Geological Or Extraterrestrial Patents (Class 588/17)
  • Patent number: 10921301
    Abstract: Techniques for determining the suitability of a subterranean formation as a hazardous waste repository include determining a concentration of at least one noble gas isotope of a plurality of noble gas isotopes in fluid sample from a subterranean formation below a terranean surface; determining a produced amount of the at least one noble gas isotope in the subterranean formation based on a production rate of the at least one noble gas isotope and a minimum residence time; calculating a ratio of the determined concentration of the at least one noble gas isotope in the fluid sample to the determined produced amount of the at least one noble gas isotope; and based on the calculated ratio being at or near a threshold value, determining that the subterranean formation is suitable as a hazardous waste repository.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2021
    Assignee: Deep Isolation, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard A. Muller, John Linus Grimsich
  • Patent number: 10518302
    Abstract: Method, apparatus and system for location evaluation and selection of a site, capable of effectively implementing a deep geologic repository for the disposal and storage of high-level nuclear waste and evaluating the waste location by scientific and technical analysis incorporating human and social interaction are provided. In one aspect, engineering, drilling, geological, geographic, and demographic data associated with a plurality of prospective implementation locations and human knowledge and physical infrastructure may be utilized in determining most desirable implementation surface drilling operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Inventor: Henry Crichlow
  • Patent number: 10381122
    Abstract: A system for storing and monitoring nuclear waste. The system includes a storage borehole having an end segment configured to store nuclear waste in a subterranean storage site location having a shale rock layer. The layer has a measured fluid overpressure in a range corresponding to greater than hydrostatic pressure to less than a lithostatic pressure from overlying rock layers. The system also includes a monitoring borehole configured to reside in the layer with an end segment of the monitoring borehole in a vicinity of the end segment of the storage borehole. The measured fluid pressure at the end of the monitoring borehole is in the fluid overpressure range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2019
    Assignee: MWD-IP Holdings, LLC
    Inventor: Marlan Downey
  • Patent number: 10265743
    Abstract: A hazardous material storage repository includes a drillhole extending into the Earth and including an entry at least proximate a terranean surface, the drillhole including a substantially vertical drillhole portion, a transition drillhole portion coupled to the substantially vertical drillhole portion, and a hazardous material storage drillhole portion, at least one of the transition drillhole portion or the hazardous material storage drillhole portion including an isolation drillhole portion; a storage canister positioned in the hazardous material storage drillhole portion, the storage canister sized to fit from the drillhole entry through the substantially vertical drillhole portion, the transition drillhole portion, and into the hazardous material storage drillhole portion of the drillhole, the storage canister including an inner cavity sized enclose hazardous material; and a seal positioned in the drillhole, the seal isolating the hazardous material storage drillhole portion of the drillhole from the ent
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: Deep Isolation, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard A. Muller, Elizabeth Muller
  • Patent number: 10115490
    Abstract: A method comprising storing nuclear waste, including identifying a subterranean storage site location having a shale rock layer. The layer has an expected fluid overpressure in a range corresponding to greater than hydrostatic pressure to less than lithostatic pressure from overlying rock layers. Storing the waste can include forming a storage borehole, with an end segment of the storage borehole located within the layer and measuring the fluid pressure in the end segment of the storage borehole. If the measured fluid pressure in the end segment of the storage borehole is in the expected fluid overpressure range, forming a monitoring borehole in the layer with an end segment of each of the monitoring boreholes being in a vicinity of the end segment of the storage borehole and storing nuclear waste in the end segment of the storage borehole. A system for storing and monitoring nuclear waste is also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2018
    Assignee: MWD-IP Holdings, LLC
    Inventor: Marlan Downey
  • Patent number: 10012074
    Abstract: A downhole tool is conveyed within a borehole extending into a subterranean formation. Fluid is drawn from the subterranean formation into the downhole tool, wherein the fluid comprises heavy oil. Fluorescence intensity of the drawn fluid is measured via a sensor of the downhole tool, and asphaltene content of the drawn fluid is estimated based on the measured fluorescence intensity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2018
    Assignee: SCHLUMBERGER TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Andrew E. Pomerantz, Zied Ben Hamad, Albert Ballard Andrews, Youxiang Zuo, Oliver Clinton Mullins
