43 Matching Results

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Depleted uranium as a backfill for nuclear fuel waste package

Description: A method is described for packaging spent nuclear fuel for long-term disposal in a geological repository. At least one spent nuclear fuel assembly is first placed in an unsealed waste package and a depleted uranium fill material is added to the waste package. The depleted uranium fill material comprises flowable particles having a size sufficient to substantially fill any voids in and around the assembly and contains isotonically-depleted uranium in the +4 valence state in an amount sufficient to inhibit dissolution of the spent nuclear fuel from the assembly into a surrounding medium and to lessen the potential for nuclear criticality inside the repository in the event of failure of the waste package. Last, the waste package is sealed, thereby substantially reducing the release of radionuclides into the surrounding medium, while simultaneously providing radiation shielding and increased structural integrity of the waste package.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Forsberg, Charles W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An arc fault detection system

Description: An arc fault detection system for use on ungrounded or high-resistance-grounded power distribution systems is provided which can be retrofitted outside electrical switchboard circuits having limited space constraints. The system includes a differential current relay that senses a current differential between current flowing from secondary windings located in a current transformer coupled to a power supply side of a switchboard, and a total current induced in secondary windings coupled to a load side of the switchboard. When such a current differential is experienced, a current travels through a operating coil of the differential current relay, which in turn, opens an upstream circuit breaker located between the switchboard and a power supply to remove the supply of power to the switchboard.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Jha, Kamal N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

In-situ stabilization of radioactive zirconium swarf

Description: The method for treating ignitable cutting swarf in accordance with the present invention involves collecting cutting swarf in a casting mold underwater and injecting a binder mixture comprising vinyl ester styrene into the vessel to fill void volume; and form a mixture comprising swarf and vinyl ester styrene; and curing the mixture. The method is especially useful for stabilizing the ignitable characteristics of radioactive zirconium cutting swarf, and can be used to solidify zirconium swarf, or other ignitable finely divided material, underwater. The process could also be performed out of water with other particulate wastes.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Hess, Clay C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Recovery of fissile materials from nuclear wastes

Description: A process is described for recovering fissile materials such as uranium, and plutonium, and rare earth elements, from complex waste feed material, and converting the remaining wastes into a waste glass suitable for storage or disposal. The waste feed is mixed with a dissolution glass formed of lead oxide and boron oxide resulting in oxidation, dehalogenation, and dissolution of metal oxides. Carbon is added to remove lead oxide, and a boron oxide fusion melt is produced. The fusion melt is essentially devoid of organic materials and halogens, and is easily and rapidly dissolved in nitric acid. After dissolution, uranium, plutonium, and rare earth elements are separated from the acid and recovered by processes such as PUREX or ion exchange. The remaining acid waste stream is vitrified to produce a waste glass suitable for storage or disposal. Potential waste feed materials include plutonium scrap and residue, miscellaneous spent nuclear fuel, and uranium fissile wastes. The initial feed materials may contain mixtures of metals, ceramics, amorphous solids, halides, organic material and other carbon-containing material.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Forsberg, Charles W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Decontamination of matrices containing actinide oxides

Description: There is provided a method for removing actinides and actinide oxides, particularly fired actinides, from soil and other contaminated matrices, comprising: (a) contacting a contaminated material with a solution of at least one inhibited fluoride and an acid to form a mixture; (b) heating the mixture of contaminated material and solution to a temperature in the range from about 30 C to about 90 C while stirring; (c) separating the solution from any undissolved matrix material in the mixture; (d) washing the undissolved matrix material to remove any residual materials; and (e) drying and returning the treated matrix material to the environment.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Villarreal, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A filtered cathodic arc deposition apparatus and method

