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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.
Alexander S. Khapov, Sergey K. Grishechkin, Vladimir G. Kiselev
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 67 | Number 2 | March 2015 | Pages 412-415
Proceedings of TRITIUM 2013 | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST14-T41
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Tritium permeation through structural materials is a key issue in many activities linked with tritium handling both for radiological safety and accountancy reasons to say nothing of economical aspect: tritium is not the cheapest material in the world. It is widely recognized that ceramic coatings provide an attractive solution to lower tritium permeation in structural materials. Alumina based ceramic coatings have the highest permeation reduction factor for hydrogen. Nevertheless even small cracking will significantly spoil the permeation reduction factor of a protecting coating. Nowadays for hydrogenating neutron tube targets with tritium “VNIIA” uses working chambers manufactured by pressing of alumina based ceramics. These chambers have revealed extremely low hydrogen permeation upon conditions of their application. For this reason an attempt was made to apply low porous ceramics as a structural material of a bed body for tritium storage in a setup used for hydrogenating neutron tube targets at “VNIIA”. The present article introduces the design of the bed. This bed possesses essentially less hydrogen permeation factor than traditionally used beds with stainless steel body. Bed heating in order to recover hydrogen from the bed is suggested to be implemented by high frequency induction means. Inductive heating allows decreasing the time necessary for tritium release from the bed as well as power consumption. Both of these factors mean less thermal power release into glove box where a setup for tritium handling is installed and thus causes fewer problems with pressure regulations inside the glove box. Inductive heating allows raising tritium sorbent material temperature up to melting point. The latter allows achieving nearly full tritium recovery.