Nonconventional Jacket Or Can Material Patents (Class 376/457)
  • Patent number: 9305667
    Abstract: Nuclear fuel alloys or mixtures and methods of making nuclear fuel mixtures are provided. Pseudo-binary actinide-M fuel mixtures form alloys and exhibit: body-centered cubic solid phases at low temperatures; high solidus temperatures; and/or minimal or no reaction or inter-diffusion with steel and other cladding materials. Methods described herein through metallurgical and thermodynamics advancements guide the selection of amounts of fuel mixture components by use of phase diagrams. Weight percentages for components of a metallic additive to an actinide fuel are selected in a solid phase region of an isothermal phase diagram taken at a temperature below an upper temperature limit for the resulting fuel mixture in reactor use. Fuel mixtures include uranium-molybdenum-tungsten, uranium-molybdenum-tantalum, molybdenum-titanium-zirconium, and uranium-molybdenum-titanium systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2016
    Assignee: U.S. Department of Energy
    Inventors: Robert Dominick Mariani, Douglas Lloyd Porter
  • Patent number: 8971476
    Abstract: A zirconium alloy nuclear reactor cylindrical cladding has an inner Zr substrate surface (10), an outer volume of protective material (22), and an integrated middle volume (20) of zirconium oxide, zirconium and protective material, where the protective material is applied by impaction at a velocity greater than 340 meters/second to provide the integrated middle volume (20) resulting in structural integrity for the cladding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2015
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Jason P. Mazzoccoli, Edward J. Lahoda, Peng Xu
  • Publication number: 20140307845
    Abstract: A fuel rod for a nuclear fission reactor is disclosed and claimed. The fuel rod includes an elongate hollow cladding configured to retain a nuclear fuel therein. The cladding includes an elongate hollow tube. Fiber layers are positioned around the outside surface of the tube or within the tube forming an integral part thereof. Both the tube and the fibers are formed of a ceramic material. A fuel assembly including a plurality of such fuel rods is also disclosed and claimed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 10, 2014
    Publication date: October 16, 2014
    Inventor: Mihai G. M. Pop
  • Patent number: 8831166
    Abstract: Zirconium-based metal alloy compositions comprise zirconium, a first additive in which the permeability of hydrogen decreases with increasing temperatures at least over a temperature range extending from 350° C. to 750° C., and a second additive having a solubility in zirconium over the temperature range extending from 350° C. to 750° C. At least one of a solubility of the first additive in the second additive over the temperature range extending from 350° C. to 750° C. and a solubility of the second additive in the first additive over the temperature range extending from 350° C. to 750° C. is higher than the solubility of the second additive in zirconium over the temperature range extending from 350° C. to 750° C. Nuclear fuel rods include a cladding material comprising such metal alloy compositions, and nuclear reactors include such fuel rods. Methods are used to fabricate such zirconium-based metal alloy compositions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC
    Inventor: Robert Dominick Mariani
  • Patent number: 8202629
    Abstract: A cladding tube configured for use with nuclear fuels or nuclear feel elements and configured for contact with molten lead or molten lead alloys at up to 800° C. The cladding tube includes a tube including at least one of ferritic/martenisitic steel and austenitic steel. An alloy layer of up to 50 ?m thickness is disposed on a surface of the tube and operable for corrosion resistance. The alloy layer includes 0-25% chromium, 3-15% aluminum and 60-97% iron. A method of making the cladding tube includes the use of a pulsed electron beam to melt the alloy layer on the tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2012
    Assignee: Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH
    Inventors: Annette Heinzel, Georg Mueller, Alfons Weisenburger, Frank Zimmermann, Gustav Schumacher, Vladimir Engelko
  • Publication number: 20120045030
    Abstract: A method for forming roughness on an outer surface of cladding of a fuel nuclear rod including zirconium includes: positioning the cladding of the nuclear fuel rod at a first electrode and connecting a positive electrode thereto, and positioning a conductive plate at a second electrode and connecting a negative electrode thereto; putting the cladding of the nuclear fuel rod in an electrolyte solution; and applying voltage to the positive electrode and the negative electrode to cause oxidation on the outer surface of the cladding of the nuclear fuel rod. In this case, the electrolyte solution is maintained at 10° C. or lower.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 4, 2009
