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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.
Yuri Yoshihara, Etsuko Furuta, Ryu-ichiro Ohyama, Shigeaki Yokota, Yuka Kato, Tomoyuki Yoshimura, Kiyoshi Ogiwara
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 67 | Number 3 | April 2015 | Pages 654-657
Proceedings of TRITIUM 2013 | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST14-T103
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Tritium is usually measured by using a liquid scintillation counter. However, liquid scintillator used for measurement will be radioactive waste fluid. To solve this issue, we have developed the method of measuring tritium samples with plasma-treated plastic scintillator sheets instead of liquid scintillator (Plasma method). With the Plasma method of 2-min plasma treatment, we had obtained measurement efficiency of 48 ± 2 % for 2 min measurement of tritium except for tritiated water. On the other hand, it needed almost 6 hours to obtain constant measurement efficiency. We tried putting silica gel beads into vials to remove H2O molecules from PS sheet surface quickly. The silica gel beads worked well and we got constant measurement efficiency within 1-3 hours. Also, we tried using other kinds of PS treated with plasma to obtain higher measurement efficiencies of tritium samples.