Description: A filtered cathodic arc deposition method and apparatus are described for the production of highly dense, wear resistant coatings which are free from macro particles. The filtered cathodic arc deposition apparatus includes a cross shaped vacuum chamber which houses a cathode target having an evaporable surface comprised of the coating material, means for generating a stream of plasma, means for generating a transverse magnetic field, and a macro particle deflector. The transverse magnetic field bends the generated stream of plasma in the direction of a substrate. Macro particles are effectively filtered from the stream of plasma by traveling, unaffected by the transverse magnetic field, along the initial path of the plasma stream to a macro particle deflector. The macro particle deflector has a preformed surface which deflects macro particles away from the substrate.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Krauss, Alan R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Low-cost exterior insulation process and structure

Description: The invention relates to a low-cost process for insulating walls comprising: (a) stacking bags filled with insulating material next to the exterior surface of a wall until the wall is covered, the stack of bags thus formed having fasteners to attach to a wire mesh (e.g., straps looped between the bags and fastened to the wall); (b) stretching a wire mesh (e.g., chicken wire or stucco netting) over the stack of bags, covering the side of the bags which is not adjacent to the wall; (c) fastening the wire mesh to stationary objects; (d) attaching the wire mesh to said fasteners on said stack of bags; and (e) applying a cemetitious material (e.g., stucco) to the wire mesh and allowing it to harden. Stacking the bags against the wall is preferably preceded by laying a base on the ground at the foot of the wall using a material such as cement or crushed stone wrapped in a non-woven fabric (e.g., geosynthetic felt). It is also preferred to erect stationary corner posts at the ends of the wall to be insulated, the top ends of the posts being tied to each other and/or tied or otherwise anchored to the wall. The invention also includes the structure made by this process. The structure comprises a stack of bags of insulating material next to the exterior wall of a building, said stack of bags of insulating material being attached to said wall and having a covering of cementitious material on the side not adjacent to said wall.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Vohra, Arun
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nuclear fuel elements made from nanophase materials

Description: A nuclear reactor core fuel element is composed of nanophase high temperature materials. An array of the fuel elements in rod form are joined in an open geometry fuel cell that preferably also uses such nanophase materials for the cell structures. The particular high temperature nanophase fuel element material must have the appropriate mechanical characteristics to avoid strain-related failure even at high temperatures, in the order of about 3,000 F. Preferably, the reactor type is a pressurized or boiling water reactor and the nanophase material is a high temperature ceramic or ceramic composite. Nanophase metals, or nanophase metals with nanophase ceramics in a composite mixture, also have desirable characteristics, although their temperature capability is not as great as with all ceramic nanophase material. Combinations of conventional or nanophase metals and conventional or nanophase ceramics can be employed as long as there is at least one nanophase material in the composite. The nuclear reactor so constructed has a number of high strength fuel particles, a nanophase structural material for supporting a fuel rod at high temperature, a configuration to allow passive cooling in the event of a primary cooling system failure, an ability to retain a coolable geometry even at high temperatures, an ability to resist generation of hydrogen gas, and a configuration having good nuclear, corrosion and mechanical characteristics.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Heubeck, Norman B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Performance evaluation soil samples utilizing encapsulation technology

Description: Performance evaluation soil samples and method of their preparation are described using encapsulation technology to encapsulate analytes which are introduced into a soil matrix for analysis and evaluation by analytical laboratories. Target analytes are mixed in an appropriate solvent at predetermined concentrations. The mixture is emulsified in a solution of polymeric film forming material. The emulsified solution is polymerized to form microcapsules. The microcapsules are recovered, quantitated and introduced into a soil matrix in a predetermined ratio to form soil samples with the desired analyte concentration.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Dahlgran, James R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A sampling device with a capped body and detachable handle

Description: The present invention relates to a device for sampling radioactive waste and more particularly to a device for sampling radioactive waste which prevents contamination of a sampled material and the environment surrounding the sampled material. During vitrification of nuclear wastes, it is necessary to remove contamination from the surfaces of canisters filled with radioactive glass. After removal of contamination, a sampling device is used to test the surface of the canister. The one piece sampling device currently in use creates a potential for spreading contamination during vitrification operations. During operations, the one piece sampling device is transferred into and out of the vitrification cell through a transfer drawer. Inside the cell, a remote control device handles the sampling device to wipe the surface of the canister. A one piece sampling device can be contaminated by the remote control device prior to use. Further, the sample device can also contaminate the transfer drawer producing false readings for radioactive material. The present invention overcomes this problem by enclosing the sampling pad in a cap. The removable handle is reused which reduces the amount of waste material.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Jezek, Gerd-Rainer
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combined heat and mass transfer device for improving separation process

