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BWR fuel assembly without upper tie plate

Image Number 4 for United States Patent #5646973.

A fuel bundle assembly for a nuclear reactor includes a lower tie plate; a transition piece underlying the lower tie plate; a plurality of fuel rods and at least one water rod seated on the lower tie plate and extending in substantially parallel relationship toward an upper end of the fuel bundle assembly, wherein a fuel bundle assembly lifting load is carried by load bearing members including certain of the fuel rods or by the at least one water rod; a plurality of spacers axially spaced along the at least one water rod and including means for laterally supporting each of the fuel rods; and a handle bar assembly at the upper end of the fuel bundle assembly connected to the load bearing members such that the plurality of non-load bearing fuel rods are supported only by the lower tie plate and the plurality of spacers.

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