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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.
Hilary Phillips, Marc Parisot, Julian Dean, Lauren Perrie, John Sephton
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 67 | Number 3 | April 2015 | Pages 527-530
Proceedings of TRITIUM 2013 | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST14-T71
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Increasing quantities of radioactive waste are being placed into storage facilities. Many of the waste products contain organic materials which may undergo degradation leading to the release of tritium and carbon-14 species into waste containers and potentially into the environment. Monitoring for radioactive gas releases are required for environmental regulatory compliance and for radiation protection of facility workers.
Research is currently being undertaken at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) as part of a European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) project MetroRWM to adapt and automate existing environmental sampling techniques for tritium and carbon-14 species. An innovative modular system is being developed which will lead to the introduction of an on-site small scale system capable of gas collection, liquid scintillation sample preparation and measurement.
This paper outlines the evaluation of a liquid scintillation system that has been performed to date using active solutions of spiked trapping medium of similar activity concentrations to those anticipated in a waste repository. This system will operate using pre-set conditions for quench and luminescence derived from these and subsequent trials, unlike most other counters for which corrections for these phenomena are applied post measurement.