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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.
T. Kawano, S. Isozumi, Y. Isozumi, M. Tosaki, M.Tanaka, T. Sugiyama
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 67 | Number 2 | March 2015 | Pages 408-411
Proceedings of TRITIUM 2013 | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST14-T40
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Air exerts a negative effect on radiation detection using a gas counter because oxygen contained in air has a high electron attachment coefficient and can trap electrons from electron-ion pairs created by ionization from incident radiation in counting gas. This reduces radiation counts. The present study examined the influence of air on energy and rise-time spectra measurements using a proportional gas counter. In addition, a decompression procedure method was proposed to reduce the influence of air and its effectiveness was investigated. For the decompression procedure, the counting gas inside the gas counter was decompressed below atmospheric pressure before radiation detection. For the spectrum measurement, methane as well as various methane and air mixtures were used as the counting gas to determine the effect of air on energy and rise-time spectra. Results showed that the decompression procedure was effective for reducing or eliminating the influence of air on spectra measurement using a proportional gas counter.