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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.
Ethan Coffey, Greg Hanson, David Hill, Timothy Jones, Arnold Lumsdaine, Claire Luttrell, Chuck Schaich
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 72 | Number 3 | October 2017 | Pages 505-509
Technical Note | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2017.1333857
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The ITER Electron Cyclotron Heating (ECH) system provides 20 MW of microwave power from 24 gyrotron sources. The power is transmitted through evacuated, corrugated waveguide transmission lines. The aluminum waveguide is cooled by the attachment of water-cooled copper tubes. These are connected through a conductive graphite foil that is used to increase the heat transfer ability between the aluminum and copper. In the regions where the waveguide is joined to a miter bend or to another waveguide section via a coupling, the waveguide cannot be actively cooled due to coupling hardware. Waveguide sections near couplings and miter bends are modeled and subjected to heat loads based on ITER design specifications. The thermal analysis predicts the maximum waveguide temperature in these regions and the amount of axial thermal expansion of the waveguide.
In addition, testing is done to determine the thermal contact conductance (TCC) between copper and aluminum surfaces with and without several candidate thermal contact materials. These results are used in the finite element analysis to model the ability to transfer heat across interfaces. The TCC test results make it clear that there is significant heat transfer between separate components, as the TCC between components is greater than 5 kW/m2K without thermal contact material and greater than 30 kW/m2K when thin graphite foil is used to increase the heat transfer ability. Therefore miter bends and miter bend mirrors are included as necessary in the finite element model.