  • Patent number: 9117556
    Abstract: A method for waste burial includes preparing metallic containers (11) for waste storage each being configured to contain drum cans (12) in each of which waste is contained, and being sealed; drilling a vertical hole (26) to bury a plurality of the containers (11) for waste storage in a ground (20), thereafter disposing a steel pipe (27) in the vertical hole (26); providing a concrete base (30) on a lower portion of the steel pipe (27), thereafter disposing the container (11) for waste storage on the concrete base (30), and thereon stacking a plurality of the containers (11) for waste storage; and sealing an upper portion of the uppermost container (11) for waste storage with a concrete (34), after stacking the containers (11) for waste storage from the ground (20) to a predetermined depth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2015
    Assignee: YAMAMOTO FOUNDATION WORKS CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Takekazu Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 8933289
    Abstract: A method of disposing nuclear waste in underground rock formations is presented. The method includes the steps of selecting a land area having a rock formation positioned there-below of a depth able to prevent radioactive material placed therein from reaching the surface and drilling a vertical wellbore from the surface, to a depth ranging between 5,000 feet and 25,000 feet, into the underground rock formation or repository. A plurality of horizontal laterals or horizontal wellbores, ranging in length from 500 feet to 40,000 feet, are drilled from the vertical wellbore into the underground rock formation or repository. Nuclear waste to be stored within these laterals is encapsulated in a special waste canister and these nuclear waste canisters are positioned within the horizontal laterals wherein they are sealed to prevent loss and leakage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2015
    Inventor: Henry Crichlow
  • Publication number: 20140309472
    Abstract: A method for waste burial includes preparing metallic containers (11) for waste storage each being configured to contain drum cans (12) in each of which waste is contained, and being sealed; drilling a vertical hole (26) to bury a plurality of the containers (11) for waste storage in a ground (20), thereafter disposing a steel pipe (27) in the vertical hole (26); providing a concrete base (30) on a lower portion of the steel pipe (27), thereafter disposing the container (11) for waste storage on the concrete base (30), and thereon stacking a plurality of the containers (11) for waste storage; and sealing an upper portion of the uppermost container (11) for waste storage with a concrete (34), after stacking the containers (11) for waste storage from the ground (20) to a predetermined depth.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 19, 2013
    Publication date: October 16, 2014
    Inventor: Takekazu Yamamoto
  • Publication number: 20140221722
    Abstract: A system and method of disposing nuclear waste and other hazardous waste includes means for, and the steps of, blending a waste stream, which includes either a radioactive waste or a hazardous waste (or both), with a liquid and, optionally, a solid material to produce a dense fluid and pumping the dense fluid into a tubing string of an injection boring. The dense fluid then exits a perforation in a casing of the injection boring and enters a fracture in a rock strata, where it continues to propagate downward until it reaches an immobilization point. The dense fluid may be a slurry formed by a metal and a cross-linked polymer gel or hydrated clay slurry. The metal can be one that has a melting temperature less than the temperature at the bottom of the injection boring. The solid material could also be other nuclear waste or a radionuclide.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 29, 2012
    Publication date: August 7, 2014
    Inventors: Leonid Germanovich, Lawrence C. Murdoch, Marvin Robinowitz
  • Publication number: 20120310029
    Abstract: System and Method is described that slows the release of contaminated water by rapidly freezing the ground water, including salt water, which permeates the area underneath the a contamination source such as a melted reactor, so that the resulting ice lens mitigates the extent to which radioactive water is released into the environment. The method here described may be used for this purpose through the accomplishment of two goals; first, a resulting reduction in the quantum of radioactive water released, per se, and secondly, a reduction in the level of particulate radiation reaching the environment due to slowed water flow velocities. Cooling channels in thermal contact with the water and soil evaporate a low boiling point liquid in order to cool the proximate water and soil. The low boiling point liquid is supplied by an insulated supply channel. The channels are bored into the earth using known boring/tunneling techniques.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 5, 2012
    Publication date: December 6, 2012
    Inventor: Harry V. Lehmann
  • Publication number: 20120083644