Description: A two-phase small channel heat exchange matrix for providing simultaneous heat transfer and mass transfer at a single, predetermined location within a separation column, whereby the thermodynamic efficiency of the separation process is significantly improved. The small channel heat exchange matrix is comprised of a series of channels having a hydraulic diameter no greater than 5.0 mm. The channels are connected to an inlet header for supplying a two-phase coolant to the channels and an outlet header for receiving the coolant horn the channels. In operation, the matrix provides the liquid-vapor contacting surfaces within a separation column, whereby liquid descends along the exterior surfaces of the cooling channels and vapor ascends between adjacent channels within the matrix. Preferably, a perforated and concave sheet connects each channel to an adjacent channel, such that liquid further descends along the concave surfaces of the sheets and the vapor further ascends through the perforations in the sheets. The size and configuration of the small channel heat exchange matrix allows the heat and mass transfer device to be positioned within the separation column, thereby allowing precise control of the local operating conditions within the column and increasing the energy efficiency of the process.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Tran, Thanh Nhon
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A method and apparatus for destroying hazardous organics and other combustible materials in a subcritical/supercritical reactor

Description: A waste destruction method is described using a reactor vessel to combust and destroy organic and combustible waste, including the steps of introducing a supply of waste into the reactor vessel, introducing a supply of an oxidant into the reactor vessel to mix with the waste forming a waste and oxidant mixture, introducing a supply of water into the reactor vessel to mix with the waste and oxidant mixture forming a waste, water and oxidant mixture, reciprocatingly compressing the waste, water and oxidant mixture forming a compressed mixture, igniting the compressed mixture forming a exhaust gas, and venting the exhaust gas into the surrounding atmosphere.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Janikowski, Stuart K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Method for determining aerosol particle size, device for determining aerosol particle size

Description: A method for determining the mass median diameter D of particles contained in a fluid is provided wherein the data of the mass of a pre-exposed and then a post-exposed filter is mathematically combined with data concerning the pressure differential across the same filter before and then after exposure to a particle-laden stream. A device for measuring particle size is also provided wherein the device utilizes the above-method for mathematically combining the easily quantifiable data.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Novick, Vincent J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A method for synthesizing pollucite from chabazite and cesium chloride

Description: A method is described for immobilizing waste chlorides salts containing radionuclides and hazardous nuclear material for permanent disposal, and in particular, a method for immobilizing waste chloride salts containing cesium, in a synthetic form of pollucite. The method for synthesizing pollucite from chabazite and cesium chloride includes mixing dry, non-aqueous cesium chloride with chabazite and heating the mixture to a temperature greater than the melting temperature of the cesium chloride, or above about 700 C. The method further comprises significantly improving the rate of retention of cesium in ceramic products comprised of a salt-loaded zeolite by adding about 10% chabazite by weight to the salt-loaded zeolite prior to conversion at elevated temperatures and pressures to the ceramic composite.
Date: August 11, 1997
Creator: Pereira, Candido
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Strain gauge installation tool

Description: A tool and a method for attaching a strain gauge to a test specimen by maintaining alignment of, and applying pressure to, the strain gauge during the bonding of the gauge to the specimen. The tool comprises rigid and compliant pads attached to a spring-loaded clamp. The pads are shaped to conform to the specimen surface to which the gauge is to be bonded. The shape of the pads permits the tool to align itself to the specimen and to maintain alignment of the gauge to the specimen during the bond curing process. A simplified method of attaching a strain gauge is provided by use of the tool.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Conard, Lisa Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A thermovoltaic semiconductor device including a plasma filter

