With Coolant Flow Path Deflecting Means Patents (Class 376/439)
  • Patent number: 9514852
    Abstract: A method of reducing the volume of a boiling water reactor fuel channel for storage in which the fuel channel is sealed with an outer sleeve that is closed at its upper and lower ends. The sleeve, which is made of a malleable metal is then laterally compacted and sheared into segments suitable for transport and/or storage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventor: Peter F. Davin
  • Patent number: 9455052
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a fuel bundle for a liquid metal cooled reactor includes a channel, a nose assembly secured to a lower end of the channel, a plurality of fuel rods disposed within the channel, and an internal mixer disposed within the channel above the plurality of fuel rods. The internal mixer includes peripheral flow control members and interior flow control members. The peripheral flow control members are located near walls of the channel, and the interior flow control members are located towards a longitudinal center of the housing. At least one of the peripheral flow control members is configured to direct liquid metal flowing through the channel towards an interior of the channel, and at least one of the interior flow control members is configured to direct liquid metal flowing through the channel away from the interior of the channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2016
    Assignee: GE-HITACHI NUCLEAR ENERGY AMERICAS LLC
    Inventors: Eric P. Loewen, Brian S. Triplett, Brett J. Dooies, Scott L. Pfeffer
  • Patent number: 9390817
    Abstract: A fuel assembly for a pressurized water nuclear reactor includes a multiplicity of fuel rods which extend in a longitudinal direction and are guided in a plurality of spacers that are spaced apart from one another axially. The spacers of an upper region have a lower flow resistance in a transverse direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction, than the spacers of a lower region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2016
    Assignee: Areva GmbH
    Inventors: Jürgen Stabel, Hans-Joachim Lippert, Mingmin Ren, Bernd Dressel
  • Patent number: 8824621
    Abstract: A filter including a plurality of flow ducts extending in a longitudinal direction and each delimited between one pair of walls is provided. The filter includes deflectors protruding into each duct alternately from the pair of walls with overlapping in the longitudinal direction to define a zigzag shaped flow channel and provided with at least one set of holes aligned in the longitudinal direction to define through the overlapping deflectors a passage for accommodating a lower end pin of a fuel rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: Areva NP
    Inventor: Reazul Huq
  • Patent number: 8774343
    Abstract: A flow tripping device according to a non-limiting embodiment of the present invention may include a peripheral band surrounding a central space. A plurality of flow tabs may extend from an upper portion of the peripheral band toward the central space. A plurality of finger structures may extend from a lower portion of the peripheral band. When installed in a fuel channel of a boiling water reactor (BWR), the critical power ratio (CPR) performance of the periphery rods may be increased, thereby also increasing overall performance. Consequently, the increased power translates to lower fuel cycle costs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: Global Nuclear Fuel—Americas, LLC
    Inventor: Mason D. Makovicka
  • Patent number: 8774345
    Abstract: This bottom end-piece includes nozzles for directing the flow of water of the reactor along the lower ends of the fuel rods, the nozzles being arranged at nodes of the substantially regular network of the fuel rods, and an anti-debris device which delimits water flow channels. At least some of the water flow channels are arranged at nodes of the substantially regular network. Direction nozzles are arranged at least partially in the channels in order to delimit water passages therewith, and at least one water passage includes a first section and a second section which are mutually offset radially relative to the corresponding node of the network in order to form a baffle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: Areva NP
    Inventors: Michel Verdier, Eric Labarriere
  • Publication number: 20140185735
    Abstract: In a fuel assembly, a plurality of fuel rods are arranged in an array of 10 rows and 10 columns in the cross section of the fuel assembly. A flow resistance member is disposed in a central portion in the cross section at upper end portions of partial length fuel rods which are a part of the fuel rods. In the flow resistance member, resistance members are each disposed between ferrules arranged in an array of 6 rows and 6 columns in the diagonal direction of the flow resistance member. Resistance members are each disposed between the ferrules in a peripheral portion of the flow resistance member. By disposing the resistance members, the pressure loss in an inner region in the cross section of the fuel assembly is increased, and the flow rate of a gas-liquid two-phase flow in an outer region surrounding the inner region is increased.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 18, 2013
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Applicant: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takeshi MITSUYASU, Motoo AOYAMA, Takuji NAGAYOSHI, Kenichi KATONO
  • Patent number: 8697024
    Abstract: A precursor formulation of a silicon carbide material that includes a ceramic material and a boron-11 compound. The ceramic material may include silicon and carbon and, optionally, oxygen, nitrogen, titanium, zirconium, aluminum, or mixtures thereof. The boron-11 compound may be a boron-11 isotope of boron oxide, boron hydride, boron hydroxide, boron carbide, boron nitride, boron trichloride, boron trifluoride, boron metal, or mixtures thereof. A material for use in a nuclear reactor component is also disclosed, as are such components, as well as a method of producing the material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: COI Ceramics, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy E. Easler, Andrew Szweda, Eric Stein
