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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.
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 72 | Number 3 | October 2017 | Pages 211-221
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2017.1333859
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Plasma Material Interactions in future fusion reactors have been identified as a knowledge gap to be dealt with before any next step device past ITER can be built. The challenges are manifold. They are related to power dissipation so that the heat fluxes to the plasma facing components can be kept at technologically feasible levels; maximization of the lifetime of divertor plasma facing components that allow for steady-state operation in a reactor to reach the neutron fluences required; the tritium inventory (storage) in the plasma facing components, which can lead to potential safety concerns and reduction in the fuel efficiency; and it is related to the technology of the plasma facing components itself, which should demonstrate structural integrity under the high temperatures and neutron fluence. This contribution will give an overview and summary of those challenges together with some discussion of potential solutions. New linear plasma devices are needed to investigate the PMI under fusion reactor conditions and test novel plasma facing components. The Material Plasma Exposure eXperiment MPEX will be introduced and a status of the current R&D towards MPEX will be summarized.