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Патент USA US3070539

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Dec. 25, 1962
E. P. wlGNER
Filed March l, 1946
Patented Dec. 25, 1962
(4) by leakage out of the
system through the periphery
Eugene P. Wigner, Princeton, NJ., assignor to the United
States of America as represented by the United States
Atomic Energy Commission
Filed Mar. 1, 1946, Ser. No. 651,282
Claim. (Cl. 204-1932)
This invention relates to atomic power plants, and
a novel method and means for
nuclear fission chain reaction to
may be employed with any of the various combinations
of materials which are already Well known.
A general object of the invention is to design a sys
produce steam for power or other purposes.
In neutronic reactors a thermal neutron iìssionable
isotope such as Um, U235, or 94239 or mixtures thereof is
evolved by the fission.
tem such as above
The term “thermally ñssionable”
as herein used means, as is common in the art, iissionable
by thermal neutrons. In general such reactors comprise
neutrons to thermal
slowing material which slows the
Such a slowing material
is termed a neutron moderator. Carbon, D20 (heavy
water), and ordinary water are typical moderators suit 25
able for such use. Heat is evolved during the reaction
duction ratio of the composition is decreased by the
which is removed by passage of a coolant through the
According to the
ber 19, 1944, now Patent No. 2,708,656.
In neutronic reactors, the ratio
produced in one generation by the fissions to the original
Describing the
comprises a vessel invention
During the interchange of neutrons
a system of
iiníte size, comprising bodies of any sizein disposed
in a
neutron moderator, neutrons
may be lost to the chain
reaction in four ways:
( 1) by absorption or capture in the uranium content
of the bodies without producing fission;
by obsorption or capture in the moderator mate
(3) by absorption or capture by the impurities present 70
in both the uranium bodies and the moderator; and
in detail, the novel device
permeable material 4 of any suitable waterproof neutron
stainless steel, said such as, for example, aluminum or
reñector 24 is closed by a biological shield 30, pref
erably formed of alternate layers of iron and “Masonite”
(compressed wood liber), said shield being provided with
ï`D2O-l-DF uranyl bicarbonate, UO2(DCO3) 2, dissolved
suitable passages for the tube 8 and the steam outlet
pipe 16. The reflector 24 is enclosed in a concrete vault
or shield 32 adapted to absorb biologically harmful
emanations from the neutronic reactor within'the ves
sel 4 and, ifrdesired, the top of the-'concrete vault may
'02804, dissolved in a mixture of D2O+D2SO4g uranyl
itrate, UO2(’NO3),2, dissolved in a mixture of D20;
lutonium sulfate,"Pu(SO4)2,'dissolved in a mixture of
)zO-l-D2SO4; or plutonium peroxide dissolvedy in> a mix'
ure OÍÍDZO-i-Na'Z’COa. -ÍIn the uranium solutions, the
iranium may have a natural or an enriched isotopic
be sealed by a biologicalrshield (not shown) .similarV
to the before-mentioned shield 30.
Obviously the illustrated embodiment of the invention
is diagrammatic, and many modifications thereof will vbe
readily apparent to‘ those skilled in the art without depart
:ontentf of thermally fission'able' Um. ‘ The reactive com
losition'is supplied to thetrays by a headerV 12 having
t pluarlity of outlets-14 communicating with respective
Asaresult of the nuclear fission chain reaction'with
in the reactionwzone defined by the trays‘6,`the'liquid
content of the reactive composition boils, and is vaporized
ing from the `spiritV of the invention „or the scope of the
appended“ claim.
What is claimed is:
Yzontal trays containing, in an amount suñicient to sustain
a chain reaction, a solution of ar material iissionable by
neutrons of thermal energy in a liquid moderator, each
tray containing a portion of said solution, a vertical
tube upon which the trays are sleeved in spaced relation,
conventionalsteam.operated power device. >If desired,
the pipe 16 may be provided with any, suitable filter (not
shown) for eliminating'radioactive ñssion productsV of
the chain reaction, which products may become entrained
in the' steam passing from theVvessel 4. »As the liquid
a 'neutron'absorbing‘ro'd reciprocable within'the tube,
a ¿gas-tight 'chamber enclosingy saidV trays,. an outlet pipe
communicating with;the'top off said chamber to conduct
vaporized moderator " therefrom, andv conduits com
is vaporizedifromthe trays 6, it is replenished by the
header' 12 through conduitsV 14 to maintain a substan- -
tially constantvliquid‘ level within the trays. r‘Overliow
of the reactive composition from'the trayspasses through
municating’withY each' of said- trays' to- replace- moderator '
lostA therefrom’l by evaporation.
perforations >18 inthe bottom of the vessel 4 .and is con
veyed from vthe system asY is hereinafterÍdescribed.
`.The bottomof the tube 8,.-ìs provided
witha nut 20
Huid-tight closure
threaded into “the tube to añord av`
References- Cite’d inthe iile 4of thisv patent
therefor, and rthe head ofthe. nut, rests onthe conical
ñoor 22 of ahollowneutron reflector 24 containing the
vessel 4, said reflector 24 being formed of any suitable
scattering or. moderating material, such as graphiteor
beryllium adapted to reflectneutrons escaping from the
' «542,626
neutronY reproduction ratio of l-thefreac'tive composition
-. Cardozo., _______ -_ ____ _: Juiy;16,"1s95
4VSchalitz ____ _.f._..'.. _____ ___?Ian. 5,1909
' 2,708,656
` Thunholml.. _____________ _.Dec. 9,1919
Fermi=et1al ____________ __;Mayi17, 1955
. Australiav ______________ -_ May 2, 1940
1 114,151
vvAustralia- ________ -_ ____ ___, May'3,- 1940
~ Switzerland _______ _..,_..__, June 30, k17944
vessel '4„»back finto Vthe same, thereby .increasing the ¿
A neutronic reactor'comprising a plurality of hori
to form steam, which` is conveyed from the vess'e1`4
by an outlet pipe-16 adapted to communicate with a
One or more outlet> or drain pipes 2, communicate with
the interior of _the reñector 24at the baser of the con
ical Íñoor 22 ,to draink ove'rñow composition» draining
fromthe vessel.4. , In this connection, itwill be under
stoodtthatV it _is _necessary from time. to time to wash all
thefñssionable .material .from -the .trays 6 inr order kto
renew the. iissionable materialandprocess the lbombarded
mater-ialto recover .fission productsnof .the reaction. If
desiredfthe .iloor22 may bevprovided -with a suitable
liner tofpreventicontamination Vof»„the.reflector 241by
the overflow >reactive compositionqfromthe trays 6.
The nuclear` lission chain reaction isxcontrolledgbyxa
rod 28 of a neutron absorbent: material, suchxas cadmium,
said rod being reciprocablewithin theztube 81 as by .a
rack and pinion mechanism' 29. Theïrtop `ofi the .hollow
ïRevîewsbflModern Physics, vol 17,> No. 4,_October
1945, pages 3.67,v 447, 460 (part of Smythzarticle).
fMDDC’-8V93Í_U..S. Atomic Energy Commission V(F.
Daniels), 1declassitied April`7„1947, .pages 3, 5,110,
'.Her Majesty’s StationeryOñice,
1952„4 Harwell, Theßritish Atomic Energy Research Es
tablishment, London, pages .B4-42.
vA.E.C.D. 3063„ Scptember 4, l 44, pp."l--l4, 417, 20
(U.S. Atomic Energy Comm.)
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