Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2766459 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2766459
(54) English Title: CALANDRIA TUBE, PRESSURE TUBE, AND ANNULUS SPACERS REMOVAL APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR NUCLEAR REACTOR RETUBING
(54) French Title: APPAREIL D'ENLEVEMENT DES TUBES DE CALANDRE, DES TUBES DE FORCE ET DES BAGUES D'ESPACEMENT DE L'ESPACE ANNULAIRE POUR LE REMPLACEMENT DES TUBES D'UN REACTEUR NUCLEAIRE ET PROCEDE CONNEXE
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • G21C 17/017 (2006.01)
  • G21C 21/00 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors (Country):
  • MURDOCH, BRYAN JOHN (Canada)
  • SOLTI, GEORGE (Canada)
  • KAMLER, FRANK (Canada)
  • MONTRICHARD, MARCOS ARA (Canada)
(73) Owners (Country):
  • ATOMIC ENERGY OF CANADA LIMITED (Canada)
(71) Applicants (Country):
  • ATOMIC ENERGY OF CANADA LIMITED (Canada)
(74) Agent: NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT CANADA LLP/S.E.N.C.R.L., S.R.L.
(45) Issued: 2018-01-02
(22) Filed Date: 2012-01-16
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2012-07-17
Examination requested: 2016-10-20
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country Date
61/433,349 United States of America 2011-01-17
61/433,479 United States of America 2011-01-17

English Abstract

Methods, tools, and systems for removing a calandria tube and a pressure tube from a nuclear reactor. One method includes gripping at least a portion of a first diameter of a calandria tube contained at a lattice site with a guide tool, wherein the calandria tube includes a pressure tube rotated from an operational position to a removal position, and gripping at least a portion of a second diameter of the calandria tube with a retrieval tool. The method also includes pulling the calandria tube with the retrieval tool to remove the calandria tube from at least one tube sheet and advancing the calandria tube and the rotated pressure tube as a package with the retrieval tool and the guide tool across at least a portion of the calandria toward a receiving end of the reactor. The method further includes releasing the guide tool from the first diameter of the calandria tube, and retracting the guide tool from the lattice site at the pushing end of the reactor.


French Abstract

Des méthodes, des outils et des systèmes permettent lenlèvement de tubes de calandre et de tube de force dun réacteur nucléaire. Une méthode comprend la saisie dau moins une partie dun premier diamètre dun tube de calandre contenant un site en réseau au moyen dun outil guide, où le tube de calandre comprend un tube de force pivoté dune position fonctionnelle à une position denlèvement, et la saisie dau moins une partie dun deuxième diamètre du tube de calandre au moyen de loutil denlèvement. La méthode comprend également lenlèvement du tube de calandre au moyen de loutil denlèvement afin de retirer le tube de calandre dau moins une feuille de tube et lavancement du tube de calandre et du tube de force pivoté comme un ensemble au moyen de loutil denlèvement et de loutil guide sur au moins une partie de la calandre vers une extrémité de réception du réacteur. La méthode comprend également la libération de loutil guide du premier diamètre du tube de calandre et lenlèvement de loutil guide du site de réseau à lextrémité de poussée du réacteur.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

What is claimed is:
1. A method of removing a calandria tube and a pressure tube from a
calandria of a
nuclear reactor as a package during retubing of the reactor, the method
comprising:
gripping, with a guide tool advanced into a lattice site from a pushing end of
the
reactor, at least a portion of a first diameter of the calandria tube
contained in the lattice
site, the calandria tube including a pressure tube rotated from an operational
position to a
removal position;
gripping, with a retrieval tool advanced into the lattice site from a
receiving end
of the reactor, at least a portion of a second diameter of the calandria tube;
pulling, with the retrieval tool, the calandria tube to remove the calandria
tube
from at least one tube sheet;
advancing, with the retrieval tool and the guide tool, the calandria tube and
the
rotated pressure tube as a package across at least a portion of the calandria
toward the
receiving end of the reactor;
releasing the guide tool from the first diameter of the calandria tube; and
retracting the guide tool from the lattice site at the pushing end of the
reactor.
2. The method of Claim 1, further comprising rotating the pressure tube
from the
operational position to the removal position using at least one of the guide
tool and the
retrieval tool.
3. The method of Claim 1, further comprising pulling, with the retrieval
tool, the
calandria tube and the rotated pressure tube as a package into a flask
positioned at the
receiving end of the reactor.
4. The method of Claim 3, further comprising releasing the retrieval tool
from the
second diameter of the calandria tube and retracting the retrieval tool from
the flask to
deposit the calandria tube and the rotated pressure tube as a package into the
flask.

