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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.
M. S. Vorenkamp, A. Nagy, A. Bortolon, R. Lunsford, R. Maingi, D. K. Mansfield, A. L. Roquemore
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 72 | Number 3 | October 2017 | Pages 488-495
Technical Note | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2017.1335144
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
An impurity granule injector on the DIII-D tokamak (IGI) injects granules into the plasma to trigger Edge Localized Modes (ELMs). Impurities, such as lithium, carbon, and boron, are used. The IGI drops granules (0.3–1.0 mm diameter) from a four chamber segmented storage hopper into a down-tube. The downtube guides the granules into a spinning impeller, rotating at a maximum frequency of 170 hz. The granules’ collisions with the impeller propel the granules (maximum velocity 120 m/s) through a drift tube, through an open torus interface valve shield, and into the plasma. This device underwent substantial upgrades to improve its functionality, to minimize the device footprint, and to automate post injection analysis. Upgrades include: (1) a drop-tube positioner to account for impeller/granule collision trajectories; (2) a granule drop monitor using an LED and a photodetector in the drop-tube; (3) a photodiode based granule ablation monitor; (4) DC isolation from the DIII-D vacuum vessel; and (5) an electric motor impeller drive with an integrated rotational speed sensor. These modifications improved the operability and efficiency of the IGI, leading to the successful triggering of ELMs using gasless impurity injection. These recent upgrades are discussed in detail.