US 2682352 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 29, 1954 M. B. HAWKINS ETAL SHIPPING CONTAINER FOR RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 9, 1947 Myra/2 .5 Hawk/x75 &
Edi Md P6 5 Ema/firm June 29, 1954 M. B. HAWKINS ETAL 2,682,352
SHIPPING CONTAINER FOR RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL Filed May 9, 1947 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Ema/WW Myra/7 5 M2 w/(ms & [award E 70/11,;2/0/75 June 29, 1954 M. B. HAWKINS ETAL 2,682,352
SHIPPING CONTAINER FOR RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL Filed May 9, 1947 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 3&3 W
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE SHIPPING CONTAINER FOR RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL Myron B. Hawkins and Edward R. Tompkins, Oak Ridge, Tenn., assignors to the United States of America as represented by the United States Atomic Energy Commission Application May 9, 1947, Serial No. 747,154
1 Our invention relates to shipping containers, and shipping cans, and more particularly to a package for transporting radioactive materials. In the prior art it has been the practice to ship a set of tongs for the rapid removal of the inner receptacle or can from the container at such a distance from the handlers as to offer substantial protection against the physiological effects of or transport radioactive materials in shielded 5 radiation from materials in the container. containers. The shielded containers usually in- Other objects and advantages of our invention close an inner container or cartridge containing will appear from the following specification and the radioactive material. In removing the radioaccompanying drawings, and the novel features active material, the inner container or cartridge thereof will be particularly pointed out in the would usually be taken from the outer container annexed claims. and the top thereof unscrewed or unclamped so In the drawings, Fig. 1 is a sectional elevation that the contents might be removed. The latter of our improved container for radioactive mateoperation exposed the handlers to radiations rials. Fig. 2 is a sectional elevation of the inner from the material in the container for a conreceptacle or can with its cover separated theresiderable period of time, thus subjecting the from. Fig. 3 is an elevation, partly in section, handlers to danger of over exposure and injury of our improved tongs for removing the inner from the action of the radioactive material. receptacle from the container. Fig. 4 is a plan Cartridges of this type were formed of machined view of the container of Fig. 1. 7 bar stock and were provided with a screw thread In the preparation of the radioactive material or snap top. The cost of manufacture thereof for shipping, the neutral or stable material is was consequently very great. packed into the can or inner receptacle, and the Applicants with a knowledge of these problems cover is affixed thereto by crimping the edge of in the prior art have for an object of their inventhe cover over the flange of the can. The can, tion the provision of a container for radioactive which may be of any suitable material, such as materials having radiation shielding adequate for aluminum, is inserted in and subjected to the the physiological protection of those handling the neutron field of a pile of fissionable material. In container. this action neutrons bombard the material of the Applicants have as another object of their incan either causing its transmutation into another vention the provision of a container can for element or the formation of a radioactive isotope radioactive materials having a dust tight sealed of the same element, either of which may be uncap to prevent the escape of such radioactive stable and, therefore, radioactive. The transmaterials from the can while permitting the flow mutation of this material of the can results in of gases, such as those evolved during the treator is accompanied by the evolution of a gas or ment of said materials, therefrom. gases which must be permitted to escape from Applicants have as another object of their in- 3,3 the can. Provision for the escape of these gases vention the provision of a container for radiois accomplished by giving the cover only a dustactive materials with a simple arrangement for tight fit on the can. Under these circumstances, removing the materials without the necessity for vapors may escape between the can. and the cover. Special apparatus at the delivery point r t When this operation is complete, the can is repurpose. 4 moved from the pile and inserted in the container Applicants have as a further object of their infor shipment or transporation as described more vention the provision of a container for radioin detail hereinafter. active materials having an inner receptacle or Referring to th drawings n detafl, cylincan f r h in e m t r al h n ein drical cap can 1, preferably of 2-s soft aluminum, easily and cheaply'cohstlucted at Only a fraction with a can cap 2 crimped in place thereon, is of the cost of those known to the prior art. shown disposed in and supported by a cylindrical Applicants have as a still further object of their cutter 3 through a lip or flange at its upper end. invention the provision of a container for radio- The cutter 3, preferably of hardenable stainless active material h vin a r v y h p X- steel, is supported in the cutter well 4 of the pendable inner receptacle which may be chemishielded base 5 through flange 22. The cutter 3 a y treated for the removal o any remaining is provided at its upper end with a cutting edge 6, radioactive materials after the dumping operaand an annular groove '3 is formed in the wall tion. of the cutter to facilitate removal thereof from Applicants have as a still further object of their well 4 with tongs or a tool to be described more invention the provision of a tool in the form of fully hereinafter.
