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MSIP Patent: Persistence Pays Off

06/24/2008

On June 24, 2008, NuVision Engineering (NVE) was awarded U.S. patent number 7,389,669 B2 for Mechanical Stress Improvement Process (MSIP®). the new patent pertains to the application of MSIP® to pressurized water reactor butt welds, specifically reactor vessel nozzles and pressurizer nozzles.

The patent describes MSIP® as "a process for reducing residual tensile stresses in high nickel-chromium alloy nozzle safe-end welds of pressurized water reactor nuclear pressure vessels such as are found at the reactor vessel inlet and outlet nozzles and the pressurizer surge, spray, safety and relief nozzles."

The patent award concludes a two-year process during which the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) first denied NuVision's application. What followed was a series of questions and responses between the USPTO and NVE, with the assistance of law firm Eckert, Seamans, Cherin and Mellott, LLC, until the award was made. This patent, which is valid for eighteen and a half years, grants NuVision Engineering exclusive rights to market and apply MSIP® to PWRs and protects the company's intellectual property.

The patent award also underscores the already strong reputation of MSIP® within the industry. Since 1986, MSIP® has been applied to mitigate stress corrosion cracking (SCC) on over 3000 welds worldwide. After aggressive pursuit of the reactor vessel (RV) nozzle market, NVE and partner Westinghouse won the Salem Units 1 and 2 RV nozzle MSIP® contract. The first application will take place this fall at Salem Unit 1. This is the first RV nozzle mitigation in the industry since MSIP® was successfully implemented at V.C. Summer Nuclear Power Station during 2002.

Recently the NRC Research Branch and Nuclear Reactor Regulation Branch presented to the industry a very positive third-party Battelle technical endorsement of the effectiveness of MSIP® for PWRs. The combination of our aggressive marketing campaign, NRC endorsement, the win at Salem Units 1 and 2 and a soon-to-be successful implementation at Salem Unit 1 positively positions NuVision Engineering and MSIP® for future contracts.

Congratulations go to patent holders Manu Badlani, Brian Beley and Thomas A. Damico.


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