication date: March 4, 2010
    Inventor: Robert J. Fetterman
  • Publication number: 20090141851
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are a nuclear fuel rod for fast reactors, which includes an oxide coating layer formed on the inner surface of a cladding, and a manufacturing method thereof. The nuclear fuel rod for fast reactors, which includes the oxide coating layer formed on the inner surface of the cladding, can increase the maximum permissible burnup and maximum permissible temperature of the metallic fuel slug for fast reactors so as to prolong the its lifecycle in the fast reactors, thus increasing economic efficiency. Also, the fuel rod is manufactured in a simpler manner compared to the existing method, in which a metal liner is formed, and the disclosed method enables the cladding of the fuel rod to be manufactured in an easy and cost-effective way.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 28, 2008
    Publication date: June 4, 2009
    Applicants: Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Chan Bock Lee, Jong-Hyuk Baek, Byoung-Oon Lee, Jin-Sik Cheon, Ho Jin Ryu, Jun Hwan Kim, Sung Ho Kim, Tae-Kyu Kim, Woo-Gon Kim, Chong-Tak Lee, Ki-Hwan Kim, Young-Mo Ko, Yoon-Myeong Woo, Seok-Jin Oh, Dohee Hahn
  • Publication number: 20070201608
    Abstract: A method for testing a fuel rod cladding tube enables an operation-oriented assessment of its corrosion behavior. The fuel rod cladding tube is partly immersed in a surrounding medium and heated from inside. An electrode potential of the fuel rod cladding tube is measured relative to a reference electrode and measured data are used to extrapolate material characteristics of the fuel rod cladding tube, in particular its corrosion characteristics. A device for carrying out the method includes a pressure vessel to be filled with a surrounding medium and having an aperture opening in a vessel wall for insertion of the fuel rod cladding tube into the pressure vessel through the aperture opening. A heating apparatus is disposed in the interior of the fuel rod cladding tube and an electrically insulating sealing body is disposed between the fuel rod cladding tube and the vessel wall.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 27, 2007
    Publication date: August 30, 2007
    Inventors: Kilian Model, Christian Muller
  • Patent number: 6891914
    Abstract: The absorbing rods have a nearly the same shape as the shape of columnar control rods for PWR used in reactivity control of core in a reactor. The absorbing rods can shield neutrons, and are inserted in control rod guide pipes and measuring pipes in fuel assemblies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2005
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kiichiro Sakashita, Tomohiro Itoh, Katsunari Ohsono, Suguru Hode
  • Patent number: 6687324
    Abstract: A metallic uranium article having a protective coating of a copper-tin alloy containing from 45 to 50% by weight of copper and from 55 to 50% by weight of tin, said alloy being firmly bonded to the metallic uranium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 1951
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2004
    Inventors: Ernest R. Boller, Lowell D. Eubank
  • Patent number: 6542566
    Abstract: An improved fuel element for use in a nuclear reactor comprised of a central core of nuclear material, which is surrounded by a composite cladding. The cladding has an outer metallic tubular portion comprised of well-known cladding alloys used for such purposes. Metallurgically bonded to the outer metallic tubular portion is a commercially pure zirconium microalloyed with a controlled quantity of iron. The zirconium microalloyed with iron produced an inner metallic barrier having a beneficial balance between stress corrosion crack resistance and corrosion resistance while retaining other beneficial properties of pure zirconium, such as ductility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2003
    Inventors: Ronald Bert Adamson, Daniel Reese Lutz, Mickey Orville Marlowe, John Frederick Schardt, Cedric David Williams
  • Publication number: 20020181642
    Abstract: Method of fabricating a fuel rod, comprising providing an effective amount of a metal oxide in the fuel rod to generate steam and mitigate the tendency for secondary hydriding. Fuel rods fabricated according to the method of the invention are also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 4, 2001
    Publication date: December 5, 2002
    Inventors: Swaminathan Vaidyanathan, John H. Davies, Steven B. Wisner
  • Publication number: 20010007584
