Internal head vents are usable in nuclear reactors and include piping inside of the reactor pressure vessel with a vent in the reactor upper head. Piping extends downward from the upper head and passes outside of the reactor to permit the gas to escape or be forcibly vented outside of the reactor without external piping on the upper head. The piping may include upper and lowers section that removably mate where the upper head joins to the reactor pressure vessel. The removable mating may include a compressible bellows and corresponding funnel. The piping is fabricated of nuclear-reactor-safe materials, including carbon steel, stainless steel, and/or a Ni--Cr--Fe alloy. Methods install an internal head vent in a nuclear reactor by securing piping to an internal surface of an upper head of the nuclear reactor and/or securing piping to an internal surface of a reactor pressure vessel.
This invention was made with Government support under contract number DE-FC07-07ID14778, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.