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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. K. Combs, J. R. Reed, M. S. Lyttle, L. R. Baylor, J. R. Carmichael, T. E. Gebhart, S. J. Meitner, D. A. Rasmussen
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 72 | Number 3 | October 2017 | Pages 404-415
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2017.1333824
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Injection of multiple large (~10 to 30 mm diameter) shattered pellets into ITER plasmas is presently part of the scheme planned to mitigate the deleterious effects of disruptions on the vessel components. To help in the design and optimize performance of the pellet injectors for this application, a model referred to as “the gas gun simulator” has been developed and benchmarked against experimental data. The computer code simulator is a Java program that models the gas-dynamics characteristics of a single-stage gas gun. Following a stepwise approach, the code utilizes a variety of input parameters to incrementally simulate and analyze the dynamics of the gun as the projectile is launched down the barrel. Using input data, the model can calculate gun performance based on physical characteristics, such as propellant-gas and fast-valve properties, barrel geometry, and pellet mass. Although the model is fundamentally generic, the present version is configured to accommodate cryogenic pellets composed of H2, D2, Ne, Ar, and mixtures of them and light propellant gases (H2, D2, and He). The pellets are solidified in situ in pipe guns that consist of stainless steel tubes and fast-acting valves that provide the propellant gas for pellet acceleration (to speeds ~200 to 700 m/s). The pellet speed is the key parameter in determining the response time of a shattered pellet system to a plasma disruption event. The calculated speeds from the code simulations of experiments were typically in excellent agreement with the measured values. With the gas gun simulator validated for many test shots and over a wide range of physical and operating parameters, it is a valuable tool for optimization of the injector design, including the fast valve design (orifice size and volume) for any operating pressure (~40 bar expected for the ITER application) and barrel length for any pellet size (mass, diameter, and length). Key design parameters and proposed values for the pellet injectors for the ITER disruption mitigation systems are discussed.