    Abstract: Systems and methods for storing radioactive materials that afford adequate ventilation of the cavity in which the radioactive materials are stored. In one aspect, the invention is a method of storing radioactive materials comprising: a) positioning a system comprising a shell forming a cavity and at least one inlet ventilation duct extending from an inlet to an outlet at a bottom portion of the cavity in a below grade hole so that the inlet of the inlet ventilation duct is above grade and the outlet of the inlet ventilation duct into the cavity is below grade; b) introducing engineered till into the hole to circumferentially surround the shell; c) lowering a canister containing radioactive materials into the cavity; and d) subsequent to the canister being lowered into the cavity, placing a lid on the shell.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 12, 2011
    Publication date: April 5, 2012
    Inventor: Krishna P. Singh
  • Publication number: 20110054234
    Abstract: Storage containers (12) holding hazardous material are stacked in a drilled shaft (11) of a diameter slightly larger than the transverse dimension of the storage containers. Initially, a base plug (13) is lowered to the bottom of the shaft (11) and anchored there by means of a setting grouting compound introduced into a clearance space around the base plug. One end of a plurality of cables (15) long enough to extend from the bottom of the shaft to the upper end of the shaft are attached at anchoring points distributed around the periphery of the base plug (13). The storage containers are then successively lowered into the shaft within the space encircled by the cables (15) and stacked in the shaft. The stacking is discontinued well below the upper end of the shaft (11) to provide space for a backfill sealing the shaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 17, 2009
    Publication date: March 3, 2011
    Inventor: Hans GEORGII
  • Publication number: 20100234663
    Abstract: A method of disposing nuclear waste in underground rock formations is presented. The method includes the steps of selecting a land area having a rock formation positioned there-below of a depth able to prevent radioactive material placed therein from reaching the surface and drilling a vertical wellbore from the surface into the underground rock formation or repository. A plurality of horizontal laterals or horizontal wellbores is drilled from the vertical wellbore into the underground rock formation or repository. Nuclear waste to be stored within these laterals is encapsulated in a special waste canister and these nuclear waste canisters are positioned within the horizontal laterals wherein they are sealed to prevent loss and leakage. Means are also provided by which these canisters are adapted to allow retrievability of the canisters from the wellbore at a later date and to return the waste to the surface for use after retrieval.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 25, 2010
    Publication date: September 16, 2010
    Inventor: Henry Crichlow
  • Patent number: 7360967
    Abstract: A process to transform solid, low-level, radioactive waste produced from oil and gas production into a form that may be safely disposed of, such as by re-injection into geologic formations in the Earth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: University of Mississippi
    Inventor: John Charles Matthews
  • Patent number: 6846967
    Abstract: A system for disposing of nuclear waste which essentially includes filling containers with nuclear waste and then dropping the containers into the sea in the path of an undersea volcano which is pouring lava onto the sea bed is disclosed. The containers are driven into the sea bed and will be covered by the lava.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2005
    Inventor: Larry A. Altersitz
  • Patent number: 6458271
    Abstract: A groundwater decontamination system includes a decontamination unit adapted to be lowered down through a non-pumping well into an aquifer containing contaminated water. The unit can also be raised up and out of the non-pumping well for cleaning, servicing or replacement. The decontamination unit includes a porous outer tube with a plurality of holes through which contaminated water flows, and a porous inner tube with a plurality of holes through which flows in-flowing contaminated water flowing through outer tube. A contaminant removing reactive barrier material is disposed within the inner tube for removing on contact contaminants from the in flowing water. A flow directing arrangement, preferably in the form of flow directing fins, directs in-flowing water from the holes in the outer tube to the holes in the inner tube (i.e., provider of the channeling of the ground water into the reactive barrier material). The system can monitor the contaminant removal, as well as other conditions of the groundwater.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2002
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Interior
    Inventors: David L. Naftz, James A. Davis
  • Patent number: 6428695
    Abstract: A permeable barrier for decontaminating groundwater having two distinct components for increasing contaminant removal. Preferably, the barrier material is a mixture or distinct layers of bone-char phosphate material and iron oxide pellets. The barrier material can be incorporated as part of a shallow trenching decontamination system, or incorporated in a non-pumping well, or array of non-pumping wells, as part of a deep underground decontamination system. The system can be used for removing, among other things, a radionuclide, such as uranium, from water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Interior
    Inventors: David L. Naftz, James A. Davis