  • Patent number: 8599995
    Abstract: Example embodiments are directed to tiered tie plates and fuel bundles that use tiered tie plates. Example embodiment tie plates may include upper and lower tiered tie plates. Example embodiment tiered tie plates may have a plurality of bosses divided into groups, or tiers, having differing vertical (axial) displacement. Example embodiment fuel bundles may use tiered tie plates such that fuel rods in example bundles may originate and terminate at different vertical displacements, based upon the vertical displacement of the bosses receiving the fuel rods into the tiered tie plates. Optionally, shanks may be used to further vary fuel rod axial displacement and diameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas, LLC
    Inventor: Michael S. DeFilippis
  • Patent number: 8576972
    Abstract: Example embodiments are directed to tie plate attachments having irradiation targets and/or fuel assemblies having example embodiment tie plate attachments with irradiation targets and methods of using the same to generate radioisotopes. Example embodiment tie plate attachments may include a plurality of retention bores that permit irradiation targets to be contained in the retention bores. Irradiation targets may be irradiated in an operating nuclear core including the fuel assemblies, generating radioisotopes that may be harvested from the spent nuclear fuel assembly by removing example embodiment tie plate attachments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventors: David Grey Smith, William Earl Russell, II
  • Publication number: 20130230133
    Abstract: A new, improved grid spacer for a nuclear fuel assembly is provided, comprising several straps which intersect each other alternatively to form a plurality of grid cells and fuel rods reside in some of the grid cells; the grid spacer further comprises mixing elements set at the corner of the grid cells in which the fuel rods have resided; wherein the mixing element comprises a mixing vane stretching towards the direction of the fuel rod and a flow funnel set on the bended edge of the mixing vane continuously and extending towards adjacent grid cells; the mixing vane and the flow funnel set across two sides of two adjacent grid cells respectively, and the flow funnel introduces the coolant in the grid cell at its side to the mixing vane, then the mixing vane introduces the coolant to the grid cell at its own side.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 4, 2013
    Publication date: September 5, 2013
    Applicants: China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding, China Nuclear Power Technology Research Institute
    Inventors: Wenchi Yu, Yuemin Zhou, Weicai Ll, Xiaoming Chen, Zhengzheng Pang, Jingwen Yan, Yan Guo
  • Patent number: 8335293
    Abstract: Disclosed is a spacer grid assembly with mixing vanes supporting fuel rods of nuclear fuel assemblies and mixing coolant that flows around the fuel rods, and more particularly, a spacer grid equipped with mixing vanes that mix coolant flowing around fuel rods. The spacer grid with hydraulically balanced mixing vane patterns, in the spacer grid equipped with a strip dividing a plurality of unit grid cells and a plurality of springs, protruded in uniform directions of vertical and horizontal directions on a grid surface of the strip and supporting nuclear fuel rods, which includes: a plurality of mixing vanes protruded to the downstream of coolant on an upper end of the inner grid surface, wherein positions and directions of the mixing vanes are formed in regular patterns on the spacer grid. Thus, it can minimize coolant flow induced vibration of the spacer grid by balancing hydraulic load generated by the mixing vanes, around the center of the spacer grids.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2012
    Assignee: Korea Nuclear Fuel Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kyong-Bo Eom, Kyu-Tae Kim, Jung-Min Suh, Nam-Gyu Park, Joon-Kyoo Park, Jin-Sun Kim, Dong-Geun Ha, Kyoung-Joo Kim, Il-Kyu Kim, Seong-Ki Lee, Jin-Seok Lee, Kang-Hoon Kim, Sung-Kew Park, Kyeong-Lak Jeon
  • Patent number: 8238511
    Abstract: A protector bottom grid for a nuclear fuel assembly that includes three laterally staggered and horizontally oriented protrusions that extend into the fuel rod cell of a support grid below a vertically oriented spring. The three staggered protrusions extend into the cell a distance that maintains a space between the protrusions and the fuel rod. The vertically oriented spring biases the fuel rod against a dimple extending from the opposite cell wall that is at an elevation just above the spring. The protrusions below the spring trap incoming debris in the area of the fuel rod end cap and protect the fuel rod cladding from fretting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Hua Jiang, Paul Evans
  • Publication number: 20120189090
    Abstract: Example embodiments are directed to tiered tie plates and fuel bundles that use tiered tie plates. Example embodiment tie plates may include upper and lower tiered tie plates. Example embodiment tiered tie plates may have a plurality of bosses divided into groups, or tiers, having differing vertical (axial) displacement. Example embodiment fuel bundles may use tiered tie plates such that fuel rods in example bundles may originate and terminate at different vertical displacements, based upon the vertical displacement of the bosses receiving the fuel rods into the tiered tie plates. Optionally, shanks may be used to further vary fuel rod axial displacement and diameter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 5, 2011