    Abstract: An improved fuel element for use in a nuclear reactor comprised of a central core of nuclear material, which is surrounded by a composite cladding. The cladding has an outer metallic tubular portion comprised of well-known cladding alloys used for such purposes. Metallurgically bonded to the outer metallic tubular portion is a commercially pure zirconium microalloyed with a controlled quantity of iron. The zirconium microalloyed with iron produced an inner metallic barrier having a beneficial balance between stress corrosion crack resistance and corrosion resistance while retaining other beneficial properties of pure zirconium, such as ductility.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 7, 2001
    Publication date: July 12, 2001
    Inventors: Ronald Bert Adamson, Daniel Reese Lutz, Mickey Orville Marlowe, John Frederick Schardt, Cedric David Williams
  • Patent number: 6259758
    Abstract: A metal cooling tube of a water-cooled nuclear reactor, having an inner surface thereof exposed to an aqueous cooling medium containing hydrogen peroxide. The cooling tube has its inner surface coated with matter selected from the group consisting of the element manganese, molybdenum, zinc, copper, cadmium for absorbing such hydrogen peroxide and then affecting decomposition of the hydrogen peroxide in the aqueous medium. In preferred embodiment such coating is manganese and oxides thereof. A method for lowering the electrochemical corrosion potential of a metal allow cooling tube exposed to an aqueous medium in a water-cooled nuclear reactor is also disclosed. Such method comprises the step of coating an inner surface of such tube with matter selected from the group of elements comprising manganese, molybdenum, zinc, copper, cadmium, so as to permit absorption and hydrogen peroxide in such aqueous medium and effect decomposition of hydrogen peroxide in such aqueous medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2001
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Young Jin Kim, Leonard William Niedrach, George Charles Sogoian, Robert Lee Cowan, II
  • Patent number: 6243433
    Abstract: An improved fuel element for use in a nuclear reactor comprised of a central core of nuclear material, which is surrounded by a composite cladding. The cladding has an outer metallic tubular portion comprised of well-known cladding alloys used for such purposes. Metallurgically bonded to the outer metallic tubular portion is a commercially pure zirconium microalloyed with a controlled quantity of iron. The zirconium microalloyed with iron produced an inner metallic barrier having a beneficial balance between stress corrosion crack resistance and corrosion resistance while retaining other beneficial properties of pure zirconium, such as ductility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2001
    Assignee: General Electic Co.
    Inventors: Ronald Bert Adamson, Daniel Reese Lutz, Mickey Orville Marlowe, John Frederick Schardt, Cedric David Williams
  • Patent number: 6192098
    Abstract: A corrosion and hydride resistant nuclear fuel rod having a highly corrosion resistant outer portion in which hydride precipitation is inhibited and an inner portion in which hydride precipitation is promoted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2001
    Assignee: Siemens Power Corporation
    Inventor: Leonard F. P. Van Swam
  • Patent number: 6088419
    Abstract: A corrosion and hydride resistant nuclear fuel rod having a highly corrosion resistant outer portion in which hydride precipitation is inhibited and an inner portion in which hydride precipitation is promoted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Assignee: Siemens Power Corporation
    Inventor: Leonard F. P. Van Swam
  • Patent number: 6058155
    Abstract: A corrosion and hydride resistant nuclear fuel rod having a highly corrosion resistant outer portion in which hydride precipitation is inhibited and an inner portion in which hydride precipitation is promoted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2000
    Assignee: Siemens Power Corporation
    Inventor: Leonard F. P. van Swam
  • Patent number: 6005906
    Abstract: A corrosion and hydride resistant nuclear fuel rod having a highly corrosion resistant outer portion in which hydride precipitation is inhibited and an inner portion in which hydride precipitation is promoted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 21, 1999
    Assignee: Siemens Power Corporation
    Inventor: Leonard F. P. Van Swam
  • Patent number: 5867552
    Abstract: Zirconium-based components for nuclear reactors are disclosed whereby a rare earth or other metal which preferentially concentrates hydrogen when in contact with zirconium is dispersed as a second phase throughout a zirconium-based matrix. The morphology and distribution of the two-phase material is controlled such that the second phase, internal hydrogen absorbing particles, are provided as spherical particles, randomly distributed, to minimize the effects of the occluded hydrogen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1999
