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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.
Gregg A. Morgan, Brittany J. Hodge, Anita S. Poore
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 72 | Number 3 | October 2017 | Pages 426-433
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2017.1333858
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
A prototype Pd-Ag diffuser manufactured by Power and Energy was evaluated for performance characterization testing at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL). The prototype Pd-Ag diffuser was characterized to determine the overall performance as a function of the permeation of hydrogen through the membrane. The tests described in this report consider the effects of feed gas compositions, feed flow rates, pump type and internal tube pressure on the permeation of H2 through the Pd-Ag tubes.
For the 96% H2/4% N2 mixtures, nearly all of the H2 permeated through the membrane at flow rates up to 3000 sccm. However, results for the 50% H2/50% N2 composition show that 100% permeation is only achieved up to a flow rate of 1000 sccm. A significant reduction in the hydrogen permeation was observed for the 2% H2/98% N2 composition. This Pd-Ag diffuser design is not suitable for a tritium purification system within the fusion energy fuel cycle. Typical tritium purification systems can be expected to see a range of hydrogen isotope concentrations and this particular prototype diffuser is only suitable for process streams containing high concentrations of hydrogen isotopes.
Significant efforts should be undertaken to identify additional commercial vendors for Pd-Ag diffusers. It is of critical importance to identify, procure, and test different Pd-Ag designs that can perform well over a range of hydrogen isotope concentrations for tritium gas processing applications.