    Publication date: July 26, 2012
    Inventor: Michael S. Defilippis
  • Publication number: 20120155601
    Abstract: A flow tripping device according to a non-limiting embodiment of the present invention may include a peripheral band surrounding a central space. A plurality of flow tabs may extend from an upper portion of the peripheral band toward the central space. A plurality of finger structures may extend from a lower portion of the peripheral band. When installed in a fuel channel of a boiling water reactor (BWR), the critical power ratio (CPR) performance of the periphery rods may be increased, thereby also increasing overall performance. Consequently, the increased power translates to lower fuel cycle costs.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 15, 2010
    Publication date: June 21, 2012
    Applicant: GLOBAL NUCLEAR FUEL - AMERICAS, LLC
    Inventor: Mason D. Makovicka
  • Publication number: 20110305311
    Abstract: In a fuel element for a pressurized-water reactor, in addition to spacers, flow-guiding structural parts are arranged. The flow guiding parts include four outer webs which, in a plane oriented perpendicularly to the central longitudinal axis, surround a square inner region of which the center point lies on the central longitudinal axis. At their lower longitudinal side facing the flowing cooling water in the operating state, the outer webs are provided with deflection lugs pointing towards the inner region and are structurally identical, wherein mutually opposite outer webs are arranged mirror-symmetrically with respect to a center plane extending in the axial direction. Such a structural part forms, at most for a number of fuel rods which is smaller than their total number in the fuel element, cells through which a respective fuel rod is guided. The number of these cells, which are situated in a row or column, is smaller than the number of the fuel rods respectively situated in this row or column.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 11, 2009
    Publication date: December 15, 2011
    Applicant: AREVA NP GMBH
    Inventors: Juergen Stabel, Bernd Dressel, Horst-Dieter Kiehlmann
  • Publication number: 20110261921
    Abstract: A fuel assembly is charged in a reactor core of a nuclear reactor using a liquid metal as a coolant, and includes a wrapper tube storing a plurality of fuel pins and including an entrance nozzle for introducing the coolant and an operation handling head, grids disposed in the wrapper tube to support the fuel pins in the radial direction of the wrapper tube, liner tubes inserted in the wrapper tube to fixedly hold the respective grids in the axial direction of the wrapper tube, and a fixing device for fixing the grids and the liner tubes in the radial direction of the wrapper tube.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 26, 2006
    Publication date: October 27, 2011
    Applicants: Central Research Institute of Electric Power Ind., KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOSHIBA
    Inventors: Tomonari Koga, Satoshi Nishimura, Izumi Kinoshita, Shoichi Moriya, Yasushi Tsuboi, Mitsuo Wakamatsu, Yoshiaki Sakashita, Masatoshi Nakagawa
  • Publication number: 20110216873
    Abstract: A fuel assembly for a pressurized water reactor that has a protective grid attached to the bottom nozzle through a spacer insert captured between a control rod guide thimble end plug and the bottom nozzle. A thimble screw attaches the bottom nozzle to the control rod guide thimble end plug through a central opening in the spacer insert. The control rod guide thimble end plug is provided with a raised annular boss that encircles the thimble screw shank and rests against the upper surface of the bottom nozzle through the opening in the spacer insert. The opening in the spacer insert is large enough to provide both an axial and radial clearance between the spacer insert and the end plug to accommodate differences in thermal expansion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 3, 2010
    Publication date: September 8, 2011
    Applicant: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Paul Marcus Evans, Michael Anthony Marzean
  • Patent number: 8009791
    Abstract: A fuel support for a nuclear reactor may include: a plurality of fuel support apertures, each fuel support aperture dimensioned for receiving a lower tie plate of a fuel assembly; and a plurality of lumens, each lumen being coupled to a different fuel support aperture. At least one lumen may be configured for attenuating a fluid flow differently than the fluid flow in at least one other of the lumen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2011
    Assignee: Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas, LLC
    Inventors: Birol Aktas, Robert James, Carlton W. Clark, William Earl Russell, II
  • Publication number: 20110110485
    Abstract: A fuel assembly is charged in a reactor core of a nuclear reactor using a liquid metal as a coolant and includes a wrapper tube storing a plurality of fuel pins and including an entrance nozzle at a lower end thereof for introducing the coolant and an operation handling head at an upper end thereof, grids for supporting the plurality of fuel pins in the wrapper tube in the radial direction of the wrapper tube, liner tubes inserted in the wrapper tube for fixedly holding the grids in the axial direction of the wrapper tube, and peripheral flow suppressing members disposed in a peripheral flow passage extending between peripherally disposed ones of the fuel pins and the wrapper tube over a length corresponding to a heat generation length, which is a length range in the axial direction of the fuel pins storing a radioactive fuel material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 26, 2006
    Publication date: May 12, 2011
    Applicants: KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOSHIBA, Central Research Institute of Electric Power Ind.
