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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.
J. E. Klein
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 67 | Number 2 | March 2015 | Pages 416-419
Proceedings of TRITIUM 2013 | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST14-T42
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The reduction in hydride absorption rate due to ”blanketing” can be explained in terms of a reduced hydrogen partial pressure in the bed due to the accumulation of inerts (i.e. non-hydrogen isotopes) in the bed void volume. Literature results show reduced absorption rates when protium for bed absorption contains helium with low-end inert compositions in the 0.6 to 1% range. A hydride bed containing 9.66 kg of LaNi4.25Al0.75 (LANA0.75) metal hydride - a nominal capacity of 1400 STP-L, was cycled repeatedly to decrepitate the hydride material into smaller particles for bed strain measurement. The hydride cycles added and removed nominally 1000 to 1100 STP-L of protium per hydride cycle. Consistent and repeatable absorptions results were observed for different absorption cycles. During one of the absorption tests, slower absorption results were obtained due to the use of typical grade (500 ppm inerts), instead of research grade, protium which blanketed the bed. The impact of 0.05% inerts in protium on bed absorption rate is shown and explained in terms of an increase in inert partial pressure as the bed was loaded.