  • Publication number: 20020022757
    Abstract: An advanced containment system for containing buried waste and associated leachate. A trench is dug on either side of the zone of interest containing the buried waste so as to accommodate a micro tunnel boring machine. A series of small diameter tunnels are serially excavated underneath the buried waste. The tunnels are excavated by the micro tunnel boring machine at a consistent depth and are substantially parallel to each other. As tunneling progresses, steel casing sections are connected end to end in the excavated portion of the tunnel so that a steel tube is formed. Each casing section has complementary interlocking structure running its length that interlocks with complementary interlocking structure on the adjacent casing section. Thus, once the first tube is emplaced, placement of subsequent tubes is facilitated by the complementary interlocking structure on the adjacent, previously placed, casing sections.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2001
    Publication date: February 21, 2002
    Applicant: Bechtel BWTX Idaho, LLC
    Inventors: Kevin M. Kostelnik, Hideki Kawamura, John G. Richardson, Masaru Noda
  • Patent number: 6322693
    Abstract: A waste processing system comprising a mixing tank system with an agitation system; a separation system, and a slurry tank system having a shearing system. The present invention also relates to a method of processing waste which includes the steps of: (a) mixing waste with a carrier liquid, b) separating the mixture into at least two portions, the first portion being solid debris and the second portion being processable waste c) shearing and slurrifying the processable waste, and injecting the processed mixture into a wellbore.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: Sun Drilling Products Corporation
    Inventor: Ricky Southall
  • Publication number: 20010044566
    Abstract: A method for the disposal of biosolids, such as municipal sewage waste, comprising injecting the biosolids into a subsurface injection formation. The method can include recovering methane generated from the degradation of the biosolids.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 27, 2001
    Publication date: November 22, 2001
    Inventors: Michael S. Bruno, Maurice B. Dusseault, Roman Bilak
  • Patent number: 6238138
    Abstract: A method of disposing nuclear waste in underground rock formations (18). The method includes the steps of selecting an land area having a rock formation (18) positioned therebelow of a depth able to prevent radioactive material placed therein from reaching the surface and must be at least a predetermined distance from active water sources and drilling a vertical wellbore (14) from the surface into the underground rock formation (18). A primary horizontal lateral (20) is drilled from the vertical wellbore (14) with the surface of the primary horizontal lateral (20) defined by the underground rock formation (18). A layer of cement (30) is placed within the primary horizontal lateral (20) and a layer of steel (32) is secured within the layer of cement (30). Nuclear waste to be stored within the lateral is placed in a canister (38) and the encapsulated nuclear waste is positioned within the primary horizontal lateral (20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2001
    Inventor: Henry Crichlow
  • Patent number: 6204429
    Abstract: Chemically contaminated soil samples are subjected to a shock wave sufficient in amplitude and duration to induce polymerization and/or decomposition of the contaminant chemicals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2001
    Assignee: Washington State University Research Foundation
    Inventors: Yogendra M. Gupta, Ramamurthi Mahalingham
  • Patent number: 6132561
    Abstract: A process of extracting halogenated organic compounds, and particularly PCBs, from soil, sediment, slurry, sludge and dehalogenating the compounds contacting a contaminated soil sample with an extraction medium of a mixture of an alkane and a water miscible alcohol. The organic compounds dissolve in the extraction medium which is separated from the soil by passing water upwardly through the soil. The extraction medium floats to the surface of the water and is separated. Thereafter, the extraction medium containing the halogenated organic contaminants is subjected to ionizing radiation to radiolytically dehalogenate the compounds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Inventors: Bruce J. Mincher, Randy Dale Curry, Thomas E. Clevenger, Jeffry Golden
  • Patent number: 6002063
    Abstract: Injection of slurried wastes is carried out within deeply buried strata. Appropriate target strata are identified in terms of sufficient porosity and permeability, and overburden that includes permeable and impermeable strata. Slurry is injected at sufficient pressure to establish fracturing within the target strata. The injection pressures and the resulting waste pod are monitored by a suite of monitoring procedures, including bottomhole pressure and surface uplift. The injection is carried out in a series of injection episodes separated by interinjection episodes. Apparatus for preparing and injection the slurry include a mixing chamber, a partly encased well and a bottomhole pressure gauge. Process monitoring apparatus controls the operation of the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Assignees: Terralog Technologies Inc., Terralog Technologies U.S.A., Inc.