5. The method of Claim 4, and further comprising rotating the flask and
supplying
the calandria tube and the rotated pressure tube as a package to volume
reduction tooling.
6. The method of Claim 1, further comprising mounting the retrieval tool on
a pallet
removal system configured to advance and retract the retrieval tool into and
out of the
lattice site from the receiving end of the reactor.
7. The method of Claim 6, further comprising mounting a flask for receiving
the
calandria tube and the rotated pressure tube as a package on the pallet
removal system in
from the lattice site at the receiving end of the reactor, wherein the
retrieval tool is
advanced into the lattice site through the flask.
8. The method of Claim 1, further comprising mounting the guide tool on a
pallet
removal system configured to advance and retract the guide tool into and out
of the lattice
site from the pushing end of the reactor.
9. The method of Claim 1, further comprising installing a guide sleeve into
the
lattice site at the receiving end of the reactor.
10. The method of Claim 9, further comprising contracting a plurality of
rollers
positioned on the guide sleeve onto a minor diameter of the calandria tube as
the
calandria tube and the rotated pressure tube are moved as a package out of the
lattice site
at the receiving end of the reactor.
11. The method of Claim 10, further comprising expanding the plurality of
rollers to
accommodate a first bell and a second bell of the calandria tube as the
calandria tube and
the rotated pressure tube are moved as a package out of the lattice site at
the receiving
end of the reactor.
31

12. The method of Claim 1, further comprising installing a guide sleeve
into the
lattice site at the pushing end of the reactor, the guide sleeve including a
plurality of
rollers for supporting the guide tool as the guide tool is advanced into the
lattice site.
13. The method of Claim 1, further comprising pushing, with the guide tool,
the
calandria tube to remove the calandria tube from the at least one tube sheet.
14. The method of Claim 1, further comprising contracting a plurality of
rollers
positioned in a guide sleeve installed into the lattice site at the receiving
end of the
reactor to support a minor diameter of the calandria tube.
15. The method of Claim 14, further comprising expanding the plurality of
rollers to
clear a bell in the calandria tube.
32

16. A tool for removing a calandria tube and a pressure tube from a
calandria of a
nuclear reactor as a package during retubing of the reactor, the tool
comprising:
a retrieval tool configured to be positioned within a diameter of a calandria
tube
contained in a lattice site, the calandria tube including a pressure tube
rotated from an
operational position to a removal position;
at least one gripper positioned on the retrieval tool, the at least one
gripper
configured to grip at least a portion of the diameter of the calandria tube;
and
a puller positioned on the retrieval tool, the puller configured to pull the
calandria
tube free from at least one tube sheet,
the retrieval tool configured to move the calandria tube and the rotated
pressure
tube as a package across the calandria.
17. The tool of Claim 16, wherein the at least one gripper is further
configured to
release the diameter of the calandria tube after the calandria tube and the
rotated pressure
tube are removed from the lattice site as a package.
18. The tool of Claim 16, wherein the at least one gripper includes a
plurality of
grippers arranged in two rows.
19. The tool of Claim 16, further comprising a water-hydraulic system
configured to
actuate the at least one gripper and release the at least one grip.
20. The tool of Claim 19, wherein the water-hydraulic system is further
configured to
actuate the puller.
21. The tool of Claim 19, wherein the water-hydraulic system is further
configured to
actuate and release the at least one gripper independently of actuating the
puller.
33

22. A tool for removing a calandria tube and a pressure tube from a
calandria of a
nuclear reactor as a package during retubing of the reactor, the tool
comprising:
a guide tool configured to be positioned within a diameter of a calandria tube

contained in a lattice site, the calandria tube including a pressure tube
rotated from an
operational position to a removal position;
at least one gripper positioned on the guide tool, the at least one gripper
configured to grip at least a portion of the diameter of the calandria tube;
and
a pusher positioned on the guide tool configured to push the calandria tube
and
the rotated pressure tube as a package across at least a portion of the
calandria.
23. The tool of Claim 22, wherein the at least one gripper is further
configured to
release the diameter of the calandria tube after the calandria tube and the
rotated pressure
tube are removed from the lattice site as a package.
24. The tool of Claim 22, wherein the at least one gripper and the pusher
are actuated
by a water-hydraulic system.
25. The tool of Claim 22, further comprising a tubular body including the
at least one
gripper and the pusher.
26. The tool of Claim 25, further comprising a sleeve carriage for
advancing and
retracting the tubular body into and out of the lattice site at the pushing
end of the reactor.
27. The tool of Claim 25, further comprising linear bearings for guiding
the tubular
body into and out of the lattice site at the pushing end of the reactor.
34

