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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.
Christopher Kang, Yi-Hyun Park, Jon T. Van Lew, Alice Ying, Mohamed Abdou, Seungyon Cho
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 72 | Number 3 | October 2017 | Pages 263-270
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2017.1333830
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Characterizing the thermo-physical properties of the ceramic breeder pebble bed is an integral step of developing breeder blankets for fusion energy applications. To that end, thermal conductivity is an important parameter to identify. In granular pebble bed materials, the thermal conductivity depends on the solid pebble material as well as any gas filling the interstitial void spaces, thus an effective thermal conductivity () of the bulk is used. A transient hot-wire apparatus is developed through a collaborative study between the Fusion Science and Technology Center at UCLA and the National Fusion Research Institute (NFRI) to measure the effective thermal conductivity of Korean-made Li2TiO3 pebble beds. In this study, current is pushed through a single strand of high purity platinum wire. The heat generated is conducted away by the surrounding pebble bed; the logarithmic change in temperature being used to calculate the rate of heat conductance. The apparatus is filled with roughly an atmosphere of helium and placed in a furnace to test the pebble bed under reactor relevant temperatures. Results and future improvements are presented.