The base 5 is preferably made of some shielding material, such as lead, with its upper end terminating in an annular coupling member 23 having a shouldered portion 2 5 for interlocking engagement with a recessed portion in a mating coupling member 25 carried by container top 8. The coupling members 23, 25 are preferably made of stainless steel and are joined together with screws or bolts 26 passing through and screw threadedly engaged with their overlapping portions. A centering pin 9 carried by coupling member 23 is provided for ease in adjusting the top to the base. The top 8 may be provided with a longitudinal plunger bore or recess l0 which is lined with a sleeve 21 joined at its upper end to plate 28 and at its lower end to coupling member 25. In the plunger recess it of the container top 8, the cutting plunger is supported through extension 29 by latch l2 mounted on cover plate 23 by screws 39, 30 and engaged in annular groove 13 of the plunger extension 29. The plunger is provided with a vertical motion limiting pin Hi and a core I?) of shielding material, such as lead. The shielded container top 9 is provided with spaced inverted U-shaped lifting handles l9, 15.
Referring to Fig. 2, the crimp cap can i is shown removed from the carrier with its cap 2 as yet not crimped to the can.
Fig. 3 illustrates the can lifting tongs which have a tubular handle i! with a hand grip afiixed to one end thereof. Mounted on the opposite end of the handle is a U-shaped collar 59 with a holding pawl 29 pivotally mounted on one arm of the collar at 35. The pawl 29 is engaged at one end by a tension spring 2! which serves to yieldingly urge it about the pivot and towards the opposite arm of the yolk or collar.
In utilizing the container for the shipment of radioactive materials, neutral or stable materials are ordinarily placed in the can i and the cover 2 is placed thereon and crimped by an appropriate tool or machine. After being subjected to the action of a pile, as heretofore described, the container may be assembled as indicated in Fig. 1. In such condition the container may be safely handled and shipped.
To empty the contained material, the latch 12 is disengaged from the annular groove 13 of the cutting plunger 1 i, which permits the plunger to drop and rest on the can cap 2. plunger downward with a light hammer blow, the shearing action of the plungers base and the cutting edge 6 or" the cutter 3 severs the cap from the can. Shoulder 32 of the plunger striking shoulder 33 of the cutter at the end or" the cutting action prevents damage to the circular cutting edge of the cutter. The shielded container top 3 is then removed, permitting free access to the cutter 3 with its contained can i. The collar 19,
with its holding pawl 29, of the can lifting tongs is then snapped into the annular groove 7 of the cutter, and from the physiologically safe distance from the radioactive material that the tongs handle affords, the cutter and can are then lifted from the container well 5, and may be inverted, dumping the contained material. A tap on the By driving the 4 bottom of the emptied can removes it from the cutter.
In carrying out the shearing action of the cover 2 of can I by cutter 3, by the above operation the upper extremities of the can are swaged or expanded outwardly against the walls of the cutter during the cutting action, creating a frictional fit between the can and the cutter which is sufficient to support the can therein. However, such can may be simply and easily removed therefrom by inserting a tool in the lower end of the cutter and pushing the can up out of the cutter, as previously indicated.
Having thus described our invention, We claim:
1. A container for radioactive materials of the character described comprising a base having a well-defining recess therein, a cylindrical cutter disposed within the well, said cutter having an upper annular cutting edge, a can having an out turned flange on its upper extremity telescoped within the cutter and supported through the flange on the cutting edge, a top for the base, and a plunger slidably carried by the top for engagement with the can to press it against the edge of the cutter to sever the flange.
2. A container for radioactive materials of the character described comprising a base having a well-defining recess therein, a tubular cutter disposed within the. recess and supported by the base, said cutter having an upper annular cutting edge, an elongated can having a shoulder adjacent its upper extremity for engagement with the cutting edge of the cutter for supporting it, a top for the base, and means carried by the top for engagement with the shoulder to press it against the cutting edge of the cutter to sever the can.
3. A container for radioactive materials of the character described comprising a container in cluding a base having a well-defining recess therein, a tubular cutter positioned in the Well, said cutter having an upper cutting edge, an elongated can telescoped within the cutter, said can having a shoulder on its upper extremity for engagement with the cutting edge of the cutter to support the can, a top for the container, and a plunger passing through the top and slidably mounted therein for engagement with the shoulder to press it against the edge of the cutter to shear the shoulder from the can.
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