28. A system for removing a calandria tube and a pressure tube from a
calandria of a
nuclear reactor as a package during retubing of the reactor, the system
comprising:
a retrieval tool configured to be advanced into a lattice site including the
calandria
tube and the pressure tube rotated from an operational position to a removal
position from
a receiving end of the reactor until the retrieval tool is positioned within a
first diameter
of the calandria tube, to grip at least a portion of the first diameter of the
calandria tube,
to pull the calandria tube to release the calandria tube from at least one
tube sheet, and to
move the calandria tube and the rotated pressure tube as a package across the
calandria
and out of the lattice site at the receiving end of the reactor; and
a guide tool configured to be advanced into the lattice site from a pushing
end of
the reactor until the guide tool is positioned within a second diameter of the
calandria
tube, to grip at least a portion of the second diameter of the calandria tube,
and to guide
the calandria tube and the rotated pressure tube as a package across at least
a portion of
the calandria toward the receiving end of the reactor.
29. The system of Claim 28, wherein the first diameter includes a minor
diameter of
the calandria tube located toward the receiving end of the reactor and the
second diameter
includes a minor diameter of the calandria tube located toward the pushing end
of the
reactor.
30. The system of Claim 28, further comprising:
a. a first pallet removal system positioned at the receiving end of the
reactor
and configured to advance the retrieval tool into the lattice site and retract

the removal tool from the lattice site, and
b. a second pallet removal system positioned on the pushing end of the
reactor and configured to advance the guide tool into the lattice site and
retract the guide tool from the lattice site.
31. The system of Claim 28, further comprising a flask configured to
receive the
calandria tube and the rotated pressure tube as a package at the receiving end
of the
reactor.

32. The system of Claim 28, further comprising a guide sleeve installed in
the lattice
site at the receiving end of the reactor, the guide sleeve including a
plurality of rollers
configured to onto a minor diameter of the calandria tube and configured to
expand for a
first bell and a second bell of the calandria tube as the calandria tube and
the rotated
pressure tube are moved as a package out of the lattice site at the receiving
end of the
reactor.
33. The system of Claim 28, further comprising a guide sleeve installed in
the lattice
site at the pushing end of the reactor, the guide sleeve including a plurality
of rollers
configured to support the guide tool as the guide tool is advanced into and
retracted from
the lattice site at the pushing end of the reactor.
36


34. A method of removing a calandria tube, a pressure tube, and a plurality
of annulus
spacers from a calandria of a nuclear reactor during retubing of the reactor,
the method
comprising:
gripping at least a portion of a first diameter of the pressure tube from a
pushing
end of the reactor;
advancing the pressure tube across the calandria to a receiving end of the
reactor
and into a flask;
sweeping the plurality of annulus spacers from within the calandria tube;
gripping at least a portion of a first diameter of the calandria tube from the

pushing end of the reactor;
gripping at least a portion of a second diameter of the calandria tube from
the
receiving end of the reactor; and
advancing the calandria tube across the calandria to the receiving end of the
reactor.
35. The method of Claim 34, further comprising depositing the calandria
tube into a
second flask at the receiving end of the reactor.
36. The method of Claim 34, wherein sweeping the plurality of annulus
spacers from
within the calandria tube includes sweeping the plurality of annulus spacers
toward the
pushing end of the reactor and into a second flask.
37. The method of Claim 34, further comprising gripping at least a portion
of a
second diameter of the pressure tube from the receiving end of the reactor.
38. The method of Claim 34, further comprising supplying at least one of
the pressure
tube and the calandria tube to a volume reduction system.

37


A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

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Admin Status

Title Date
(22) Filed 2012-01-16
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2012-07-17
Examination Requested 2016-10-20
(45) Issued 2018-01-02

Maintenance Fee

Description Date Amount
Last Payment 2017-12-15 $200.00
Next Payment if small entity fee 2019-01-16 $100.00
Next Payment if standard fee 2019-01-16 $200.00

Note : If the full payment has not been received on or before the date indicated, a further fee may be required which may be one of the following

  • the reinstatement fee set out in Item 7 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules;
  • the late payment fee set out in Item 22.1 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules; or
  • the additional fee for late payment set out in Items 31 and 32 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Filing $400.00 2012-01-16
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2014-01-16 $100.00 2014-01-03
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2015-01-16 $100.00 2015-01-13
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2016-01-18 $100.00 2016-01-04
Request for Examination $800.00 2016-10-20
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2017-01-16 $200.00 2017-01-04
Final $300.00 2017-11-09
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2018-01-16 $200.00 2017-12-15

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Abstract 2012-01-16 1 23
Description 2012-01-16 29 1,603
Claims 2012-01-16 8 262
Drawings 2012-01-16 25 980
Representative Drawing 2012-03-13 1 35
Cover Page 2012-07-10 2 78
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-10-20 1 53
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-10-28 1 29
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-12-12 4 261
Prosecution-Amendment 2017-03-06 21 971
Drawings 2017-03-06 25 984
Claims 2017-03-06 8 264
Description 2017-03-06 29 1,602
Correspondence 2017-11-09 2 72
Representative Drawing 2017-12-04 1 25
Cover Page 2017-12-04 1 62