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Mickey O. Marlowe, Elias Plaza-Meyer
  • Patent number: 5805655
    Abstract: A protective coating to reduce stress corrosion cracking of zirconium alloy sheathing in nuclear reactors. The coating is graphite based and includes ZrO.sub.2 and ethyl cellulose and acts as a sacrificial layer to immobilize fission products by formation of Zr.sub.x I.sub.y C type compounds which do not cause stress corrosion cracking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
    Inventor: Paul Ka-Hang Chan
  • Patent number: 5761263
    Abstract: In a nuclear fuel rod having a zirconium liner and a method of manufacturing the same, the outer surface of a zircaloy cladding tube in which fuel pellets are filled has an oxide film having fine irregularities of which the pitch is 1 .mu.m or less. The fine irregularities are formed by oxidizing the surface in high temperature steam or polishing the surface of the cladding tube. The surface of the fuel rod can effectively trap radioactive substances in the reactor water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1998
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Naohito Uetake, Masayoshi Kondoh, Katsumi Ohsumi, Akira Maru, Yamato Asakura
  • Patent number: 5715290
    Abstract: In reactor water control for a BWR power plant during an operation cycle after loading new fuel rods in the BWR power plant, an operation is performed which accelerates deposition of crud on the fuel rods until the deposition amount of the crud on the fuel rods reaches a predetermined target value within the operation cycle concerned. After the deposition amount of the crud has reached the predetermined target value, the crud deposition accelerating operation is terminated, whereby even when loading new fuel rods such as Zr liner type fuel rods having a surface on which metal ion deposition has been difficult, radioactivity in the reactor water is efficiently reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 3, 1998
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Naohito Uetake, Masayoshi Kondoh, Makoto Nagase, Hideyuki Hosokawa, Teruo Hara, Yamato Asakura, Katsumi Ohsumi, Kazuhiko Akamine, Kouichi Yamane
  • Patent number: 5699396
    Abstract: A zirconium-based alloy with a reduced ahoy content is described that has resistance to both uniform and nodular corrosion comparable to present zirconium-based alloy compositions, such as Zircaloy-2. The alloy represents in essence a modified or diluted Zircaloy-2 or Zircaloy-4. The alloys of this invention are also expected to have improved uniform corrosion resistance at under high burn-up conditions The alloy comprises 0.05-0.09 weight percent of iron, 0.03-0.05 weight percent of chromium, 0.02-0.04 weight percent of nickel, 1.2-1.7 weight percent of tin and 0-0.15 weight percent oxygen, with a balance of zirconium. The iron chromium and nickel alloying elements form precipitates in the alloy matrix. The alloy is suitable for use as a cladding material for a fuel element housing fissionable nuclear materials in water cooled nuclear fission reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 16, 1997
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Dale Frederick Taylor
  • Patent number: 5539791
    Abstract: Zircaloy 2 and zircaloy 4 are zirconium alloys which are permitted and tried and tested in nuclear engineering and which have constituents with fixed concentration ranges. The properties, especially corrosion resistance, mechanical stability and sensitivity to pellet-cladding interaction of those alloys are subject to pronounced spreads of unknown origin. According to the invention, the tin content is between 1.4 and 1.8% by weight, the Fe content between 0.1 and 0.25% by weight, the Cr content between 0.1 and 0.3% by weight, the Si content between 0.05 and 0.02% by weight, the O content between 0.05 and 0.11% by weight, the C content below 0.02% by weight and the Ni content below 0.08% by weight. This restriction of the permissible concentration ranges ensures that the material properties are spread only within a narrow favorable range. A liner made from zirconium with an iron constituent of between 0.2 and 0.8% by weight is proposed for the inner lining of a fuel-rod sheathing tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 23, 1996
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Friedrich Garzarolli, Eckard Steinberg
  • Patent number: 5524032
