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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.
Marius Zamfirache, Liviu Stefan, Anisia Bornea, Ioan Stefanescu
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 67 | Number 3 | April 2015 | Pages 677-680
Proceedings of TRITIUM 2013 | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST14-T108
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
ICSI Rm. Valcea has developed an experimental pilot-scale installation for tritium and deuterium separation. The main objective of this pilot was to demonstrate the water detritiation technology and further to transfer this technology to CANDU nuclear power plant from CNE Cernavoda, in whose development program there is the achieving of a Tritium Removal Facility (since 2004).
The installation design was initiated in 1992, and in 1997 its construction was completed. Design and construction of this installation was performed similarly with chemical plants, specifically for hydrogen. Separation of isotopes was addressed in the first phase only regarding hydrogen and deuterium. In the next stage we started to transform it in a nuclear plant for processing tritium. Moving to tritium separation imposed the technological change of cryogenic distillation module aiming the tritium extraction at high concentrations.
Changes have been made with great efforts and consisted mainly of: redesign of the technological systems for nuclear material processing, applying specific codes and standards (ASME, Romanian nuclear specific pressure boundary prescriptions for code classification); design and implementation of new systems, classified as safety systems; redesign and implementation of command and control systems, complying with the requirements of reliability and maintenance required for the project promoted; revaluation of auxiliary systems (utilities, power supply, including UPS); introducing radiation protection systems, including secondary barriers; implementing and maintaining environment operational program specific to the new nuclear plant; developing and conducting safety analyzes; development of specific documentation to obtain the necessary permits for construction, commissioning and operation of the plant.
This paper presents the implications of moving from a chemical plant towards a nuclear installation applying codes and standards specifically to nuclear field. It is a lesson for those who approaches their research in this regard.