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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. Harb, L. El-Guebaly, A. Davis, P. Wilson, E. Marriott, J. Benzaquen, FESS-FNSF Team
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 72 | Number 3 | October 2017 | Pages 510-515
Technical Note | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2017.1333846
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Two issues related to neutronics analysis of fusion systems were addressed for the purpose of physical design iterations as well as plant operation: tritium self-sufficiency and shielding of the inboard magnet. State-of-the-art modeling/analysis tools facilitated a full 3-D neutronics analysis of the latest FESS-FNSF design. The first stage of the analysis involved the selection of materials for the first wall and blanket along with shielding materials to protect the magnet based on extensive 1-D analyses. The second stage is a stepwise workflow to estimate the overall tritium breeding ratio with high fidelity. It involved a bottom-up approach by coupling the CAD model with the 3-D MCNP code using DAGMC and adding the relevant design details in steps to assess the effect of such details on the tritium breeding ratio. The final stage involved calculations of the values of damage parameters at specific components: the first wall, the vacuum vessel, and magnet.