    Abstract: A cladding tube having a cross-section and including (1) a zirconium alloy outer circumferential substrate having an inner surface and having one or more alloying elements, (2) a zirconium barrier layer bonded to the inner surface of the outer circumferential substrate and being alloyed with the one or more alloying elements, and (3) a zirconium alloy inner circumferential liner bonded to the inner surface of the zirconium barrier layer. The barrier layer will have a concentration profile including a diffusion layer extending from the barrier layer's inner surface (facing nuclear fuel) to the barrier layer's interior (between the barrier layer's inner and outer surfaces). At the interior edge of the diffusion layer, there will be substantially no alloying elements. At the outer edge of the diffusion layer (the barrier layer's inner surface), the maximum concentration of alloying elements will occur.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 4, 1996
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Ronald B. Adamson, Daniel R. Lutz, Joseph S. Armijo, Herman S. Rosenbaum
  • Patent number: 5517540
    Abstract: A method is provided for preparing a cladding tube having an outer substrate, an intermediate zirconium barrier layer, and an inner liner. The method includes the following steps: (a) bonding an inner liner alloy sheath exterior circumferential surface to a zirconium sheath interior circumferential surface to form a barrier/inner liner sheath, and (b) bonding the exterior surface of the zirconium sheath on the barrier/inner liner sheath to the interior circumferential surface of an outer substrate alloy tube to form the cladding tube. Alternatively, the method includes the following steps: (a) bonding the zirconium sheath exterior circumferential surface to the outer substrate alloy tube interior circumferential surface to form a substrate tube/barrier sheath, and (b) bonding the exterior circumferential surface of the inner liner alloy sheath to the interior circumferential surface of the zirconium sheath of the substrate tube/barrier sheath to form said cladding tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 14, 1996
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Mickey O. Marlowe, Joseph S. Armijo, Cedric D. Williams, Herman S. Rosenbaum
  • Patent number: 5517541
    Abstract: The present invention provides a cladding having an outer circumferential substrate, a zirconium barrier layer metallurgically bonded to the inside surface of the substrate and an inner circumferential liner metallurgically bonded to the zirconium barrier. The inner circumferential liner is more ductile than conventional Zircaloy. The low ductility of the inner circumferential liner is obtained, for example, by using a zirconium alloy containing a low tin content (e.g. less than 1.2% by weight) and/or a low oxygen content (e.g. less than 1000 ppm). The inner circumferential liner is less than about 25 micrometers thick.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 14, 1996
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Herman S. Rosenbaum, Joseph S. Armijo
  • Patent number: 5493592
    Abstract: A fuel rod has a cladding including a thicker inner layer and a thin outer layer being metallurgically bound thereto. In view of the conditions prevailing on the inside of the cladding tube and the mechanical properties of the entire cladding tube, the inner layer is formed of zircaloy having a comparatively high Sn content and a low Fe and Fe+Cr content. The outer layer also contains virtually only zircaloy constituents, but in view of corrosion, H2 take-up and sensitivity to Li dissolved in the cooling water, the Fe and Fe+Cr content is greater than or at most equal to that of the inner layer, the chosen Sn content is less than 1.3% and the chosen Sn+Fe+Cr content is more than 1.0%. Low failure rates of the cladding tube are thereby achieved even for long service lives.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 20, 1996
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Friedrich Garzarolli, Eckard Steinberg
  • Patent number: 5475723
    Abstract: A cladding tube for use in holding fissionable material in a water cooled nuclear reactor is provided. The cladding tube includes inner and outer circumferential regions, and including (1) a substrate defining the outer circumferential region, and (2) an inner liner defining the inner circumferential region. The inner liner is made from a zirconium alloy having at least one alloying element which promotes hydrogen absorption in a concentration of between about 1 and 15 weight percent. The hydrogen absorption promoting element can be one of the following: nickel, chromium, iron, zinc, vanadium, gallium, yttrium, palladium, platinum, or aluminum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 12, 1995
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Mickey O. Marlowe
  • Patent number: 5469481
