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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.
J. R. Nicholas, P. T. Ireland, D. Hancock, D. Robertson
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 72 | Number 4 | November 2017 | Pages 566-573
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2017.1350483
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The necessity to handle heat loads in the MW/m2 range has become increasingly prevalent in a number of industries. Termed high-heat flux cooling, some of the most challenging conditions in this field occur at the first wall and divertor regions of a fusion tokamak. Steady-state heat fluxes here may reach values in excess of 10 MW/m2 in some areas for a first stage DEMO. The situation is exasperated further by the environment within the machine, which severely alters material properties with time. Even coolant choice itself can have an impact beyond thermal considerations through tritium inventory and neutron activation. Successfully addressing these issues is of critical importance to the development of commercial fusion power. A number of heat sink modules utilising jet impingement in a flat plate geometry were manufactured using diffusion bonding. Each sample produced was subject to leak and hydrostatic pressure measurements, together with further non-destructive analyses. Thermo-fluid measurements were performed on the components in a purpose built facility employing water as the coolant at pressures of up to 200 bar. To replicate the thermal boundary conditions a resistive thin-film heater technique was utilised. This allowed heat fluxes in the MW/m2 range to be applied to the modules. The results indicate that the concept may be a viable alternative heat sink candidate for first wall or divertor applications in a DEMO, but that further research is required to optimise certain aspects of the design.