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Reconstitutable nuclear fuel assembly having locking tubes with dimples

Image Number 2 for United States Patent #4738821.

In a reconstitutable nuclear fuel assembly, a top-nozzle-to-control-rod-guide-thimble attachment system employing a reusable locking tube having dimples. The guide thimble has longitudinal slots defining fingers therebetween. The fingers have rim (bulge) portions which engage a groove in the control rod passageway of the top nozzle adaptor plate for top-nozzle-to-guide-thimble attachment. The finger rim portions are prevented from moving radially inward, and thus leaving the groove, by a locking tube placed in the guide thimble. The locking tube has dimples at two elevations. The dimples interact with the other components of the attachment system to assure proper seating of the locking tube during locking tube installation and to assure against unintentional longitudinal movement of the locking tube during fuel assembly handling. An improperly seated locking tube complicates the underwater fuel assembly reconstitution operation.

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