    Publication date: February 23, 2012
    Applicant: POSTECH ACADEMY-INDUSTRY FOUNDATION
    Inventors: Joon-Won Kim, Moo-Hwan Kim, Chan Lee, Hyung-Mo Kim
  • Patent number: 7738620
    Abstract: A method for production of a fuel cladding tube for a nuclear reactor, characterized by the preparation of an ingot of an alloy of zirconium with the following composition by weight %: 0.8%?Nb?2.8%, traces?Sn?0.65%, 0.015%?Fe?0.40%, C?100 ppm, 600 ppm?O?2300 ppm, 5 ppm?S?100 ppm, Cr+V?0.25%, Hf?75 ppm and F?1 ppm the remainder being zirconium and impurities arising from production. The ingot is then subjected to forging, a hardening and thermomoechanical treatments comprising cold laminations separated by intermediate annealing, all intermediate annealings being carried out at a temperature below the ???+? transition temperature of the alloy, finishing with a recrystallization annealing and resulting in the production of a tube, whereupon an optional external cleaning of the tube is carried out and a mechanical polishing of the external surface of the tube is carried out to give a roughness Ra less than or equal to 0.5 ?m. The invention further relates to a fuel cladding tube obtained thereby.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Assignee: Areva NP
    Inventors: Pierre Barberis, Jean-Paul Mardon, Véronique Rebeyrolle, Jean-Luc Aubin
  • Patent number: 7715518
    Abstract: The invention concerns a method of producing a cladding tube for nuclear fuel for a nuclear boiling water reactor. According to the method, a tube is formed which comprises an outer cylindrical component (10) mainly containing zirconium and an inner cylindrical component (20) metallurgically bonded to the outer component (10), wherein also the inner component (20) at least mainly contains zirconium. The inner component (20) has a lower recrystallization temperature than the outer component (10). The cladding tube is final annealed at a temperature and during a time such that the inner component (20) substantially completely recrystallizes and such that the outer component (10) partly recrystallizes but to a lower extent than the inner component (20). The invention also concerns a cladding tube, a fuel assembly for a boiling water reactor as well as the use of a cladding tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2010
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB
    Inventors: Mats Dahlbäck, Magnus Limbäck
  • Patent number: 7702060
    Abstract: A fuel channel for housing a fuel rod bundle in a boiling water nuclear reactor includes an expanded section to create an increased flow area at a top of the fuel channel and thereby reduce a pressure drop through the fuel channel. The expanded section eliminates a need for channel spacers and a fastener guard.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2010
    Assignee: Global Nuclear Fuel - Americas, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Michael Scott DeFilippis
  • Patent number: 7627075
    Abstract: The invention proposes a zirconium-based alloy also containing, by weight, apart from unavoidable impurities, from 0.02 to 1% of iron, from 0.8% to 2.3% of niobium, less than 2000 ppm of tin, less than 2000 ppm of oxygen, less than 80 ppm of carbon, from 5 to 35 ppm of sulphur and less than 0.25% in total of chromium and/or vanadium, the ratio R of the niobium content less 0.5% to the iron content, optionally supplemented by the chromium and/or vanadium content, being lower than 3.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2009
    Assignee: Framatome ANP
    Inventors: Daniel Charquet, Jean-Paul Mardon, Jean Senevat
  • Patent number: 7400697
    Abstract: A rhenium lined niobium alloy tube for use as a clad tube for nuclear fuel in a nuclear reactor. The tube is produced by an electro deposit process. A graphite mandrel is placed in the electro deposit chamber as the cathode material. Refined rhenium stock is used as the anode material. The chamber is filled with the chloride electrolyte. The chamber is closed and the electrolyte bath is heated. Current and voltage applied across the anode and cathode cause the rhenium to be deposited on the mandrel. Refined niobium alloy is then used as the anode material and applied over the rhenium on the mandrel to a desired thickness. The part is removed from the chamber and ground to the desired outside diameter. The graphite mandrel is removed from the tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2008
    Assignee: BWX Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: William J. Carmack, Lewis C. Hartless, Jeffrey A. Halfinger
