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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.
Aurelien Chassery, Helene Lorcet, Joel Godlewski, Karine Liger, Christian Latge, Xavier Joulia
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 67 | Number 2 | March 2015 | Pages 300-303
Proceedings of TRITIUM 2013 | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST14-T15
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Within the framework of the dismantling of fast breeder reactors in France (PHENIX, SUPERPHENIX, RAPSODIE), several processes are under investigation regarding sodium disposal. One of them, called ELA (radioactive sodium waste treatment process), is based on the implementation of the sodium-water reaction, in a controlled and progressive way, to remove residual sodium mainly from the sodium purification systems called cold traps. This sodium contains impurities such as sodium hydride, sodium oxide and tritiated sodium hydride. The hydrolysis of these various chemical species leads to the production of a liquid effluent, mainly composed of an aqueous solution of sodium hydroxide, and a gaseous effluent, mainly composed of nitrogen (inert gas), hydrogen and steam. The tritium is distributed between these effluents, and, within the gaseous effluent, according to its forms HT and HTO. HTO being 10,000 times more radiotoxic than HT, a precise knowledge of the mechanisms governing the phase distribution of tritium is necessary. Indeed, it will help to design the process needed to optimize the treatment of the off-gas before its release into the environment. This paper presents the first experimental results from a parametric study on the tritium distribution between the various effluents generated during hydrolysis operations. This parametric study has been performed in a laboratory scale hydrolysis process designed at the CEA Cadarache.