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Apparatus and method for consolidating spent fuel rods

Image Number 4 for United States Patent #4683110.

An apparatus for consolidating spent fuel rods from spent fuel assemblies includes a container with a bottom and front, back, and side walls. The container has a plurality of flutes positioned adjacent to the front wall, and the plurality of flutes defines a plurality of channels. The apparatus also includes a plurality of springs, which are mounted on a support. The springs bear against the flutes and the channels when no fuel rods have been inserted into the container and the support is located proximate the front wall. The springs assist in guiding a fuel rod into a preselected location in the container; the springs are capable of maintaining the fuel rod in the preselected location. Preferably, each spring is a resilient finger that extends outwardly from the support toward the front wall. The support may be a movable sheet. The apparatus advantageously includes a device for moving the support. Such a device may automatically position the support in response to control signals.

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