Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2766590 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2766590
(54) English Title: NUCLEAR REACTOR BELLOWS REPLACEMENT SYSTEM AND METHOD
(54) French Title: METHODE ET SYSTEME DE REMPLACEMENT DES SOUFFLETS D'UN REACTEUR NUCLEAIRE
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • G21C 13/04 (2006.01)
  • G21C 13/06 (2006.01)
  • G21C 21/00 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors (Country):
  • 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: 2017-12-05
(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
61/433,377 United States of America 2011-01-17

English Abstract


A system and method of removing and replacing bellows on a nuclear reactor
having a
calandria and a fuel channel assembly includes severing the bellows of the
fuel channel assembly
at a ferrule adjacent a tube sheet of the reactor, removing the severed
bellows, installing a
replacement bellows at the remaining ferrule stub at or adjacent the tube
sheet, and welding the
replacement bellows to the ferrule stub at or adjacent the tube sheet.


French Abstract

Un système et une méthode de retrait et de remplacement des soufflets dun réacteur nucléaire ayant une calandre et un ensemble de canaux de combustible comprennent la coupe des soufflets de lensemble de canaux de combustible à une férule adjacente à une plaque tubulaire du réacteur, le retrait des soufflets coupés, linstallation dun soufflet de remplacement à lembase de férule restante à ou adjacente à la plaque tubulaire, et le soudage du soufflet de remplacement à lembase de férule à ou adjacente à la plaque tubulaire.


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

CLAIMS
What is claimed is:
1. A method of removing and replacing bellows on a nuclear reactor having a
fuel channel
assembly coupled to and extending through an aperture in a tube sheet, the
method comprising:
severing the bellows from a tube of the fuel channel assembly at a ferrule
adjacent the
tube sheet;
removing the severed bellows from the tube; and
installing a replacement bellows by coupling the replacement bellows to the
tube adjacent
the tube sheet.
2. The method of claim 1, further comprising installing a bellows
replacement shield plug
through the aperture in the tube sheet to shield radiation emitting from the
calandria.
3. The method of claim 1, further comprising
removing an end fitting from the fuel channel assembly;
removing a calandria tube of the reactor through the aperture in the tube
sheet; and
removing a pressure tube of the reactor through the aperture in the tube
sheet.
4. The method of claim 3, wherein severing the bellows occurs after
removing the end
fitting, after removing the calandria tube and after removing the pressure
tube.
5. The method of claim 1, further comprising removing a positioning
hardware assembly
limiting axial movement of an end fitting of the fuel channel assembly prior
to severing the
bellows.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein severing the bellows includes severing
the bellows and
the ferrule adjacent the tube sheet.
16

7. The method of claim 6, wherein:
severing the bellows and the ferrule occurs at a circumferential groove of the
ferrule; and
the circumferential groove has a smaller thickness than a remainder of the
ferrule.
8. The method of claim 1, further comprising machining a remaining portion
of the ferrule
left after severing the bellows and prior to installing the replacement
bellows.
9. The method of claim 1, further comprising measuring a remaining portion
of the ferrule
left after severing the bellows and prior to installing the replacement
bellows.
17

10. A method of removing and replacing bellows in a nuclear reactor having
a plurality of
lattice tubes, the method comprising:
installing a bellows replacement cutting tool on a mobile table;
cutting the bellows off with a cutting tool;
removing that portion of the bellows cut off with the cutting tool;
measuring a remaining bellows stub left after removing that portion of the
bellows cut off
with the cutting tool;
positioning a replacement bellows for installation; and
affixing the replacement bellows onto the remaining bellows stub.
11. The method of claim 10, further comprising performing the following
steps prior to
installing the bellows replacement tool on the mobile table:
aligning a shield plug installation tool with one of the plurality of lattice
tubes; and
installing a bellows replacement shield plug in the one of the plurality of
lattice tubes.
12. The method of claim 11, further comprising performing the following
steps after
measuring the remaining bellows stub:
installing welding equipment on the bellows replacement shield plug;
welding the replacement bellows to the remaining bellows stub; and
inspecting the weld.
13. The method of claim 10, further comprising securing the replacement
bellows to the
remaining bellows stub prior to affixing the replacement bellows onto the
remaining bellows
stub.
18

14. A method of removing bellows from a nuclear reactor having a fuel
channel assembly,
the bellows including a first flange at a first end, a second flange at a
second end and a plurality
of convolutions between the first flange and the second flange, the method
comprising:
removing a closure plug from an end of the fuel channel assembly;
disconnecting a feeder assembly from the fuel channel assembly;
removing an end fitting from the rest of the fuel channel assembly;
severing the first flange of the bellows;
severing a calandria tube;
severing a pressure tube;
removing the calandria tube through the bellows;
removing the pressure tube through the bellows;
after removing the calandria tube and the pressure tube, severing the second
flange of the
bellows; and
after severing the second flange of the bellows, removing the bellows.
15. The method of claim 14, wherein severing the first flange of the
bellows occurs prior to
removing the calandria tube and the pressure tube.
16. The method of claim 14, wherein severing the second flange of the
bellows includes
severing a circumferential groove of the second flange of the bellows, and
wherein the
circumferential groove of the second flange is thinner than a remainder of the
second flange.
17. The method of claim 14, further comprising aligning a bellows cutting
tool prior to
severing the second flange of the bellows.
19

