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Nuclear reactor vessel fuel thermal insulating barrier

United States Patent

March 19, 2013
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
The reactor vessel of a nuclear reactor installation which is suspended from the cold leg nozzles in a reactor cavity is provided with a lower thermal insulating barrier spaced from the reactor vessel that has a hemispherical lower section that increases in volume from the center line of the reactor to the outer extent of the diameter of the thermal insulating barrier and smoothly transitions up the side walls of the vessel. The space between the thermal insulating harrier and the reactor vessel forms a chamber which can be flooded with cooling water through passive valving to directly cool the reactor vessel in the event of a severe accident. The passive inlet valve for the cooling water includes a buoyant door that is normally maintained sealed under its own weight and floats open when the cavity is Hooded. Passively opening steam vents are also provided.
Keegan; C. Patrick (Latrobe, PA), Scobel; James H. (Irwin, PA), Wright; Richard F. (Greenock, PA)
Westinghouse Electric Company LLC (Cranberry Township, PA)
11/ 743,844
May 3, 2007
GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-FC 07-05ID14636, awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in this invention.