    Inventors: Tomonari KOGA, Satoshi NISHIMURA, Izumi KINOSHITA, Yasushi TSUBOI, Masatoshi NAKAGAWA
  • Patent number: 7889830
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor having a coolant flow deflector secured to a reactor core barrel in line with a coolant inlet nozzle. The flow deflector redirects incoming coolant down an annulus between the core barrel and the reactor vessel. The deflector has a main body with a front side facing the fluid inlet nozzle and a rear side facing the core barrel. The rear side of the main body has at least one protrusion secured to the core barrel so that a gap exists between the rear side of the main body adjacent the protrusion and the core barrel. Preferably, the protrusion is a relief that circumscribes the rear side of the main body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Charles B. Gilmore, David A. Altman, Norman R. Singleton
  • Patent number: 7889829
    Abstract: An integral multilevel debris-catching system for a nuclear reactor fuel assembly having a lower protective grid incorporating laterally offset debris-catching arches at several elevations, extended solid fuel rod bottom end plugs and a bottom debris-filtering nozzle. Dimples and opposing opposite springs and the debris-trapping arches, which are spaced from the end plugs, are all located at elevations below the fuel cladding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Yu Chung Lee, James Alan Sparrow
  • Publication number: 20100322371
    Abstract: A support grid for a nuclear fuel assembly, the fuel rod assembly having a generally cylindrical fuel rod with a diameter, wherein the support grid includes a frame assembly having a plurality of outer straps and a plurality tubular members and/or helical frame members. The tubular members/helical frame members have a contact portion structured to contact an adjacent helical frame member and at least one helical fuel rod contact portion with a lesser diameter. The lesser diameter is generally equivalent to the fuel rod diameter such that a fuel rod disposed in the helical frame member would engage the inner helical frame member at helical fuel rod contact portion. The helical fuel rod contact portion may have a variable pitch.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2010
    Publication date: December 23, 2010
    Applicant: WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY LLC
    Inventors: XIAOYAN (JANE) JIANG, YIBAN XU, Z. E. KAROUTAS
  • Patent number: 7804931
    Abstract: The invention refers to a spacer for holding a number if elongated fuel rods intended to be located in a nuclear plant and to a fuel unit having such spacers. The spacer encloses a number of cells, which each has a longitudinal axis and is arranged to receive a fuel rod in such a way that the fuel rod extends in parallel with the longitudinal axis. Each cell is formed by a sleeve-like member. Each sleeve-like member is manufactured in a sheet-shaped material that is bent to the sleeve-like shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2010
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB
    Inventors: Sture Helmersson, Leif Larsson, Olov Nylund, H{dot over (a)}kan Söderberg
  • Patent number: 7792236
    Abstract: This invention relates to nuclear engineering and may be used in structures of nuclear fuel assemblies, especially those used in PWR and BWR nuclear reactors. A fuel assembly comprises spacing grids comprising cells formed by orthogonal crossing plates. An insertable spacing element is installed in each cell, which is designed for fixing the fuel rod passing through the cell. In the spacing grids that are arranged between the first spacing grid and the last spacing grid downstream the coolant flow at least some cells, through which the fuel rods pass, are provided with deflectors designed for mixing the coolant flow. The insertable spacing element comprises a shell, which has a cross-section in the form of an octagon formed by four facets that are rounded and convex in the direction from the center of said element and by four facets located therebetween that are shaped and concave toward the center of the said element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2010
    Assignees: OAO “TVEL”, OAO “Novosibirsky Zavod Khimkontsentratov”
    Inventors: Vladimir Vladimirovich Rozhkov, Petr Ivanovich Lavrenyuk, Aleksandr Antonovich Kislitsky, Vladimir Mikhailovich Troyanov, Anatoly Alekseevich Enin, Mstislav Aleksandrovich Shustov, Aleksandr Pavlovich Ustimenko, Mikhail Mikhailovich Nekhoda, Oleg Borisovich Samoilov, Aleksey Borisovich Dolgov
  • Publication number: 20100034337
    Abstract: This bottom end-piece includes nozzles for directing the flow of water of the reactor along the lower ends of the fuel rods, the nozzles being arranged at nodes of the substantially regular network of the fuel rods, and an anti-debris device which delimits water flow channels. At least some of the water flow channels are arranged at nodes of the substantially regular network. Direction nozzles are arranged at least partially in the channels in order to delimit water passages therewith, and at least one water passage includes a first section and a second section which are mutually offset radially relative to the corresponding node of the network in order to form a baffle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 5, 2007
    Publication date: February 11, 2010
    Inventors: Michel Verdier, Eric Labarriere
  • Patent number: 7623612