  • Publication number: 20080165912
    Abstract: A rhenium lined niobium alloy tube for use as a clad tube for nuclear fuel in a nuclear reactor. The tube is produced by an electro deposit process. A graphite mandrel is placed in the electro deposit chamber as the cathode material. Refined rhenium stock is used as the anode material. The chamber is filled with the chloride electrolyte. The chamber is closed and the electrolyte bath is heated. Current and voltage applied across the anode and cathode cause the rhenium to be deposited on the mandrel. Refined niobium alloy is then used as the anode material and applied over the rhenium on the mandrel to a desired thickness. The part is removed from the chamber and ground to the desired outside diameter. The graphite mandrel is removed from the tube.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 8, 2003
    Publication date: July 10, 2008
    Inventors: William J. Carmack, Lewis C. Hartless, Jeffrey A. Halfinger
  • Publication number: 20080080660
    Abstract: A method for production of a fuel cladding tube for a nuclear reactor, characterised by the preparation of an ingot of an alloy of zirconium with the following composition by weight %: 0.8%?Nb?2.8%, traces?Sn?0.65%, 0.015%?Fe?0.40%, C?100 ppm, 600 ppm?O?2300 ppm, 5 ppm?S?100 ppm, Cr+V?0.25%, Hf?75 ppm and F?1 ppm the remainder being zirconium and impurities arising from production. The ingot is then subjected to forging, a hardening and thermomoechanical treatments comprising cold laminations separated by intermediate annealing, all intermediate annealings being carried out at a temperature below the ???+? transition temperature of the alloy, finishing with a recrystallisation annealing and resulting in the production of a tube, whereupon an optional external cleaning of the tube is carried out and a mechanical polishing of the external surface of the tube is carried out to give a roughness Ra less than or equal to 0.5 ?m. The invention further relates to a fuel cladding tube obtained thereby.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 19, 2005
    Publication date: April 3, 2008
    Inventors: Pierre Barberis, Jean-Paul Mardon, Veronique Rebeyrolle, Jean-Luc Aubin
  • Patent number: 7232611
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a component (1) comprising an element (2), which contains zirconium or a zirconium alloy and which has a surface (3) on which a corrosion protective layer (4) is formed, the oxide layer (4) comprising zirconium oxide. The component (1) is intended to be in an oxidising environment (6) and said oxide layer (4) has an outer surface (5) towards said oxidising environment (6). The element (2) comprises a layer (10), that borders said surface (3) and comprises hydrogen and at least one metal from the group of lanthanum elements and/or from the group platinum metals and/or yttrium which in its elemental form or as an oxide have the ability to effectively dissociate oxygen and H2O. The invention also relates to a method for manufacturing the component (1) and a nuclear facility comprising the component (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2007
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB
    Inventors: Gunnar Hultquist, Magnus Limbäck, Gunnar Wikmark
  • Patent number: 7127024
    Abstract: A fuel element for a pressurized water reactor is described. The fuel element contains a laterally open skeleton having control-rod guide tubes each with a first end and a second end, spacers fastened to the control-rod guide tubes, a fuel element head disposed at the first end of the control-rod guide tubes, and a fuel element foot disposed at the second end of the control-rod guide tubes. Gastight cladding tubes are inserted into the skeleton and each is filled with a column of fuel pellets. At least some of the gastight cladding tubes have a multilayer wall. The multilayer wall is formed of a mechanically stable matrix containing a first zirconium alloy disposed in a middle of the multiplayer wall; and a thinner protective layer of a second zirconium alloy alloyed to a lesser extent than the first zirconium alloy. The thinner protective layer is bound metallurgically to the matrix and is disposed on an inside of the matrix facing the fuel pellets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2006
    Assignee: Framatome ANP GmbH
    Inventors: Friedrich Garzarolli, Angelika Seibold, Heinrich Ruhmann
  • Patent number: 6898260
