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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.
X. R. Wang, M. S. Tillack, C. Koehly, S. Malang, H. H. Toudeshki, F. Najmabadi, ARIES Team
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 67 | Number 1 | January 2015 | Pages 22-48
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST14-797
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
ARIES-ACT1 engineering design efforts were devoted to developing a credible configuration that allows for rapid removal of full-power core sectors followed by disassembly in hot cells during maintenance. The power core evolved with the main objective of achieving high performance while maintaining attractive design features and credible configuration, maintenance, and fabrication processes. To achieve high availability and maintainability of a fusion power plant, the power core components of a sector, including inboard and outboard first wall (FW)/blankets, upper and lower divertors, and structural ring or high-temperature shield, were integrated into one replacement unit to minimize time-consuming handling inside the plasma chamber. As with the ARIES-AT design, the FW/blanket design was based on Pb-17Li as coolant and breeder, and low-activation SiC/SiC as structural material; however, the Pb-17Li mass flow rate control, flow path, FW and blanket cooling channels, coolant access pipes, and blanket structural configuration have been revised and improved to provide about the same thermal performance (∼58% thermal efficiency) while keeping the magnetohydrodynamic pressure drop and pumping power, material temperature, and stresses at an acceptable level. Helium-cooled W or W-alloy divertor concepts were developed to accommodate a peak surface heat flux up to ∼14 MW/m2. They include a smaller finger-based divertor and a midsized T-tube and larger plate-type divertor concepts, which take advantage of a simple configuration, and the smaller number of plate units and joints in a power plant. The two-zone divertor concept, with the combination of a finger-based divertor and plate-type divertor, was selected and integrated into the ARIES-ACT1 power core. The fingers are used to accommodate the designed peak heat flux of ∼13 MW/m2, while the plate-type divertor is used for the lower heat flux region. The overall power core configuration and system integration, as well as the definitions of major power core components, such as the FW/blankets, divertor, structural ring, and the vacuum vessel, are described here and the main design features are highlighted. Sector maintenance operations have been investigated and motion demonstrations for removing the power core sectors have been performed using state-of-the-art three-dimensional CAD to analyze the clearances and spaces in all directions. The maintenance sequence and procedure for removing the replacement unit from the plasma chamber to the hot cell for exchange and refurbishment are also discussed in this paper.