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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.
Tim D. Bohm, Edward P. Marriott, Mohamed E. Sawan
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 72 | Number 4 | November 2017 | Pages 595-600
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2017.1350484
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The ITER vacuum vessel (VV) is a double walled toroidal shaped stainless steel structure divided into nine 40 degree sectors. In the design process for the ITER blanket system (which provides shielding for the VV), determining integrated nuclear heating loads on the VV is important for cooling system sizing and determining localized nuclear heating on the VV is important for assessing thermal stress loads. Further, determining radiation damage, displacements per atom (dpa) on the VV, is important in meeting pressure vessel limits. Near the neutral beam injection (NBI) region of the VV (both sector 2 and sector 3), there are significant gaps and cut-outs in the blanket system to accommodate the 3 heating neutral beam (HNB) ports and the diagnostic neutral beam (DNB) port. These features lead to higher localized radiation loads. Previous analysis indicated high nuclear heating and dpa in the NBI region. The CAD based DAG-MCNP5 transport code was used to perform neutronics calculations in detailed, updated CAD models of the NBI region. For this work, a 40 degree model of sector 2 (which includes the HNB1 port, the DNB port, and the HNB2 port) was analyzed. Three design options were investigated which add shielding in the DNB port region by using port liners. Mesh tally maps of both nuclear heating and dpa are provided for the VV in the BM13-16 region. Peak dpa values ranged from 0.41–0.65 dpa. Two of the 3 design options investigated had peak dpa values near the DNB port within the ITER dpa limit of 0.5 dpa. Peak nuclear heating results ranged from 1.7 W/cm3 to 2.0 W/cm3. The mesh tally maps of nuclear heating have been provided to the ITER Organization for subsequent finite element engineering analysis. Preliminary analysis has shown the thermal stress levels are unacceptable with the added shielding. The results of this work are being used by the ITER Blanket and Tokamak Integration groups to assess the current design and modify blanket module (BM) design where needed if radiation loads are excessive.