    Abstract: A method is provided for forming a three-layer cladding tube having an outer substrate, a zirconium barrier layer, and an inner liner having alloying elements, in which the zirconium barrier layer (located between an outer substrate and inner liner) is at least partially alloyed with alloying elements that impart resistance to corrosion. The barrier layer has a diffusion layer extending from its inner surface (facing the fuel) to the barrier layer's interior (the interior being defined between the barrier layer's inner and outer surfaces). At the interior edge of the diffusion layer, there will be substantially no alloying elements beyond those normally present in zirconium. The methods of forming such structure include a diffusion anneal of a three-layer cladding in the range of 650.degree.-1000.degree. C. for times between about 1 minute and 20 hours. This anneal drives some of the alloying elements from the inner liner into the zirconium barrier layer to form the diffusion layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 21, 1995
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Ronald B. Adamson, Daniel R. Lutz, Joseph S. Armijo
  • Patent number: 5434897
    Abstract: A cladding tube is provided having an axis and a cross-section perpendicular to the axis. The cross-section includes (1) an outer circumferential substrate having an inner surface, (2) a zirconium barrier layer bonded to the inner surface of the outer circumferential substrate, and (3) an inner circumferential liner bonded to the inner surface of the zirconium barrier layer. The inner circumferential liner includes a plurality of facets aligned substantially in parallel with the cladding tube axis. The facets--which define the geometry of the cladding interior--facilitate mixing among the gases in the cladding interior. Also provided is a fuel element including (1) a cladding tube having an faceted inner liner as described above, (2) nuclear fuel material disposed within said cladding tube in a fuel region, and (3) a plenum or plenums located in one or both end regions (beyond the nuclear fuel region) within the cladding tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 18, 1995
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: John H. Davies
  • Patent number: 5383228
    Abstract: The present invention provides a cladding having an outer circumferential substrate, a zirconium barrier layer metallurgically bonded to the inside surface of the substrate and an inner circumferential liner metallurgically bonded to the zirconium barrier. The inner circumferential liner is more ductile than conventional Zircaloy. The low ductility of the inner circumferential liner is obtained by using a zirconium alloy containing a low tin content (e.g. less than 1.2% by weight) and/or a low oxygen content (e.g. less than 1000 ppm). The inner circumferential liner is less than about 25 micrometers thick.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 17, 1995
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Joseph S. Armijo, Herman S. Rosenbaum, Cedric D. Williams
  • Patent number: 5377246
    Abstract: A barrier tube of non-circular cross section is arranged in the space between the stainless steel cladding and metal fuel slugs of a liquid metal reactor. The non-circular shape of this barrier design promotes improved thermal bonding in both the cladding/barrier and barrier/fuel interface regions. The non-circular barrier results in three areas with liquid metal thermal bond gaps having an angle which approaches that for a metal fuel pin without a barrier. Thus, the degree of circumferential unbonding will be less than that which results in localized fuel melting during radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 27, 1994
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Ira N. Taylor, Jr., Donald C. Wadekamper
  • Patent number: 5341407
    Abstract: The present invention provides a cladding having an outer circumferential substrate, a zirconium barrier layer metallurgically bonded to the inside surface of the substrate and an inner circumferential liner metallurgically bonded to the zirconium barrier. The inner circumferential liner is more ductile than conventional Zircaloy. The low ductility of the inner circumferential liner is obtained, for example, by using a zirconium alloy containing a low tin content (e.g. less than 1.2% by weight) and/or a low oxygen content (e.g. less than 1000 ppm). The inner circumferential liner is less than about 25 micrometers thick.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 23, 1994
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Herman S. Rosenbaum, Joseph S. Armijo
  • Patent number: 5301218