    Abstract: A fuel element for a pressurized water reactor is described. The fuel element contains a laterally open skeleton having control-rod guide tubes each with a first end and a second end, spacers fastened to the control-rod guide tubes, a fuel element head disposed at the first end of the control-rod guide tubes, and a fuel element foot disposed at the second end of the control-rod guide tubes. Gastight cladding tubes are inserted into the skeleton and each is filled with a column of fuel pellets. At least some of the gastight cladding tubes have a multilayer wall. The multilayer wall is formed of a mechanically stable matrix containing a first zirconium alloy disposed in a middle of the multiplayer wall; and a thinner protective layer of a second zirconium alloy alloyed to a lesser extent than the first zirconium alloy. The thinner protective layer is bound metallurgically to the matrix and is disposed on an inside of the matrix facing the fuel pellets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2005
    Assignee: Framatome ANP GmbH
    Inventors: Friedrich Garzarolli, Angelika Seibold, Heinrich Ruhmann
  • Patent number: 6811746
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a zirconium alloy having excellent corrosion resistance and mechanical properties and a method for preparing a nuclear fuel cladding tube by zirconium alloy. More particulary, the present invention is directed to a zirconium alloy comprising Zr-aNb-bSn-cFe-dCr-eCu (a=0.05-0.4 wt %, b=0.3-0.7 wt %, c=0.1-0.4 wt %, d=0-0.2 wt % and e=0.01-0.2 wt %, provided that Nb+Sn=0.35-1.0 wt %), and to a method for preparing a zirconium alloy nuclear fuel cladding tube, comprising melting a metal mixture comprising of the zirconium and alloying elements to obtain ingot, forging the ingot at &bgr; phase range, &bgr;-quenching the forged ingot at 1015-1075° C., hot-working the quenched ingot at 600-650° C., cold-working the hot-worked ingot in three to five passes, with intermediate vacuum annealing and final vacuum annealing the worked ingot at 460-540° C.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2004
    Assignees: Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yong Hwan Jeong, Jong Hyuk Baek, Byoung Kwon Choi, Myung Ho Lee, Sang Yoon Park, Cheol Nam, Youn Ho Jung
  • Patent number: 6813329
    Abstract: A crud-resistant nuclear fuel element cladding in which the axial locations that experience nucleate boiling during reactor full power operation are highly polished so that the maximum size of any surface defect on the highly polished surface is approximately 0.1 microns. The remainder of the cladding surface remains unpolished so that crud is more evenly redistributed over the entire fuel cladding surface to limit the thickness of the crud that is formed to less than 35 microns.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2004
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Copmany LLC
    Inventors: William A. Byers, Dmitry V. Paramonov, Milorad B. Dzodzo, Zeses E. Karoutas, Michael Y. Young
  • Patent number: 6690759
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are zirconium-base alloys excellent in both corrosion resistance and hydrogen absorption property, useful as materials for nuclear reactors. Such a zirconium-base alloy for nuclear reactors comprises 0.5-2 wt. % Sn, 0.07-0.6 wt. % Fe, 0.03-0.2 wt. % Ni, 0.05-0.2 wt. % Cr, and the balance being zirconium and unavoidable impurities, wherein the Fe content (X wt. %) of the zirconium-base alloy and the mean size (Y nm) of precipitates in the zirconium-base alloy are present in a region on the x (Fe content X) and y (mean precipitate size) rectangular coordinates, surrounded by the following five lines: i) Y=−444×X+154, ii) Y=910×X−46, iii) Y=0, iv) Y=300, and v) X=0.6.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Assignee: Global Nuclear Fuel - Japan Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shuichi Nanikawa, Shinji Ishimoto, Toshio Kubo
  • 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: 6503346
    Abstract: Cladding tube for a fuel rod for a boiling water reactor fuel element, and its production. The cladding tube is composed practically homogeneously of the constituents of zircaloy and, with the ductility parameter &ggr;=3{square root over ((kd))}/(fr)2≦3.5 (&ggr;=ductility parameter, KD=mean grain diameter; fr=Kearns factor), has an elongation at break of at least 20%, set by low-temperature treatment of an extruded tube blank. The starting body used for the extrusion has a defined distribution of precipitated secondary particles which is produced by &bgr;-quenching and differs in the areas which form the inner surface and outer surface of the extruded tube. At the inner surface, the particles have a greater diameter and are at a greater average distance apart, this distribution being described by the “spacing”.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2003
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Eckard Steinberg
  • Patent number: 6340536