    Abstract: A bi-alloy spacer grid (BASG) is provided with grid straps and springs made using different zirconium alloys. The grid straps are made from a relatively low growth zirconium alloy, and the springs are made from a relatively high growth zirconium alloy. The springs are coupled to the grid straps by welding, mechanical interference, or secondary forming in place. When subjected to irradiation, the springs grow relative to the grid straps thereby maintaining contact with the fuel rod cladding, while the grid straps resist growth to maintain structural stability of the entire fuel assembly. The optimized balance of the high growth springs and low growth grid straps mitigates the formation of gaps between the fuel rods and grid support structures). The growth properties of the grid straps and springs may be further controlled through optional different fabrication processes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2009
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC
    Inventors: Michael A. Marzean, Quang M. Nguyen
  • Patent number: 7577230
    Abstract: Fuel supports for a nuclear reactor and methods of modifying fluid flow in a reactor using a fuel support. The fuel supports include a plurality of lumens and a plurality of fuel support apertures with each fuel support aperture being dimensioned for receiving a lower tie plate of a fuel assembly. Each lumen is fluidly coupled to a different fuel support aperture. At least one lumen is configured for attenuating a fluid flow differently than the fluid flow in at least one other of the lumen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2009
    Assignee: Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas, LLC
    Inventors: Birol Aktas, Robert James, Carlton W. Clark, William Earl Russell, II
  • Patent number: 7561654
    Abstract: In a fuel assembly for a nuclear reactor, a plurality of nuclear fuel rods and at least one fuel rod spacer assembly supporting the fuel rods in an organized array. The fuel rod spacer assembly includes a guide at a leading edge of the fuel rod spacer assembly. The guide is angled towards the fuel rod for directing debris to open passages in the fuel rod spacer assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2009
    Assignee: Global Nuclear Fuel - Americas, LLC
    Inventors: Mason Dennis Makovicka, Michael Thomas Kiernan
  • Patent number: 7555093
    Abstract: A spacer for a fuel assembly of a boiling water reactor has a frame formed of outer webs and inner webs disposed crosswise relative each other. Gills are disposed on the exterior of the outer webs. The exterior of the outer webs of the spacer is provided with a plurality of projections in the form of bulges in the wall. The bulges project outwardly by a greater distance than the gills.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2009
    Assignee: Areva NP GmbH
    Inventor: Michael Liebler-Ranzus
  • Patent number: 7548602
    Abstract: A spacer grid having tunable mixing vanes for optimizing coolant flow is provided for a nuclear fuel assembly. The mixing vanes include an upper piece and a lower piece, which are coupled to a middle ligament that is coupled to the top or downstream portion of one or more of the grid straps forming the spacer grid. The upper piece, lower piece, and middle ligament are bent, rotated, and/or twisted into various positions to more effectively mix the coolant and affect the coolant's flow as it moves upwards through the fuel assembly. For example, in one embodiment, the mixing vane has an “S” shape wherein the middle ligament is positioned parallel to the longitudinal axes of the fuel rods of the fuel assembly, the upper piece bends towards one of the fuel rods, and the lower piece bends away from the fuel rod. In this manner, optimized even and sustained mixing of the coolant is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2009
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC
    Inventors: Levie D. Smith, III, Michael A. Marzean
  • Publication number: 20090067566
    Abstract: This invention relates to nuclear engineering and may be used in structures of nuclear fuel assemblies, especially those used in PWR and BWR nuclear reactors. A fuel assembly comprises spacing grids comprising cells formed by orthogonal crossing plates. An insertable spacing element is installed in each cell, which is designed for fixing the fuel rod passing through the cell. In the spacing grids that are arranged between the first spacing grid and the last spacing grid downstream the coolant flow at least some cells, through which the fuel rods pass, are provided with deflectors designed for mixing the coolant flow. The insertable spacing element comprises a shell, which has a cross-section in the form of an octagon formed by four facets that are rounded and convex in the direction from the center of said element and by four facets located therebetween that are shaped and concave toward the center of the said element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 12, 2007
    Publication date: March 12, 2009
    Applicants: OTKRYTOE AKTSIONERNOE OBSCHESTVO "TVEL", OTKRYTOE AKTSIONERNOE OBSCHESTVO "NOVOSIBIRSKY ZAVOD KHIMKONTSENTRATOV"
    Inventors: Vladimir Vladimirovich Rozhkov, Petr Ivanovich Lavrenyuk, Aleksandr Antonovich Kislitsky, Vladimir Mikhailovich Troyanov, Anatoly Alekseevich Enin, Mstislav Aleksandrovich Shustov, Aleksandr Pavlovich Ustimenko, Mikhail Mikhailovich Nekhoda, Oleg Borisovich Samoilov, Aleksey Borisovich Dolgov
  • Publication number: 20090060117
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a guide thimble of a nuclear fuel assembly, which is capable of improving the cooling performance and the stability of a nuclear fuel, preventing a flow split in dual-cooling nuclear fuel rod and guide thimble sub channels for obtaining high combustion degree and high power, and minimizing a neutron absorption section in a reaction degree region. Since the guide thimble having the dual tube type structure is adopted, a flow split in the fuel rod and guide thimble sub channels can be reduced, and the degradation in performance of nuclear fuel due to increase of a neutron absorption section can be prevented. In order for compatibility with an existing control rod, a typical guide tube is used as an inner guide thimble, and an outer guide thimble is provided outside the inner guide thimble.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 13, 2008
