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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.
Paul W. Humrickhouse, Brad J. Merrill
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 67 | Number 1 | January 2015 | Pages 167-178
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST14-799
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
ARIES-ACT1 (Advanced and Conservative Tokamak) is a 1000-MW(electric) tokamak design featuring advanced plasma physics and divertor and blanket engineering. Some relevant features include an advanced SiC blanket with PbLi as coolant and breeder; a helium-cooled steel structural ring and tungsten divertors; a thin-walled, helium-cooled vacuum vessel; and a room-temperature, water-cooled shield outside the vacuum vessel. We consider here some safety aspects of the ARIES-ACT1 design and model a series of design-basis and beyond-design-basis accidents with the MELCOR code modified for fusion. The presence of multiple coolants (PbLi, helium, and water) makes possible a variety of such accidents. We consider here a loss-of-flow accident caused by a long-term station blackout (LTSBO), an ex-vessel helium break into the cryostat, and a beyond-design-basis accident in which a LTSBO is aggravated by a loss-of-coolant accident in ARIES-ACT1's ultimate decay heat removal system, the water-cooled shield. In the design-basis accidents, we find that the secondary confinement boundaries are not challenged, and the structural integrity of in-vessel components is not threatened by high temperatures or pressures; decay heat can be passively removed.