    Abstract: An alloy of zirconium and niobium that includes erbium as a consumable neutron poison, its method of preparation and a component comprising said alloy are provided. This invention relates to an alloy of zirconium and niobium that includes erbium as a consumable neutron poison. The invention also relates to a method for the preparation and conversion of said alloy and a component comprising said alloy. Such an alloy is particularly intended for the manufacture of cladding and/or other elements or structural components of fuel assemblies for nuclear reactors using water as coolant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2002
    Assignee: Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique
    Inventors: Maxy Noe, Pierre Beslu, Jean-Christophe Brachet, Philippe Parmentier, Jacques Porta
  • 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: 6167104
    Abstract: A pressurized water reactor fuel assembly with a guide tube and a method for producing a guide tube for control elements are provided. Such guide tubes in pressurized water nuclear reactors which are composed of zirconium alloys (zircaloy-2 and zircaloy-4) show sharp radiation-induced growth in the axial direction at the commencement of their use in the reactor core. The sharp initial growth of the tubes is compensated by an inherent contraction of the tubes. For this purpose, the guide tubes are given internal stresses which are reduced by tube contraction as a result of a radiation-induced supply of energy. During production, guide tubes which are too short are first produced and subsequently lengthened by at least 0.3% to a final dimension in a last production step. In order to lengthen the tube, it may be stretched on a straightening bench.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2000
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Friedrich Garzarolli, Ingo Pohlmeyer, Theo Grimmelsmann, Alwin Schaa
  • 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: 6033493
    Abstract: Surface preoxidation of the substrate is carried out by bringing the substrate into contact with an oxidizing gas excited by a cold plasma, the substrate being situated in the flowing afterglow of the cold plasma used to excite the oxidizing element and being heated to an oxidation temperature of less than 500.degree. C. A metal oxide is formed at the surface of the preoxidized substrate by heterogeneous oxidation of a metal halide with a gas mixture including an oxidizing element activated by a cold plasma. The oxidizing gas mixture is brought into contact with the halide as directly as possible in the vicinity of the substrate arranged in the far flowing afterglow of the cold plasma. The cold plasma is preferably generated by microwaves. The process can be used in particular for producing a protective coating on a cladding tube of a nuclear fuel rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2000
    Assignees: Framatome, Cogema Velizy
    Inventors: Dominique Hertz, Thierry Belmonte, Jerome Gavillet, Henri Michel
  • Patent number: 6014418
    Abstract: A fuel rod for a light water reactor comprises a cladding tube which comprises a zirconium alloy having a composition including 0.6 to 2.0% by weight of Nb, 0.5 to 1.5% by weight of Sn, 0.05 to 0.3% by weight of Fe, and the balance being Zr and incidental impurities; uranium oxide fuel pellets packed in the cladding tube; and end plugs comprising a zirconium alloy and closing both ends of the cladding tube. The cladding tube is sealed by TIG welding with the end plugs. Grain boundaries in each heat affected zone of the cladding tube, which are adjacent to a bead formed by TIG welding, have structural compositions including 4 to 30% by weight of Nb, and 0.9 to 20% by weight of Fe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Assignees: Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd, Mitsubishi Nuclear Fuel Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takeshi Isobe, Yoshiharu Mae, Toshimichi Takahashi, Yoshitaka Suda, Akio Sando, Eiji Yoneda
  • 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: 5987088
    Abstract: In order to provide an austenitic single crystal stainless steel having preferable stress corrosion cracking resistance, strength, and irradiation induced embrittlement resistance so as to extend the life of a nuclear reactor core structure, which is used under a high radiation dose environment, a method is employed, which comprises the steps of homogeneously dispersing carbides into a parent phase of the austenitic single crystal stainless steel by a two step solution heat treatment, and subsequently effecting an ageing heat treatment after rapid cooling for precipitating fine carbides. Austenitic single crystal stainless steel having preferable stress corrosion cracking resistance, strength, and irradiation induced embrittlement resistance can be provided, and the life of nuclear reactor core structure, which is used under a high radiation dose environment, can be extended.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasuhisa Aono, Akira Yoshinari, Yasuo Kondo, Junya Kaneda, Hideyo Kodama, Takahiko Kato, Shigeo Hattori, Masahiko Arai