    Inventors: Roman Anthony Bilak, Leo Rothenburg, Maurice Dusseault
  • Patent number: 5863283
    Abstract: A system for disposing of hazardous waste, such as nuclear waste, underground which provides the drilling of a wellbore down into a level of a underground bed of salt, for example, and forming a horizontal borehole through the salt bed next, drilling a plurality of radial wells off of the horizontal well to a predetermined length of each radial well extending outward from the horizontal wellbore; lowering a quantity of nuclear wastes contained within a specially designed pre-packed liner at the end of a drill string, into each of the radial wells drilled off of the horizontal wellbore; providing a packer at the entrance to each of the radial wells for packing off the borehole of each of the radial wells to completely isolate the nuclear wastes within the radial wellbore; retrieving the drillstring from the horizontal wellbore; cementing the entire length of the horizontal wellbore so as to further isolate each of the radial wells containing the spent nuclear waste; and capping off the vertical wellbore on the
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 26, 1999
    Inventor: Robert Gardes
  • Patent number: 5850614
    Abstract: A method of disposing nuclear waste in underground rock formations (18). The method includes the steps of selecting an area of land having a rock formation (18) positioned therebelow, the rock formation (18) must be of a depth able to prevent radioactive material placed therein from reaching the surface and must be at least a predetermined distance from active water sources and drilling a vertical wellbore (14) from the surface which extends into the underground rock formation (18). A primary horizontal lateral (20) is drilled from the vertical wellbore (14) whereby the surface of the primary horizontal lateral (20) is defined by the underground rock formation (18). A first layer of cement (30) is placed within the primary horizontal lateral (20) and a second layer of steel (32) is secured within the first layer of cement (30). Nuclear waste to be stored within the lateral is placed in a canister (38) and the encapsulated nuclear waste is positioned within the primary horizontal lateral (20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 15, 1998
    Inventor: Henry B. Crichlow
  • Patent number: 5833395
    Abstract: A method for reducing the concentration of radioactive material in a contaminated area by removing contaminated soil from the contaminated area; determining a field survey specific activity concentration representative of the remaining soil in the contaminated area; comparing the field survey specific activity concentration with a field validation data set to determine the total concentration of contaminating radioactive material in the contaminated area and removing additional quantities of contaminated soil from the contaminated area as required. The soil area may alternatively be blended with clean soil to reduce the concentration of radioactive material in the soil or a combination of blending and removal may be used. A method for estimating the total concentration of radioactive material in a soil sample is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: Atlantic Richfield Company
    Inventors: Paul A. Fletcher, Brian E. Shannon
  • Patent number: 5832392
    Abstract: A method for packaging spent nuclear fuel for long-term disposal in a geological repository. At least one spent nuclear fuel assembly is first placed in an unsealed waste package and a depleted uranium fill material is added to the waste package. The depleted uranium fill material comprises flowable particles having a size sufficient to substantially fill any voids in and around the assembly and contains isotopically-depleted uranium in the +4 valence state in an amount sufficient to inhibit dissolution of the spent nuclear fuel from the assembly into a surrounding medium and to lessen the potential for nuclear criticality inside the repository in the event of failure of the waste package. Last, the waste package is sealed, thereby substantially reducing the release of radionuclides into the surrounding medium, while simultaneously providing radiation shielding and increased structural integrity of the waste package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1998
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: Charles W. Forsberg
  • Patent number: 5763735