Description: A thermovoltaic energy conversion device and related method for converting thermal energy into an electrical potential are disclosed. An interference filter is provided on a semiconductor thermovoltaic cell to pre-filter black body radiation. The semiconductor thermovoltaic cell includes a P/N junction supported on a substrate which converts incident thermal energy below the semiconductor junction band gap into electrical potential. The semiconductor substrate is doped to provide a plasma filter which reflects back energy having a wavelength which is above the band gap and which is ineffectively filtered by the interference filter, through the P/N junction to the source of radiation thereby avoiding parasitic absorption of the unusable portion of the thermal radiation energy.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Baldasaro, Paul F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

TRIAC/SCR proportional control circuit

Description: A power controller device which uses a voltage-to-frequency converter in conjunction with a zero crossing detector to linearly and proportionally control AC power being supplied to a load. The output of the voltage to frequency converter controls the reset input of a R-S flip flop, while an 0 crossing detector controls the set input. The output of the flip flop triggers a monostable multivibrator controlling the SCR or TRIAC firing circuit connected to the load. Logic gates prevent the direct triggering of the multivibrator in the rare instance where the reset and set inputs of the flip flop are in coincidence. The control circuit can be supplemented with a control loop, providing compensation for line voltage variations.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Hughes, Wallace J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Time-of-flight SIMS/MSRI reflectron mass analyzer and method

Description: A method and apparatus for analyzing the surface characteristics of a sample by Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS) and Mass Spectroscopy of Recoiled Ions (MSFU) is provided. The method includes detecting back scattered primary ions, low energy ejected species, and high energy ejected species by ion beam surface analysis techniques comprising positioning a ToF SIMS/MSRI mass analyzer at a predetermined angle {theta}, where {theta} is the angle between the horizontal axis of the mass analyzer and the unreflected primary ion beam line, and applying a specific voltage to the back ring of the analyzer. Preferably, {theta} is less than or equal to about 120{degree} and, more preferably, equal to 74{degree}. For positive ion analysis, the extractor, lens, and tint ring of the reflection are set at negative high voltages ({minus}Hv). The back ring of the reflection is set at greater than about +700V for MSRI measurements and between the range of about +15V and about +50V for SIMS measurements. The method further comprises inverting the polarity of the potentials applied to the extractor, lens, front ring, and back ring to obtain negative ion SIMS and/or MSRI data.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Smentkowski, Vincent S.; Gruen, Dieter M.; Krauss, Alan R.; Schultz, Albert J. & Holecek, John C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High power X-ray welding of metal-matrix composites

Description: A method for joining metal-matrix composites (MMCs) by using high power x-rays as a volumetric heat source is provided. The method involves directing an x-ray to the weld line between two adjacent MMCs materials to create an irradiated region or melt zone. The x-rays have a power density greater than about 10{sup 4} watts/cm{sup 2} and provide the volumetric heat required to join the MMC materials. Importantly, the reinforcing material of the metal-matrix composites remains uniformly distributed in the melt zone, and the strength of the MMCs are not diminished. In an alternate embodiment, high power x-rays are used to provide the volumetric heat required to weld metal elements, including metal elements comprised of metal alloys. In an alternate embodiment, high power x-rays are used to provide the volumetric heat required to weld metal elements, including metal elements comprised of metal alloys.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Rosenberg, Richard A.; Goeppner, George A.; Noonan, John R.; Farrell, William J. & Ma, Qing
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Method for producing low-cost, high volume hydrogen from hydrocarbon sources