  • Patent number: 5949838
    Abstract: A method of producing austenite steel for use in the radiation zone of a nuclear reactor. The method comprising the steps of forming the austenite steel with about 17% by weight chromium, about 9 to 11.5% by weight nickel, about 0.04% by weight carbon, and iron impurities whose content of silicon is about 0.1% by weight and whose total content of sulfur and phosphorous is less than 0.03% by weight; and exposing the austenite steel to a temperature treatment at a temperature less than 1150 .degree. C. to produce a fine grain lattice with grain diameter features under approximately 20 .mu.m.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
    Inventors: Dietrich Alter, Peter Dewes, Friedrich Garzarolli, Roland Hahn, J. Lawrence Nelson
  • Patent number: 5940464
    Abstract: A zirconium alloy tube for forming the whole or the outer portion of a nuclear fuel pencil housing or a nuclear fuel assembly guide tube. The zirconium alloy contains 0.8-1.8 wt. % of niobium, 0.2-0.6 wt. % of tin and 0.02-0.4 wt. % of iron, and has a carbon content of 30-180 ppm, a silicon content of 10-120 ppm and an oxygen content of 600-1800 ppm. The tube may be used when recrystallized or stress relieved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignees: Framatome, Compagnie Generale des Matieres Nucleaires
    Inventors: Jean-Paul Mardon, Jean Senevat, Daniel Charquet
  • Patent number: 5912935
    Abstract: A fuel rod for a light water reactor comprises a cladding tube which comprises a zirconium alloy having a composition including 0.6 to 2.0% by weight of Nb, 0.5 to 1.5% by weight of Sn, 0.05 to 0.3% by weight of Fe, and the balance being Zr and incidental impurities; uranium oxide fuel pellets packed in the cladding tube; and end plugs closing both ends of the cladding tube. The cladding tube is sealed by TIG welding with the end plugs. Precipitates having grain diameters of 0.01 to 0.5 .mu.m and comprise intermetallic compounds containing Zr, Nb and Fe are present at grain boundaries in the structure of heat affected zones of the cladding tube, the heat affected zone being adjacent to a bead formed by TIG welding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1999
    Assignees: Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Mitsubishi Nuclear Fuel Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takeshi Isobe, Yoshiharu Mae, Toshimichi Takahashi, Yoshitaka Suda, Akio Sando, Eiji Yoneda
  • Patent number: 5887045
    Abstract: A tube of zirconium-based alloy for constituting all or a portion of a cladding or guide tube for a nuclear fuel assembly. The tube is made of an alloy containing, by weight, 1.0-1.7% of tin, 0.55-0.80% of iron, 0.20-0.60% total of chromium and/or vanadium, and 0.10-0.18% of oxygen, with 50-200 ppm of carbon and 50-120 ppm of silicon. The alloy further contains only zirconium and unavoidable impurities, and it is completely recrystallized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1999
    Assignees: Framatome, Compagnie General des Matieres Nucleaires
    Inventors: Jean-Paul Mardon, Jean Senevat, Daniel Charquet
  • Patent number: 5887044
    Abstract: A uranium-free fuel for a fast nuclear reactor comprising an alloy of Pu, Zr and Hf, wherein Hf is present in an amount less than about 10% by weight of the alloy. The fuel may be in the form of a Pu alloy surrounded by a Zr--Hf alloy or an alloy of Pu--Zr--Hf or a combination of both.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1999
    Assignee: The United States of America as respresented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Douglas C. Crawford, Douglas L. Porter, Steven L. Hayes, Robert N. Hill
  • 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: 5862194
    Abstract: The present invention provides a zirconium based alloy member which has very small deformation of elongation and bow occurring due to irradiation growth, a method of manufacturing it, and particularly an channel box for an atomic reactor fuel assembly. A zirconium based alloy plate member having a width of not less than 100 mm and a long length, containing not more than 5 wt % Nb and/or not more 5 wt % Sn, the member having (0001) orientation (Fl value) of hexagonal Zr with respect to longitudinal direction ranging from 0.20 to 0.35, the difference in Fl between the middle and the end being not more than the value calculated from (0.0935.times.Fl-0.00585) and an amount of bow at neutron irradiation of 35 GWd/t which bow occurs in the channel box for a reactor being not more than 2.16 mm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1999