    Abstract: A method of removing radioactivity from the interior of a building by transporting radioactive material within a slurry comprising water and metal salt hydrate, precipitating out or otherwise filtering out the then contaminated material outside the building, thus removing it in a continuous fluid recirculation system, and storing the precipitated out material while providing shielding of radiation, thereby to provide radiation protection without requiring conventional large mass to block the radioactivity. A toxic waste storage facility includes a building having a portion located below ground level, walls for bounding an interior space in the building, and recirculating fluid for removing thermal energy from the building and for providing radioactive shielding and absorption at least at part of the roof of the building.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 9, 1998
    Assignee: Plutonium Storage, Inc.
    Inventor: Joel S. Stahl
  • Patent number: 5762675
    Abstract: A method of producing amorphous sample bodies that can be used for optical spectral analysis and X-ray spectral analysis, by batch-wise smelting in a crucible a mixture of analysis sample and a flux. The method is characterized by allowing a controlled flow of molten material to run out of the crucible and successively down onto a horizontal receiving surface and there form the sample bodies. The mixture is smelted suitably at a temperature of between 800.degree. and 1300.degree. C., preferably at about 1000.degree. C., and is carried out in a crucible having a hole in the bottom thereof. A apparatus for producing such amorphous sample bodies is also disclosed. The apparatus includes a smelt crucible provided with an opening in its lower part and which is designed to be downwardly tapered at least inside in order to prevent the mixture from coming out, but to facilitate running of molten material through the opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 9, 1998
    Assignee: Boliden Minerals AB
    Inventors: Johan Malmqvist, Ann-Christine Jacobsson, Rasema Kovacevic, Per-Erik Lindstrom
  • Patent number: 5740546
    Abstract: A method of forming a repository for radioactive waste comprises locating the waste in a subterranean vault and backfilling the vault with a filling material which is water permeable and provides a substantial reservoir of available alkalinity such that any ground water permeating through the filling material to the waste has a pH of at least 10.5.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 14, 1998
    Assignee: United Kingdom Nirex Limited
    Inventor: Alan James Hooper
  • Patent number: 5678235
    Abstract: A safely encapsulated hazardous waste product free of unwanted leaching of contaminated metal constitutents and process therefor wherein a quantity of hazardous waste and a quantity of shale material characterized by having an aluminosilicate content containing at least 9.35% by weight of Fe.sub.2 O.sub.3, wherein the shale is reduced to a fine mesh before mixing, and defines a brick-like form as fired at about 1,150.degree. C. for a period of time to change the shale material into a semi-molten state and thereafter cooled to safely encapsulate the waste within the shale as a unit-handled product. The product of the invention satisfies and exceeds RCRA and LDR (EPA) requirements as shown by Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) results.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 14, 1997
    Inventor: General D. Crowe
  • Patent number: 5613242
    Abstract: This invention discloses a system and method for the disposal of solid waste that contains radioactive material. Radioactive solid wastes generated as scales during oil and gas production operations are collected and placed in a central processing chamber. High-temperature and high-pressure water containing large amounts of dissolve salts is produced from a geothermal subterranean formation and introduced into the solid processing chamber to dissolve the radioactive solid waste. The solid radioactive waste is subjected to a grinding process to microemulsion particle size and treated in an acid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 18, 1997
    Inventor: John E. Oddo
  • Patent number: 5489735
    Abstract: A decontamination composition comprises 40 to 60 percent of a compound selected from the group consisting of oxalic acid, alkali metal and ammonium salts of oxalic acid and mixtures thereof; 5 to 20 percent of a compound selected from the group consisting of citric acid, alkali metal and ammonium salts of citric acid and mixtures thereof; 20 to 40 percent of a compound selected from the group consisting of polyaminocarboxylic acid, alkali metal and ammonium salts of polyaminocarboxylic acid and the combination of a polyaminocarboxylic acid and a neutralizing compound, and mixtures thereof; 0 to 2 percent of a nonionic surfactant; about 0 to 2 percent of a dispersant; and about 0 to 2 percent of a corrosion inhibitor. The present invention also relates to a method of decontaminating a surface whereby contaminants in the form of NORMs are removed therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 6, 1996