18. A method of replacing bellows in a nuclear reactor having a plurality
of lattice tubes, the
method comprising:
inserting a cutting tool into one of the lattice tubes;
cutting through the bellows with the cutting tool;
removing the bellows with a first ferrule and a portion of a second ferrule
severed by the
cutting tool;
inserting a welding tool into that portion of the second ferrule remaining
after the
removing step; and
welding replacement bellows to that portion of the second ferrule remaining
after the
removing step.
19. The method of claim 18, further comprising inserting a bellows shield
plug into the one
of the lattice tubes and shielding radiation with the bellows shield plug.
20. The method of claim 18, further comprising measuring that portion of
the second ferrule
remaining after the removing step prior to welding replacement bellows.
21. The method of claim 18, further comprising machining that portion of
the second ferrule
remaining after the removing step prior to welding replacement bellows.
22. The method of claim 18, further comprising removing the welding tool
from the one of
the lattice tubes, and testing the weld between the replacement bellows and
that portion of the
second ferrule remaining after the removing step for leaks.

23. A
method of removing and replacing bellows in a nuclear reactor having a
plurality of
lattice tubes, the method comprising:
installing a shield plug installation tool on a mobile table;
aligning the shield plug installation tool to one of the plurality of lattice
tubes;
installing a bellows replacement shield plug in the one of the plurality of
lattice tubes
with the shield plug installation tool;
installing a bellows replacement cutting tool on the mobile table;
cutting the bellows with the bellows replacement cutting tool, thereby leaving
a bellows
stub coupled to the one of the plurality of lattice tubes;
measuring the bellows stub;
positioning a replacement bellows for installation;
installing welding equipment on the bellows replacement shield plug;
securing the replacement bellows to the bellows stub;
welding the replacement bellows to the bellows stub; and
inspecting the weld.
21

24. An apparatus for removing bellows from a nuclear reactor including a
plurality of lattice
tubes, each of the plurality of lattice tubes being coupled to a respective
bellows, the apparatus
comprising:
a shaft having a longitudinal axis, the shaft insertable into any of the
plurality of lattice
tubes, and the shaft being rotatable about the longitudinal axis;
a blade moveable between a stowed position and a deployed position to
selectively
engage and cut the bellows;
a protrusion engageable with a bellows replacement shield plug, the apparatus
operable to
insert and remove the bellows replacement shield plug into any of the
plurality of lattice tubes;
and
a bellows engagement mechanism operable to engage and remove the severed
bellows
from the respective one of the lattice tubes,
wherein when the blade is in the deployed position and the shaft is inserted
into the
respective one of the plurality of lattice tubes, the deployed blade engages
the bellows, and
wherein upon rotation of the shaft about the longitudinal axis when the blade
is in the
deployed position and when the shaft is inserted into one of the plurality of
lattice tubes, the
blade severs the bellows at the ferrule of the bellows closest to the bellows
replacement shield
plug from the one of the plurality of lattice tubes.
25. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the bellows engagement mechanism is
a clamp.
26. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the apparatus is mountable to a
mobile table.
27. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the apparatus is controlled by an
operator at a
location remote from the plurality of lattice tubes.
22

28. An apparatus for replacing bellows in a nuclear reactor having a
plurality of lattice tubes
each received within a respective aperture in a tube sheet, the apparatus
comprising:
a first elongate member extending along a first axis;
a weld head supported on the first elongate member;
a second elongate member insertable into an aperture in the tube sheet to
retain a position
of the weld head with respect to the tube sheet; and
a bellows supported on the first elongate member adjacent the weld head,
wherein the
weld head is operable to weld the bellows to a ferrule secured to the tube
sheet.
29. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the apparatus is mountable to a
mobile work table
adjustable in position with respect to the ferrule.
23


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 2017-12-05

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 2017-10-13
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 6 2018-01-16 $200.00 2017-12-15

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Abstract 2012-01-16 1 12
Description 2012-01-16 15 844
Claims 2012-01-16 8 223
Drawings 2012-01-16 13 355
Cover Page 2012-07-10 1 28
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-11-30 5 287
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-10-20 1 51
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-11-16 1 27
Prosecution-Amendment 2017-02-27 26 1,148
Description 2017-02-27 15 856
Claims 2017-02-27 8 225
Drawings 2017-02-27 13 346
Representative Drawing 2017-04-10 1 11
Correspondence 2017-10-13 6 374
Abstract 2017-10-26 1 12
Representative Drawing 2017-11-15 1 12
Cover Page 2017-11-15 1 40