    Publication date: March 5, 2009
    Applicants: Korea Atomic Energy Research Institue, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kyung Ho Yoon, Jae Yong Kim, Dong Seok OH, Young Ho Lee, Kang Hee Lee, Hyung Kyu Kim
  • Patent number: 7469030
    Abstract: A spacer grid for a fuel assembly in a light-water-cooled nuclear reactor, for providing the transverse retention of a bundle of fuel rods in mutually parallel arrangements, having an array of cells juxtaposed and placed in a regular lattice, each bounded and separated from neighboring cells by at least one peripheral wall which is open at two opposed ends, along the direction of an axis of the cell, so as to receive a fuel rod of cylindrical general shape passing along the cell along its axis parallel to the peripheral wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2008
    Assignee: Framatome ANP
    Inventors: Bruno Bonnamour, Michel Bonnamour, Jacques Gauthier, Hubert Salaun
  • Publication number: 20080267340
    Abstract: In various embodiments, a spacer grid for a nuclear reactor fuel bundle is provided. The grid includes a plurality of interstitial dividers that form an array of cells. Each cell is structured to retain a respective one of a plurality of fuel rods to thereby form an array of equally spaced fuel rods. The grid additionally includes a perimeter band that peripherally surrounds the dividers and is connected to opposing ends of each divider. The perimeter band includes a plurality of spring tabs formed along and extending from an edge of the perimeter band. The spring tabs extend from the edge at an angle away from the dividers such that a distal end of each spring tab will contact an interior surface of a respective one of a plurality of walls of a channel in which the arrayed fuel rods can be inserted to form the fuel bundle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 27, 2007
    Publication date: October 30, 2008
    Inventor: Russell Patrick Higgins
  • Patent number: 7421056
    Abstract: A spacer for a fuel element of a boiling water reactor contains cells that are formed by inner partitions, which are disposed in a crisscross manner, and by outer partitions, which surround the inner partitions in a frame-like manner. A guiding device is placed on the spacer and contains a flow-through opening, which is located in an outer partition. The guiding device also contains a guiding element which, when viewed in the direction of flow of the coolant, is located in front of the flow-through opening, and is situated at a distance from the inner side of the outer partition, and interacts with the flow-through opening like a venturi nozzle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2008
    Assignee: Areva NP GmbH
    Inventor: Michael Liebler-Ranzus
  • Publication number: 20080205579
    Abstract: The invention relates to nuclear engineering and can be used for fuel clusters of nuclear reactors, for distancing and fixing fuel elements, in particular in the fuel clusters of PWR and BWR reactors. The inventive distance lattice comprises cells which are used for mounting the fuel elements or guide channels and are formed by perpendicular crossing plates. Bent blades for mixing a coolant are embodied on the plate edges at the output of said coolant. Each cell is provided with an insertable distancing element for fixing the fuel element. Said invention makes it possible to increase the turning rigidity of the cells and the stability thereof, to simultaneously reduce the size of the fixation of the fuel elements or the guiding channels in the cells and to decrease the hydraulic resistance of the lattice.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 4, 2006
    Publication date: August 28, 2008
    Applicants: OTKRYTOE AKTSIONERNOE OBSCHESTVO "TVEL", OTKRYTOE AKTSIONERNOE OBSCHESTVO "NOVOSIBIRSKY ZAVOD KHIMKONTSENTRATOV"
    Inventors: Vladimir Vladimirovich Rozhkov, Petr Ivanovich Lavrenyuk, Aleksandr Antonovich Kislitsky, Vladimir Mikhailovich Troyanov, Anatoly Alekseevich Enin, Mstislav Aleksandrovich Shustov, Aleksandr Pavlovich Ustimenko, Mikhail Mikhailovich Nekhoda, Oleg Borisovich Samoilov
  • Publication number: 20080101528
    Abstract: A fuel assembly of a boiling water reactor contains a fuel assembly base closed at the top by a filter plate, a fuel assembly head, and, disposed between them, a bundle of long and medium-length fuel rods extending away from the fuel assembly base. A water channel is disposed inside the fuel rod bundle. A plurality of the medium-length fuel rods are fixed axially on a separate holding part which is connected to the upper side of the fuel assembly base.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 8, 2007
    Publication date: May 1, 2008
    Inventors: Erhard Friedrich, Hans-Joachim Lippert, Roland Rink
  • Patent number: 7149273
    Abstract: A method of fabricating a fuel assembly grid that includes providing a plurality of interconnected straps that form a lattice pattern, wherein the lattice pattern of the straps defines a plurality of cells, providing a sleeve that has a cylindrical portion and a flared portion, and inserting the sleeve into at least one of the cells. When inserted, at least a portion of the cylindrical portion of the sleeve will reside inside the cell and the flared portion will extend above the top end of the cell and overhang the perimeter of the cell. The flared portion is melted and flows over and fuses to the straps that define the cell. The straps may include weld tabs over which the melted material flows and to which it fuses. The melting and fusing steps also preferably cause any loose straps surrounding the cell to become attached to the sleeve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2006
