Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2766586 Summary

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(12) Patent Application: (11) CA 2766586
(54) English Title: NUCLEAR REACTOR LATTICE TUBE PLUG INSERT AND METHOD
(54) French Title: OBTURATEUR INSERE POUR TUBE A TREILLIS DE REACTEUR NUCLEAIRE ET METHODE CONNEXE
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • G21C 13/06 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors (Country):
  • SCOTT, DAVID (Canada)
  • SOLTI, GEORGE (Canada)
  • NOSELLA, LAWRENCE PAUL (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:
(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
61/433,325 United States of America 2011-01-17

English Abstract





An apparatus and method of shielding radiation from a nuclear reactor having
at least one
fuel channel tube includes inserting a plug into an end of the fuel channel
tube, providing a gas-tight
seal with the plug in the fuel channel tube, and installing a flange about the
plug and/or
about the end of a sleeve also inserted within the fuel channel tube. In some
embodiments, the
sleeve receives the plug, and can protect the fuel channel tube and a wall
aperture in which the
fuel channel plug is received against damage. Also in some embodiments,
radiation leakage can
be reduced or prevented by the plug, the flange, and/or by a sealing
arrangement between the
sleeve and the plug and/or between the sleeve and the fuel channel tube.


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




CLAIMS
What is claimed is:

1. A method of shielding radiation from a nuclear reactor having at least a
portion of an
open end of a tube of a fuel channel assembly, the method comprising:
inserting a plug into the open end of the tube;
sealing the plug within the tube against passage of gas along the tube and
past the plug;
and
installing a flange about at least one of the open end of the tube and the
plug, wherein the
flange substantially surrounds the at least one of the open end of the tube
and the plug.

2. The method of claim 1, further comprising installing a sleeve into the open
end of the
tube, wherein inserting the plug into the open end of the tube comprises
inserting the plug into
the sleeve.

3. The method of claim 2, further comprising fastening the flange to an end
shield with at
least one fastener.

4. The method of claim 2, wherein installing the flange comprises sliding the
flange on the
open end of the sleeve.

5. The method of claim 2, further comprising receiving the sleeve within a
portion of the
tube in axial alignment with an aperture in an end shield.

6. The method of claim 2, wherein sealing the plug comprises forming a seal
between the
plug and the sleeve.

7. The method of claim 2, further comprising forming a seal between the sleeve
and the tube
against passage of gas along the tube and past the sleeve.





8. The method of claim 1, further comprising removing the plug while keeping
the flange in
place after installing the flange.

9. The method of claim 1, further comprising removing the plug while keeping
the sleeve in
place after installing the flange.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein installing the flange comprises positioning
the flange to
cover and shield a portion of a face of the nuclear reactor.

11. The method of claim 10, further comprising repeating the inserting,
sealing, and
installing steps with multiple adjacent fuel channel assemblies, wherein
installing the flange in at
least some of the installing steps comprises orienting at least one side of
the flange with at least
one side of a flange corresponding to an adjacent fuel channel assembly.

12. The method of claim 1, further comprising maintaining a vacuum in the tube
with the
plug.

16




13. A method of installing a shield on a nuclear reactor having a plurality of
fuel channel
tubes, the method comprising:
inserting a first plug into an end of a first one of the fuel channel tubes;
coupling a first flange to the first one of the fuel channel tubes;
inserting a second plug into an end of a second one of the fuel channel tubes;

coupling a second flange to the end of the second one of the fuel channel
tubes;
positioning the first flange immediately adjacent the second flange; and
shielding radiation from the nuclear reactor with the first and second plugs
and with the
first and second flanges.

14. The method of claim 13, further comprising coupling the first flange to a
tube sheet with
a first fastener.

15. The method of claim 13, further comprising removing the first plug without
removal of
the first flange to permit access to an interior of the first fuel channel
tube.

16. The method of claim 13, further comprising removing the first flange
without removal of
the first plug to permit access to the tube sheet.

17. The method of claim 13, further comprising:
inserting a first sleeve into the first fuel channel tube; and
positioning the first sleeve between the first plug and the first fuel channel
tube.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein coupling the first flange to the first
fuel channel tube
comprises coupling the first flange to the first sleeve.

19. The method of claim 17, further comprising forming a seal between the
first sleeve and
the first fuel channel tube.

20. The method of claim 17, further comprising forming a seal between the
first sleeve and
the first plug.

17




21. The method of claim 13, further comprising:
releasably mating an end of the first plug with an end of an insertion tool;
and
inserting the first plug into the first tube with the insertion tool.

22. The method of claim 13, further comprising:
extending the first plug through an aperture in a tube sheet; and

positioning the first plug to be simultaneously within the aperture in the
tube sheet and
within the first sleeve.