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Tadashi Fujieda, Masahisa Inagaki, Iwao Takase, Junjiro Nakajima, Rinichi Asano, Takehiro Seto
  • Patent number: 5854818
    Abstract: Zirconium alloys for use in an aqueous environment subject to high fluence of a water reactor and characterized by improved corrosion resistance, consisting essentially of 0.3 to 1.8 weight percent tin, 0.1 to 0.65 weight percent iron, the balance of alloys being essentially nuclear grade zirconium with incidental impurities and having a microstructure of Zr.sub.3 Fe second phase precipitates distributed uniformly intragranularly and intergranularly to form radiation resistant second phase precipitates in the alloy matrix.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1998
    Assignee: Siemens Power Corporation
    Inventors: Leonard F. P. Van Swam, Friedrich Garzarolli, Heinrich Ruhmann
  • Patent number: 5844959
    Abstract: Zirconium alloys for use in an aqueous environment subject to high fluence of a water reactor and characterized by improved corrosion resistance, consisting essentially of from 0.5 to 3.25 weight percent niobium, from 0.3 to 1.8 weight percent tin, the balance of alloys being essentially nuclear grade zirconium with incidental impurities and having a microstructure of beta niobium second phase precipitates distributed uniformly intragranularly and intergranularly to form radiation resistant second phase precipitates in the alloy matrix.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Assignee: Siemens Power Corporation
    Inventors: Leonard F. P. Van Swam, Friedrich Garzarolli, Heinrich Ruhmann
  • Patent number: 5838753
    Abstract: A process for fabricating nuclear fuel rod cladding tube comprising beta quenching a zirconium alloy billet consisting essentially of from 0.5 to 3.25 weight percent niobium, from 0.3 to 1.8 weight percent tin, the balance of the alloy being essentially nuclear grade zirconium with incidental impurities by heating to a temperature in the beta range above 950.degree. C. and rapidly quenching the billet to a temperature below the .alpha. plus .beta. to .alpha. transformation temperature to form a martensitic structure; extruding the beta-quenched billet at a temperature below 600.degree. C. to form a hollow; annealing the hollow by heating at a temperature up to 590.degree. C.; pilgering the annealed hollow; and final annealing the pilgered annealed hollow to a temperature up to 590.degree. C.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 17, 1998
    Assignee: Siemens Power Corporation
    Inventors: Leonard F. P. Van Swam, Friedrich Garzarolli, Heinrich Ruhmann
  • Patent number: 5835550
    Abstract: A process for fabricating nuclear fuel rod cladding tube comprising beta quenching a zirconium alloy billet consisting essentially of 0.3 to 1.8 weight percent tin, 0.1 to 0.65 weight percent iron, the balance of the alloy being essentially nuclear grade zirconium with incidental impurities by heating to a temperature in the beta range greater than about 1000.degree. C. and rapidly quenching the billet to a temperature below the .alpha. plus .beta. to a transformation temperature to form a martensitic structure; extruding the beta-quenched billet at a temperature between 600.degree. and 750.degree. C. to form a hollow; annealing the hollow by heating at a temperature up to about 700.degree. C.; pilgering the annealed hollow; and final annealing the pilgered annealed hollow to a temperature up to about 700.degree. C. to form the nuclear fuel rod cladding tube comprising the alloy having a microstructure of Zr.sub.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: Siemens Power Corporation
    Inventors: Leonard F. P. Van Swam, Friedrich Garzarolli, Heinrich Ruhmann
  • Patent number: 5832050
    Abstract: The alloy has a base composition similar to that of a zirconium alloy of known type used for the manufacture of an element intended for use in the core of a nuclear reactor, such as a cladding tube, a guide tube, or another structural element of a fuel assembly. In addition, the alloy contains sulphur in a proportion by weight of between 8 and 100 ppm and preferably between 8 and 30 ppm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1998
    Assignee: Compagnie Europeene du Zirconium Cezus
    Inventors: Veronique Rebeyrolle, Daniel Charquet
  • Patent number: 5828715
    Abstract: Fuel rod 2 has a fuel cladding tube 3, and upper end plug 5 and a lower end plug 6 welded to the ends of fuel cladding tube 3. He gas 1 and U pellets 4 are filled in the fuel cladding tube 3. The He gas pressure 1 is about 8 atm, and the average crystal grain size of the U pellet 4 is in the range of 30-60 .mu.m. The fuel rod can be manufactured at a lower manufacturing cost, while maintaining the fuel integrity the same as in a conventional fuel rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 27, 1998