    Abstract: A multi-layer, rolled metal foil is laser tackwelded to form a tube which can be inserted in the intermediate space between the fuel body and cladding of a metal alloy fissionable fuel element. The rolled foil has at least three foil layers at the point of tack welding. The laser welding penetration is adjusted so that the foil weld is maintained at a thickness of at least two foil layers, but does not penetrate all of the layers. The weld is designed to fail in response to fuel or blanket alloy swelling during irradiation. After weld failure, the overlapping layers slip and the multi-layer foil unrolls as the fuel swells, providing a continuous, unbroken barrier between the fuel or blanket alloy and cladding which masks defects in the barrier due to weld failure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 1992
    Date of Patent: April 5, 1994
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Ira N. Taylor, Jr., Donald C. Wadekamper
  • Patent number: 5285485
    Abstract: A composite nuclear fuel container for service in water cooled nuclear fission reactor plants having improved resistance to corrosion, and a method of producing same. The invention comprises each component of the fuel container being of specific compositions which have been heat treated to transform their microcrystalline structure in such a manner to optimize the corrosion resistance of each component of the fuel container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 8, 1994
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Herman S. Rosenbaum, Ronald B. Adamson, Bo C. Cheng
  • Patent number: 5278882
    Abstract: A stabilized alpha metal matrix provides an improved ductility, creep strength, and corrosion resistance against irradiation in a zirconium alloy containing on a weight percentage basis tin in a range of 0.4 to 1.0 percent and typically 0.5; iron in a range of 0.3 to 0.6 percent, and typically 0.46 percent; chromium in a range of 0.2 to 0.4 percent, and typically 0.23 percent; silicon in a range of 50 to 200 ppm, and typically 100 ppm; and oxygen in a range 1200 to 2500 ppm, typically 1800 to 2200 ppm. The high oxygen level assists in reducing hydrogen uptake of the alloy compared to Zircaloy-4, for example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 11, 1994
    Assignee: Combustion Engineering, Inc.
    Inventors: Anand M. Garde, Satya R. Pati
  • Patent number: 5225154
    Abstract: A fuel assembly for a nuclear reactor comprising a fuel cladding tube of three-layer structure having an outer surface in contact with reactor water of the nuclear reactor, an inner surface layer in contact with the nuclear fuel, and an intermediate layer interposed between the outer surface layer and the inner surface layer. the outer surface layer is made of a Zr-based alloy containing Nb, Sn and Mo. The inner surface layer is made of pure zirconium. The intermediate layer is made of a high ductility alloy which is higher in ductility than the outer surface layer and is higher in strength than the inner surface layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 1989
    Date of Patent: July 6, 1993
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Masayoshi Kanno, Masahisa Inagaki, Iwao Takase, Jiro Kuniya, Akira Maru, Tetsuro Yasuda, Hideo Maki
  • Patent number: 5223206
    Abstract: An improved procedure for producing composite constructed nuclear fuel containers for service in water cooled nuclear fission reactors is disclosed. The improved production procedure maximizes the advantageous characteristics of the respective components of the composite unit. The procedure of the invention comprises heat treating the two components of a tube stock and liner stock separately prior to their assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 29, 1993
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Herman S. Rosenbaum
  • Patent number: 5192495
    Abstract: Nuclear fuel compacts, containing thousands of individually coated fuel particles in a carbonaceous matrix, are provided with an overcoating of silicon carbide which can be readily inspected for defects. This overcoating helps retain fission products within the compact should any of the fuel particles have damaged or defective coatings, and provides an outer secondary barrier that can be 100% inspected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1992
    Date of Patent: March 9, 1993
    Assignee: Babcock & Wilcox Company
    Inventors: Colin S. Caldwell, Helen H. Moeller
  • Patent number: 5190721
    Abstract: A corrosion resistant zirconium alloy is comprised of, in weight percent, about 0.1 to less than 0.5 percent bismuth, about 0.1 to less than 0.5 percent niobium, and the balance substantially zirconium. Preferably, niobium is about 0.1 to 3 weight percent. The alloys have improved corrosion resistance as compared to the moderate-purity sponge zirconium while maintaining a ductility comparable to sponge zirconium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1993
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Bo C. Cheng
