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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.
S. Meitner, L. R. Baylor, N. Commaux, D. Shiraki, S. Combs, T. Bjorholm, T. Ha, W. McGinnis
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 72 | Number 3 | October 2017 | Pages 318-323
Technical Papers | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2017.1333854
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Disruptions are sudden unplanned terminations of tokamak plasmas that can lead to high thermal loads and runaway electrons (REs). Unmitigated disruptions in ITER are predicted to dissipate up to 350 MJ of thermal energy and generate several MA of multi-MeV runaway electrons. This intense heat and energetic particle beams can cause localized melting of the plasma facing components. Reliable and fast acting disruption mitigation (DM) techniques are therefore a critical requirement for ITER to safeguard the machine from damage.
The proven method for DM centers on injecting a large quantity of impurity particles into the plasma to quickly increase density and radiate the thermal energy to mitigate thermal effects. Additionally, if the particle injection can achieve sufficient density, it can create collisional drag which suppresses the formation of REs. Shattered pellet injection (SPI) has proven to be the most effective method of particle injection thus far attempted and is planned for the DM system on ITER. Recently, a new three-barrel second SPI (SPI-II) system has been developed for use on DIII-D to study injection effects from multiple toroidal locations and pellet timing. The three pellets can be formed and fired individually or simultaneously. The SPI-II has provisions for making and firing pure species pellets with deuterium, neon, or argon and also deuterium layered pellets with a core of neon and mixtures of neon and deuterium.