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Co LLC
    Inventors: Paul M. Evans, Gary C. Crabtree, Kevin G. Guthrie, Phillip L. Hazlett
  • Patent number: 7085340
    Abstract: A nuclear fuel assembly having a parallel array of elongated fuel elements supported between an upper and lower nozzle. Main support grids are substantially evenly spaced along the elongated dimension of the assembly to maintain the spacing between fuel elements. A plurality of auxiliary vibration-resistant grids respectively positioned between the main support grids in the middle third elongated dimension of the fuel elements, that are smaller in height and provide a larger fuel element contact area than the main support grids.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Co, LLC
    Inventors: Mark P. Goldenfield, Quang M. Nguyen, Gregory E. Settle, Radu O. Pomirleanu, Abdelaziz M. Elmahdi, Lewis A. Walton, Raymond W. Brashier
  • Patent number: 6912264
    Abstract: A fuel element for a nuclear reactor has fuel rods with nuclear fuel guided through spacers. The spacers are equipped with devices that exert a swirling impulse upon a coolant flowing along the fuel rods. In order to present as little flow resistance as possible for the coolant, these swirl-introducing devices have the form of a vane with a spoonlike or bladelike shape and they extend into the coolant flow. Owing to the shape—here the vane is curved in the longitudinal and in the transverse directions—practically all cross sections of the vane have such a high geometrical moment of inertia that even a vane made of a thin sheet metal is sufficiently rigid. Fuel elements configured according to the invention are particularly suitable for use in boiling water nuclear reactors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2005
    Assignee: Framatome ANP GmbH
    Inventors: Werner Meier, Peter Rau
  • Patent number: 6909766
    Abstract: One object of the present invention is to provide a production method for a nuclear fuel assembly support grid that improves the corrosion resistance of welded parts without impairing the characteristics of the support grid so as to be able adequately withstand highly efficient operation. In order to achieve the object, the present invention provide a production method for a nuclear fuel assembly support grid comprising the steps of: assembling a plurality of straps in a grid form; welding intersections of each strap; and carrying out annealing thereafter to precipitate an intermetallic compound on the welded parts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2005
    Assignees: Mitsubishi Nuclear Fuel Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Nuclear Development Corporation
    Inventors: Toshiya Kido, Kimio Nakayama, Yasunao Yamaguchi
  • Patent number: 6888911
    Abstract: Transverse vibrations of the pellet columns included in the fuel rods of fuel elements are limited by elastically mounting the fuel rod jacket tubes in the mesh of spacer grids. When the fuel rods are supported in this way, flexural vibrations of a higher order occur that lead to damage to the jacket tubes caused by fretting. These vibrations are the less dampened the more rigid the fixture of the fuel rod is. These vibration conditions are more easily excited and more strongly dampened when the pellet columns are more mobile, thereby removing vibration energy from the fuel element and avoiding damage caused by fretting. The mobility of the columns can be increased by increasing the gap between the pellet and the jacket tube, or by using constructions in which a torque M?10 N mm on the fuel rod leads to a tilting angle ??0.1°.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2005
    Assignee: Framatome ANP GmbH
    Inventors: Jürgen Stabel-Weinheimer, Mingmin Ren
  • Patent number: 6845138
    Abstract: A spacer grid with hybrid flow-mixing devices for nuclear fuel bundle is made up of an intersection of a plurality of thin straps at right angles to form a plurality of cells for receiving and supporting fuel rods. Each strap is composed of two types of strap units, called a primary strap unit and a secondary strap unit, which are alternately arranged along the strap. The primary strap unit is a strap section having a primary vane set, and a secondary strap unit is a strap section having a secondary vane set. The straps intersect such that, by primary and secondary strap units, each intersection forms a hybrid flow-mixing device around the top of each junction. The primary vane set, consisting of a trapezoidal primary vane stand and two bent primary mixing vanes on both sides, protrudes upwardly from the strap and is primarily for generating cross flow between channels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2005
    Assignees: Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Taehyun Chun, Dongseok Oh, Wangkee In, Keenam Song, Hyungkyu Kim, Heungseok Kang, Kyungho Yoon, Younho Jung
  • Patent number: 6819733
    Abstract: An improved grid for use in a fuel assembly of a nuclear reactor includes a plurality of straps that are interconnected with one another in a lattice fashion to define a plurality of cells, with the straps being configured to include a plurality of relatively more compliant springs and a plurality of relatively less compliant dimples, whereby each cell includes only one pair of springs and one pair of dimples disposed therein. The springs and dimples are contoured to engage a fuel rod or a thimble tube disposed within the cell. Each spring directly confronts one of the dimples to provide confronting pairs of features that engage the fuel rods or thimble tubes, with each cell including two pairs of confronting features. The ligaments of the springs and dimples extend in a direction generally perpendicular to the direction of coolant flow through the reactor in order to minimize pressure drop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2004