  • Patent number: 5094804
    Abstract: A nuclear fuel element for a high temperature gas nuclear reactor that has an average operating temperature in excess of 2000.degree. C., and a method of making such a fuel element. The fuel element is characterized by having fissionable fuel material localized and stabilized within pores of a carbon or graphite member by melting the fissionable material to cause it to chemically react with the carbon walls of the pores. The fissionable fuel material is further stabilized and localized within the pores of the graphite member by providing one or more coatings of pyrolytic carbon or diamond surrounding the porous graphite member so that each layer defines a successive barrier against migration of the fissionable fuel from the pores, and so that the outermost layer of pyrolytic carbon or diamond forms a barrier between the fissionable material and the moderating gases used in an associated high temperature gas reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1990
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1992
    Assignee: Associated Universities, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald G. Schweitzer
  • Patent number: 5076488
    Abstract: The present invention relates to the control of grain structure in unalloyed zirconium metal and, more particularly, to the control of grain structure in zirconium metals containing less than 300 parts per million Fe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 1989
    Date of Patent: December 31, 1991
    Assignee: Teledyne Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Ronald A. Graham
  • Patent number: 5073336
    Abstract: Zirconium-based corrosion resistant alloys for use primarily as a cladding material for fuel rods in a boiling water nuclear reactor consist essentially of by weight percent about 0.5 to 2.0 percent tin, about 0.24 to 0.40 percent of a solute composed of copper, nickel and iron, wherein the copper is at least 0.05 percent, and the balance zirconium. Nuclear fuel elements for use in the core of a nuclear reactor have improved corrosion resistant cladding made from these zirconium alloys or composite claddings have a surface layer of the corrosion resistant zirconium alloys metallurgically bonded to the outside surface of a Zircaloy alloy tube. The claddings may contain an inner barrier layer of moderate purity zirconium metallurgically bonded on the inside surface of the cladding to provide protection from fission products and gaseous impurities generated by the enclosed nuclear fuel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 17, 1991
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Dale F. Taylor
  • Patent number: 5068082
    Abstract: A fuel assembly for a nuclear reactor includes a number of fuel rods filled with a fuel material. A plurality of fuel rods have a partial effective fuel area filled with a fuel material and has a portion in which enrichment of a fissile nuclide is significantly reduced or the fissile nuclide does not exist at all on an axial level including a reactor shut-down zone at which subcriticality becomes small during a reactor operation period. The other fuel rods are filled with the fuel material throughout the entire axial length thereof. The first mentioned fuel rod may be provided with a partially interposed zone or may be constructed by a fuel rod having a length shorter than that of the other fuel rod. The tube means may be arranged in the fuel assembly so as to pass the moderator therethrough.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1988
    Date of Patent: November 26, 1991
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Makoto Ueda, Koichi Sakurada, Shungo Sakurai, Ritsuo Yoshioka, Shunsuke Ogiya, Mamoru Nagano
  • Patent number: 5026516
    Abstract: A nuclear fuel element for use in the core of a nuclear reactor is disclosed having an improved corrosion resistant cladding. The cladding is comprised of zirconium alloys containing in weight percent 0.5 to 2.0 percent tin, or 0.5 to 2.5 percent bismuth, or 0.5 to 2.5 percent bismuth and tin, and about 0.5 to 1.0 percent of a solute composed of a member selected from the group consisting of molybdenum, niobium, tellurium and mixtures thereof, and the balance zirconium. Composite claddings are disclosed having a surface layer of one of the corrosion resistant zirconium alloys metallurgically bonded to a Zircaloy alloy tube. Claddings may contain an inner barrier layer of a moderate purity zirconium metallurgically bonded on the inside surface of the cladding to provide protection from fission products and gaseous impurities generated by the enclosed nuclear fuel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 1989
    Date of Patent: June 25, 1991
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Dale F. Taylor