    Inventors: Thomas F. D'Muhala, William H. Wadlin
  • Patent number: 5464473
    Abstract: A backfill for an engineered barrier used to contain radioactive waste has a predetermined amount of clayic material and a predetermined amount of a reinforcement material with hydrophobic surface characteristics. The reinforcement material may include hydrophobic compounds selected from group consisting of organic polymers or inorganic materials on which a layer of hydrophobic compounds is formed. The hydrophobic reinforcement material results in the backfill maintaining a very low water permeability while providing high mechanical strength and other properties suitable for use in a repository of radioactive waste.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 7, 1995
    Assignee: Chao Ming Tsai
    Inventor: Shin J. Shiao
  • Patent number: 5413718
    Abstract: Geothermal brines are extracted from the earth, flashed and the remaining liquids are injected back into the earth. Although it would be advantageous for resource maintenance to inject the same amount of liquid as extracted, addition of liquid causes massive system upsets that prevent such addition. River or other similar surface waters can now be added to the brine stream created when extracting power from a geothermal source, after adding a crystal structure modifier to the brine stream. In operations where the brine stream is returned to the earth, the weight rate of the brine injected into the earth is brought to at least 90% what it was when extracted from the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 9, 1995
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventors: Darrell L. Gallup, John L. Featherstone
  • Patent number: 5409614
    Abstract: NORMs are inhibited or prevented from precipitating with scale produced by a hot aqueous solution by adding multiple portions of a crystal structure modifier to the aqueous solution as it cools before and during removal of silicon containing components by precipitation. Preferred crystal structure modifiers include polyacrylate crystal structure modifiers and phosphonomethylated amines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 25, 1995
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventors: Darrell L. Gallup, John L. Featherstone
  • Patent number: 5338493
    Abstract: In a method for the safe disposal of radioactive waste, a drilling rig is used to drill a hole or holes near the scource of the radioactive waste. This hole(s) then becomes the deposit chamber(s) for the radioactive waste. After the hole is dug a well casing is cemented in as is done for oil wells. The radioactive waste is put into stainless steel cylinders with a diameter less than that of the well casing, and with a central axial bore hole. These cylinders have screw threads on the top and bottom which allow them to be attached to each other similar to the way pipe sections are attached to one another in oil well drilling. After the cylinders are filled with radioactive waste, they are lowered into the hole using technology common to the oil industry. The cylinders are treated, in effect, as sections of drill pipe. The top of the last cylinder must be a safe distance below the bottom on any existing water table.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 16, 1994
    Inventor: Joe K. Welch
  • Patent number: 5332532
    Abstract: A method for disposing of animal tissue containing radioactive materials by producing a solution containing a substantially de minimis concentration of radioactive materials through alkaline hydrolysis and dilution of the animal tissue containing the radioactive materials followed by disposing of the de minimis solution in a sewage system or septic system. Additionally, an apparatus for practicing the above method which comprises a tank capable of forming a closed reaction vessel with a highly basic solvent therein. The apparatus further comprises a means for heating the highly basic solvent and means for filtering and removing the solution of de minimis radioactivity formed within the tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 26, 1994
    Assignee: Waste Reduction by Waste Reduction, Inc.
    Inventors: Gordon I. Kaye, Peter B. Weber