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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.
Haifei Deng, Desheng Cheng, Weihua Wang, Kaiping Li, Bo Shi, Jinhong Yang
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 72 | Number 2 | August 2017 | Pages 188-198
Technical Note | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2017.1320495
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The Helium (He) gas Cooled Ceramic Breeder (HCCB) test blanket module (TBM) is the primary option of the Chinese TBM program. In order to enhance the cooling ability of the first wall (FW) of the HCCB TBM and reduce the circulation power, a binary mixtures gas of He gas and additive CO2 deserves to be another option for the coolant of the blanket, based on high temperature gas-cooled reactors which are a generation-IV fission reactor concept, when it is reported that forced convective heat transfer can be enhanced by means of binary mixing with unreactive gas (e.g., CO2, molecular weight 44). This technique can significantly enhance the plant’s overall efficiency and reduce the cost of electricity. In order to evaluate the cooling performance of the He/CO2 binary mixtures gas and its circulation power in the FW of the HCCB TBM, a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) numerical simulation, combined experimental research method is applied. The results reveal that under the condition of the cooling requirements of the FW (e. g., maximum temperature, radial temperature gradient) similar to the pure He gas, the flow velocity and circulation power of the He/CO2 binary mixtures gas (mole fraction 0.4) are reduced by 70% and 87%, respectively. It implies that the thermal efficiency of a He-cooled blanket system can be fairly enhanced by means of this technique. In the near future experiment plan, it should be tested to validate the correlative cooling scheme of the HCCB TBM, in which the pure He gas and He/CO2 binary mixtures gas are used as coolant, respectively, at our High-Pressure Helium-Cooled Loop facility. The CFD numerical results will be selected as the reference for the experiments. A new approach may be provided for cooling the high heat flux components of a fusion reactor.