Description: A method is described for the conversion of naturally-occurring or biomass-derived lower to higher hydrocarbon (C{sub x}H{sub y},where x may vary from 1--3 and y may vary from 4--8) to low-cost, high-volume hydrogen. In one embodiment, methane, the major component of natural gas, is reacted in a single reaction zone of a mixed-conducting ceramic membrane reactor to form hydrogen via simultaneous partial oxidation and water gas shift reactions at temperatures required for thermal excitations of the mixed-conducting membranes. The hydrogen is produced by catalytically reacting the hydrocarbon with oxygen to form synthesis gas (a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen), followed by a water gas shift (WGS) reaction with steam, wherein both reactions occur in a single reaction zone having a multi-functional catalyst or a combination of catalysts. The hydrogen is separated from other reaction products by membrane-assisted transport or by pressure-swing adsorption technique. Membrane-assisted transport may occur via proton transfer or molecular sieving mechanisms.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Bose, Arun C.; Balachandran, Uthamalinga; Kleerfisch, Mark S.; Udovich, Carl A. & Stiegel, Gary J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Constant field gradient planar cavity structure

Description: A cavity structure is described having at least two opposing planar housing members spaced apart to accommodate the passage of a particle beam through the structure between the members. Each of the housing members have a plurality of serially aligned hollows defined therein, and also passages, formed in the members, which interconnect serially adjacent hollows to provide communication between the hollows. The opposing planar housing members are spaced and aligned such that the hollows in one member cooperate with corresponding hollows in the other member to form a plurality of resonant cavities aligned along the particle beam within the cavity structure. To facilitate the obtaining of a constant field gradient within the cavity structure, the passages are configured so as to be incrementally narrower in the direction of travel of the particle beam. In addition, the spacing distance between the opposing housing members is configured to be incrementally smaller in the direction of travel of the beam.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Kang, Yoon W. & Kustom, R.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Direct detection of x-rays for protein crystallography

Description: An apparatus and method for directly determining the crystalline structure of a protein crystal. The crystal is irradiated by a finely collimated x-ray beam. The interaction o f the x-ray beam with the crystal produces scattered x-rays. These scattered x-rays are detected by means of a large area, thick CCD which is capable of measuring a significant number of scattered x-rays which impact its surface. The CCD is capable of detecting the position of impact of the scattered x-ray on the surface of the CCD and the quantity of scattered x-rays which impact the same cell or pixel. This data is then processed in real-time and the processed data is outputted to produce an image of the structure of the crystal. If this crystal is a protein the molecular structure of the protein can be determined from the data received.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Atac, Muzaffer & McKay, Timothy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Method for priming and DNA sequencing

Description: A method is presented for improving the priming specificity of an oligonucleotide primer that is non-unique in a nucleic acid template which includes selecting a continuous stretch of several nucleotides in the template DNA where one of the four bases does not occur in the stretch. This also includes bringing the template DNA in contract with a non-unique primer partially or fully complimentary to the sequence immediately upstream of the selected sequence stretch. This results in polymerase-mediated differential extension of the primer in the presence of a subset of deoxyribonucleotide triphosphates that does not contain the base complementary to the base absent in the selected sequence stretch. These reactions occur at a temperature sufficiently low for allowing the extension of the non-unique primer. The method causes polymerase-mediated extension reactions in the presence of all four natural deoxyribonucleotide triphosphates or modifications. At this high temperature discrimination occurs against priming sites of the non-unique primer where the differential extension has not made the primer sufficiently stable to prime. However, the primer extended at the selected stretch is sufficiently stable to prime.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Mugasimangalam, R.C. & Ulanovsky, L.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A method for separating water soluble organics from a process stream by aqueous biphasic extraction

Description: The present invention relates to a method for separating water-miscible organic species from a process stream by aqueous biphasic extraction. In particular, the method includes extracting the organic species into a polymer-rich phase of an aqueous biphase system in which the process stream comprises the salt-rich phase, and, next, separating the polymer from the extracted organic species by contacting the loaded, polymer-rich phase with a water-immiscible organic phase. Alternatively, the polymer can be separated from the extracted organic species by raising the temperature of the loaded, polymer-rich phase above the cloud point, such that the polymer and the water-soluble organic species separate into two distinct aqueous phases. In either case, a substantially salt-free, concentrated aqueous solution containing the organic species is recovered.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Chaiko, David J. & Mego, William A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department