    Assignees: Hitachi, Ltd., Hitachi Engineering Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hideki Kurosaki, Kenichi Ito, Masana Sasaki, Kensuke Tokunaga
  • Patent number: 5805657
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor core fuel element is composed of nanophase high temperature materials. An array of the fuel elements in rod form are joined in an open geometry fuel cell that preferably also uses such nanophase materials for the cell structures. The particular high temperature nanophase fuel element material must have the appropriate mechanical characteristics to avoid strain related failure even at high temperatures, in the order of about 3000.degree. F. Preferably, the reactor type is a pressurized or boiling water reactor and the nanophase material is a high temperature ceramic or ceramic composite. Nanophase metals, or nanophase metals with nanophase ceramics in a composite mixture, also have desirable characteristics, although their temperature capability is not as great as with all-ceramic nanophase material. Combinations of conventional or nanophase metals and conventional or nanophase ceramics can be employed as long as there is at least one nanophase material in the composite.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: Norman B. Heubeck
  • Patent number: 5805656
    Abstract: A composite zirconium alloy component that exhibits a reduced propensity for irradiation growth and enhanced corrosion resistance when in a radiation field. The component is formed to have an inner core and two oppositely-disposed outer layers that are metallurgically bonded to the inner core. The inner core and the outer layers are formed from two different zirconium alloys, with the inner core alloy contributing to the ability of the component to resist dimensional distortions as a result of irradiation growth, while the outer layer alloy contributes to the ability of the component to resist corrosion. As such, the alloys are combined within the component in a manner that exploits the different corrosion and irradiation-resistance properties of the alloys.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Ronald B. Adamson
  • Patent number: 5802130
    Abstract: A tube for constituting all or part of a cladding or guide tube for a fuel assembly is made from an alloy containing, by weight, 0.4% to 0.6% of tin, 0.5% to 0.8% of iron, 0.35% to 0.50% of vanadium, and 0.10% to 0.18% of oxygen, 100 ppm to 180 ppm of carbon and 50 ppm to 120 ppm of silicon. The alloy contains nothing else apart from zirconium and unavoidable impurities and it is completely recrystallized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 1, 1998
    Assignees: Framatome, Compagnie Generale des Matieres Nucleaires
    Inventors: Jean-Paul Mardon, Jean Sevenat, Daniel Charquet
  • Patent number: 5787142
    Abstract: A fuel assembly for a pressurized water reactor having a fuel rod with a high strength cladding tube including an inner tubular layer of a zirconium alloy with alloying components of molybdenum and 3 to 6 weight percent bismuth, the balance zirconium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 28, 1998
    Assignee: Siemens Power Corporation
    Inventor: Leonard F.P. Van Swam
  • 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: 5735974
    Abstract: A part of a light-water reactor, for example, a cladding for a light-water reactor has at least a portion made of an intermetallic compound, such as Ni.sub.3 Al, Ni.sub.2 Al.sub.3, TiAl, Ti.sub.3 Al, Pt.sub.2 Si, PtSi, FeAl.sub.2, CoAl, and MoSi.sub.2, thereby having limited irradiation degradation by fast neutrons, improved ductility and usability at high temperatures the intermetallic compound is produced by a process comprising a step of irradiating the intermetallic compound with at least one selected from the group consisting of a neutron, a light ion, and an electron. The intermetallic compound may contain a twin and a third additional element segregatedly present or forms a second phase at or near to a grain boundary.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 7, 1998
    Assignee: Japan Atomic Energy Research
    Inventors: Akimichi Hishinuma, Katsumaro Fukai
  • Patent number: RE43182
    Abstract: A zirconium alloy tube for forming the whole or the outer portion of a nuclear fuel pencil housing or a nuclear fuel assembly guide tube. The zirconium alloy contains 0.8-1.8 wt. % of niobium, 0.2-0.6 wt. % of tin and 0.02-0.4 wt. % of iron, and has a carbon content of 30-180 ppm, a silicon content of 10-120 ppm and an oxygen content of 600-1800 ppm. The tube may be used when recrystallized or stress relieved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2012
    Assignee: AREVA NP
    Inventors: Jean-Paul Mardon, Jean Senevat, Daniel Charquet