September 28, 2015

AREVA Inc. Awarded Patent for Boiling Water Reactor Tool

Jason Cocke (holding plaque) was presented with his first patent award by (left to right) Paul Oleyar, Piotr Kolodziejczyk, Mike Carpenter, George Beam and Finis Southworth.

CHARLOTTE, N.C., September 28, 2015 – AREVA Inc. was recently awarded a patent for a tool that helps ensure the safety of operating nuclear power plants while saving utilities time and money.

Jason Cocke, an AREVA employee of 12 years, invented the tool – a shroud head bolt retainer that ensures the proper position of core shroud head bolt assemblies in a boiling water reactor (BWR). In a BWR, shroud head bolts secure the steam separator to the core shroud. The bolts contain a spring-loaded retainer to lock them in place. However, the springs can weaken or collect buildup, which prevents the retainer from locking back in place during reactor reassembly.

Without this tool, the plant operator may need to completely replace the bolt. The new AREVA tool helps operators overcome this challenge and save the time and money associated with such a replacement.

“Incremental improvements are usually the best patents,” said Piotr Kolodziejczyk, intellectual property manager for AREVA Inc. “Jason’s new tool is simple, but very efficient, and a good example of AREVA’s commitment to offer the most innovative solutions to our customers.”

To date, AREVA has earned more than 260 patents that are credited to 406 AREVA inventors in the United States. Many of these inventions advance safety, quality or performance, and help utilities ensure the continued operations of their nuclear energy facilities.