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Richard P. Broders, Stephen C. Hatfield, Michael L. Martin, Paul F. Joffre, Zeses E. Karoutas, Patrick A. Perrotti
  • Patent number: 6816563
    Abstract: The invention concerns a spacer and a fuel assembly for a nuclear reactor. The spacer has a plurality of cells (10) for holding elongated elements. The cells (10) are defined by a plurality of side portions (12). At least one of said cells (10) has at least one side portion (12) from which a flow-influencing member (20) is formed in that it is folded out from the side portion (12). The side portion (12) from which the flow-influencing member (20) is folded out comprises a first (22) and a second (24) edge surface which are connected to each other and which correspond to the directions of a first (26) and a second (28) edge of said flow-influencing member (20) in a non folded out state of the flow-influencing member (20). The first edge surface (22) has an extension in at least a first direction (14) in which a cooling medium is intended to flow. The second edge surface (24) has an extension in a direction which is perpendicular to said first direction (14).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Assignee: Westinghouse Atom AB
    Inventor: Olov Nylund
  • Patent number: 6807246
    Abstract: A lips-type multi-purposed spacer grid for supporting fuel rods within a nuclear fuel assembly is disclosed. In the spacer grid, the fuel rods are in contact with dimples and water strider-type springs in an equiangular surface contact manner. The spacer grid distributes load, applied to the springs, to the entire structure of its inner strips, thus reducing peak stress at the contact surfaces between the fuel rods and the springs and diminishing vibration of the fuel rods, and thereby reducing possible fretting wear of the fuel rods due to hydraulic vibration of the fuel rods. The spacer grid also enlarges the allowable elastic range of the springs, and allows the springs to soundly support the fuel rods by using residual spring force. The spacer grid has mixing blades capable of minimizing pressure loss and flow interference, so that the fuel rod cooling efficiency of the nuclear fuel assembly is improved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignees: Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Dae Ho Kim, Kee Nam Song, Tae Hyun Chun, Kyung Ho Yoon, Dong Seok Oh, Heung Seok Kang, Youn Ho Jung, Hyung Kyu Kim, Wang Kee In, Chang-Hwan Shin, Gyung Jin Park
  • Patent number: 6765979
    Abstract: Separation devices are disposed in the vent volume above part-length rods and above one or more of the spacers above the upper ends of the part-length rods. The separation devices preferably comprise swirlers located above the lattice openings which would otherwise receive the rods but for the underlying part-length rods. In this manner, flow is directed laterally outwardly onto the surfaces and into the interstices of the full-length fuel rods for improved power performance while simultaneously adverse pressure drops across the spacers are minimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2004
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Gary E. Dix, Bruce Matzner
  • Patent number: 6744843
    Abstract: A side-slotted nozzle type double sheet spacer grid for nuclear fuel assemblies is disclosed. The spacer grid includes intersecting inner strips and four perimeter strips. Each inner strip has unit strip parts, each fabricated by integrating two unit sheet parts together into a single structure, such that the two unit sheet parts face each other and a nozzle type coolant channel is defined between the two unit sheet parts. Each perimeter strip is fabricated by integrating an inner thin sheet having the unit sheet parts with a flat outer thin sheet having a width corresponding to the width of the inner thin sheet into a single structure. The coolant channel has one or more outlets formed by cutting an upper portion of one of the two unit sheet parts of each unit strip part. Each unit sheet part has a slot longitudinally formed on each side surface of a spring that is projected from the unit sheet part to support a fuel rod within a four-walled cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Assignees: Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Heung Seok Kang, Kyung Ho Yoon, Hyung Kyu Kim, Kee Nam Song, Yeon Ho Jung, Tae Hyun Chun, Dong Seok Oh, Wang Kee In
  • Publication number: 20040086072
    Abstract: A side-slotted nozzle type double sheet spacer grid for nuclear fuel assemblies is disclosed. The spacer grid includes intersecting inner strips and four perimeter strips. Each inner strip has unit strip parts, each fabricated by integrating two unit sheet parts together into a single structure, such that the two unit sheet parts face each other and a nozzle type coolant channel is defined between the two unit sheet parts. Each perimeter strip is fabricated by integrating an inner thin sheet having the unit sheet parts with a flat outer thin sheet having a width corresponding to the width of the inner thin sheet into a single structure. The coolant channel has one or more outlets formed by cutting an upper portion of one of the two unit sheet parts of each unit strip part. Each unit sheet part has a slot longitudinally formed on each side surface of a spring that is projected from the unit sheet part to support a fuel rod within a four-walled cell.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 30, 2003
    Publication date: May 6, 2004
    Inventors: Heung Seok Kang, Kyung Ho Yoon, Hyung Kyu Kim, Kee Nam Song, Yeon Ho Jung, Tae Hyun Chun, Dong Seok Oh, Wang Kee In