Apparatus and Method for Supporting Fuel Assemblies in an Underwater Environment Having Lateral Access Loading

Primary Inventor: Krishna P. Singh
Contributing Inventor(s): Evan Rosenbaum
Date of Patent Issuance: March 20, 2012
Status: Granted
Jurisdiction: USA
Equipment Type: Fuel Rack
Docket Number: HOL-004
Publication Number: 12/751,717
Application Number: US 2010/0232563 A1
Patent Number(s)US 8,139,706 B2

Abstract: A method of loading nuclear fuel assemblies into a fuel rack in an underwater (or other submerged) environment that reduces the depth required for the pool to effectuate the fuel rack loading procedure. In one embodiment, the method comprises submerging a nuclear fuel assembly having an axis and a horizontal cross-section in a pool; providing a fuel rack in the pool, the fuel rack comprising a body structure comprising at least one elongated cell, a top, a bottom, a first lateral side, at least one elongated slot in the first lateral side that forms a lateral passageway into the cell; positioning the fuel assembly laterally adjacent to the elongated slot of the fuel rack so that the axis of the fuel assembly is substantially aligned with the elongated slot; and translating the fuel assembly in a lateral direction through the elongated slot and into the cell.