23. The method of claim 13, further comprising removing one plate of the first
flange from at
least one other plate of the first flange.


18




24. A modular shield assembly for shielding radiation from a nuclear reactor
having a tube
sheet defining a plurality of apertures and a plurality of fuel channel tubes
each extending
through a respective one of the plurality of apertures in the tube sheet, the
assembly comprising:
a plurality of discrete shields, each shield including
a sleeve insertable into an end of one of the plurality of fuel channel tubes,
a plug insertable into the end of the one of the plurality of fuel channel
tubes, and
a flange couplable to the one of the plurality of fuel channel tubes;
wherein at least one of the plug and the flange is removable from the
corresponding fuel
channel tube without requiring removal of adjacent shields; and
wherein the shields collectively define a substantially continuous wall
covering at least a
portion of the tube sheet to shield radiation from the nuclear reactor.

25. The assembly of claim 24, wherein each of the plugs is separately
removable from the
respective one of the fuel channel tubes.

26. The assembly of claim 24, wherein each of the flanges is separately
removable from the
respective one of the fuel channel tubes.

27. The assembly of claim 24, further comprising a plurality of fasteners
extending through
respective apertures in the flanges and into respective holes in the tube
sheet.

28. The assembly of claim 24, wherein each of the flanges is substantially
square and
includes an aperture through which a respective one of the sleeves extends.

19




29. The assembly of claim 24, wherein:
the flanges collectively form a wall spaced from the tube sheet;
the wall defines apertures extending therethrough; and
the apertures in the wall are substantially aligned with the apertures in the
tube sheet.
30. The assembly of claim 24, wherein each plug extends into a respective
aperture in the
tube sheet and into a respective sleeve.

31. The assembly of claim 24, wherein each sleeve forms a gas-tight seal
within a respective
fuel channel tube in which the sleeve is received.

32. The assembly of claim 24, wherein each plug forms a gas-tight seal within
a respective
sleeve in which the plug is received.

33. The assembly of claim 24, wherein the plurality of discrete shields seal
the fuel channel
tubes to maintain a substantial vacuum inside the fuel channel tubes.

34. The assembly of claim 33, wherein the substantial vacuum inhibits escape
of radioactive
particles from the fuel channel tubes when the discrete shields are removed
from the fuel channel
tubes.





35. A modular shield assembly for shielding radiation from a nuclear reactor
having a tube
sheet defining a plurality of apertures and a plurality of fuel channel tubes
each extending
through a respective one of the plurality of apertures in the tube sheet, the
assembly comprising:
a sleeve insertable into an end of one of the plurality of fuel channel tubes,
the sleeve
extending through one of the apertures in the tube sheet;
a plug insertable into the end of the one of the plurality of fuel channel
tubes, the plug
extending through the one of the apertures in the tube sheet and located
within the sleeve,
wherein the plug forms a shield to block radiation within the one of the
plurality of fuel channel
tubes from escaping to atmosphere; and
a flange releasably couplable to the one of the plurality of fuel channel
tubes to
substantially surround at least one of the sleeve and the plug in a position
shielding radiation
from the nuclear reactor escaping to atmosphere.

36. The assembly of claim 35, wherein the sleeve and the plug are located
within the flange.
37. The assembly of claim 35, wherein the plug and flange are independently
removable
from the one of the plurality of fuel channel tubes.

38. The assembly of claim 37, wherein removal of the plug provides access into
the one of
the plurality of fuel channel tubes.

39. The assembly of claim 37, wherein removal of the flange provides access to
the tube
sheet.

40. The assembly of claim 35, further comprising a fastener adapted to extend
through an
aperture in the flange and into a hole in the tube sheet to couple the flange
to the tube sheet.

41. The assembly of claim 35, wherein the flange is substantially square and
defines a flange
aperture substantially the same size as the one of the plurality of apertures
in the tube sheet.

21




42. The assembly of claim 35, wherein in at least one position of the plug
within the sleeve,
the plug is provided with a gas-tight seal within the sleeve.


22


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

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
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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
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2018-01-16 $200.00 2017-12-15

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Abstract 2012-01-16 1 19
Description 2012-01-16 14 789
Claims 2012-01-16 8 212
Drawings 2012-01-16 10 451
Representative Drawing 2012-03-13 1 33
Cover Page 2012-07-10 1 64
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-10-20 1 52
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-11-16 1 27
Prosecution-Amendment 2017-03-16 23 1,137
Prosecution-Amendment 2017-03-27 4 252
Description 2017-03-16 15 782
Drawings 2017-03-16 10 457
Prosecution-Amendment 2017-05-04 3 161
Prosecution-Amendment 2017-07-06 2 45
Description 2017-07-06 14 728