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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.
P. B. Parks, N. Alexander, C. Moeller, R. Callis
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 67 | Number 4 | May 2015 | Pages 792-801
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST14-834
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
This paper describes two intermediate-scale experiments designed to test basic principles of waveguide pellet acceleration, a novel method of using microwave power to generate propulsive thrust from flash vaporization of a “pusher” medium to accelerate a frozen deuterium-tritium fuel pellet. Results from a low-power stage I experiment using a surrogate pusher consisting of an inert medium with volume-distributed metallic particle absorbers are in good agreement with Parks' wave attenuation theory. In stage II, a high-powered short-pulsed gyrotron source will be used to vaporize a surrogate pusher in a closed system (waveguide/test cell) without an accelerating projectile (pellet) to create a thrust-generating gas of interesting pressures ∼60 to 100 bars and temperatures ∼600 to 1000 K. To compare theory and experiment, the vaporization of various volatile organic compounds with suspended metallic particle absorbers must be examined from a detailed thermodynamic perspective, given that large deviations from ideal-gas behavior arise from the intermolecular forces when these solvents transition from ambient to a dense, warm, supercritical fluid. Using the Peng-Robinson real-gas equation of state, a closed-form expression for the specific internal energy U(V, T) was found that self-consistently includes the intramolecular rotational-vibrational energies, of relevance when measurements of the expanded gas state are taken on timescales faster than the molecular decomposition time. Other thermodynamically significant properties, such as the Joule-Thomson inversion curve, that were calculated from this treatment are in excellent agreement with reported experimental data. This lends further support to the use of surrogate pusher media in place of deuterium.