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Fusion Science and Technology
Penfield and Enos: Outage planning in the COVID-19 era
Energy Harbor’s Beaver Valley plant, located about 34 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, Pa., was one of many nuclear sites preparing for a scheduled outage as the coronavirus pandemic intensified in March. The baseline objective of any planned outage—to complete refueling on time and get back to producing power—was complicated by the need to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
While over 200 of the plant’s 850 staff members worked from home to support the outage, about 800 contractors were brought in for jobs that could only be done on-site. Nuclear News Staff Writer Susan Gallier talked with Beaver Valley Site Vice President Rod Penfield and General Plant Manager Matt Enos about the planning and communication required.
Beaver Valley can look forward to several more outages in the future, now that plans to shut down the two Westinghouse pressurized water reactors, each rated at about 960 MWe, were reversed in March. “The deactivation announcement happened in the middle of all our planning,” Enos said. “It’s a shame we haven’t had a chance to get together as a large group and celebrate that yet.”
While the focus remains on safe pandemic operations, the site now has two causes for celebration: an outage success and a long future ahead.
C. E. Kessel, M. S. Tillack, F. Najmabadi, F. M. Poli, K. Ghantous, N. Gorelenkov, X. R. Wang, D. Navaei, H. H. Toudeshki, C. Koehly, L. EL-Guebaly, J. P. Blanchard, C. J. Martin, L. Mynsburge, P. Humrickhouse, M. E. Rensink, T. D. Rognlien, M. Yoda, S. I. Abdel-Khalik, M. D. Hageman, B. H. Mills, J. D. Rader, D. L. Sadowski, P. B. Snyder, H. St. John, A. D. Turnbull, L. M. Waganer, S. Malang, A. F. Rowcliffe
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 67 | Number 1 | January 2015 | Pages 1-21
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST14-794
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Tokamak power plants are studied with advanced and conservative design philosophies to identify the impacts on the resulting designs and to provide guidance to critical research needs. Incorporating updated physics understanding and using more sophisticated engineering and physics analysis, the tokamak configurations have developed a more credible basis compared with older studies. The advanced configuration assumes a self-cooled lead lithium blanket concept with SiC composite structural material with 58% thermal conversion efficiency. This plasma has a major radius of 6.25 m, a toroidal field of 6.0 T, a q95 of 4.5,a βtotalN of 5.75, an H98 of 1.65, an n/nGr of 1.0, and a peak divertor heat flux of 13.7 MW/m2. The conservative configuration assumes a dual-coolant lead lithium blanket concept with reduced-activation ferritic martensitic steel structural material and helium coolant, achieving a thermal conversion efficiency of 45%. The plasma has a major radius of 9.75 m, a toroidal field of 8.75 T, a q95 of 8.0, a βtotalN of 2.5, an H98 of 1.25, an n/nGr of 1.3, and a peak divertor heat flux of 10 MW/m2. The divertor heat flux treatment with a narrow power scrape-off width has driven the plasmas to larger major radius. Edge and divertor plasma simulations are targeting a basis for high radiated power fraction in the divertor, which is necessary for solutions to keep the peak heat flux in the range 10 to 15 MW/m2. Combinations of the advanced and conservative approaches show intermediate sizes. A new systems code using a database approach has been used and shows that the operating point is really an operating zone with some range of plasma and engineering parameters and very similar costs of electricity. Other papers in this issue provide more detailed discussion of the work summarized here.