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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.
Ding She, Zhihong Liu, Lei Shi
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 185 | Number 2 | February 2017 | Pages 351-360
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/00295639.2016.1272363
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Dispersion fuel is used in high-temperature reactors (HTRs) and some other advanced reactors. It contains a stochastic mixture of microsphere fuel grains or burnable poison grains embedded in a matrix material, which leads to the so-called double heterogeneity problem in the neutron transport calculation. This work investigates an equivalent homogenization method to deal with the stochastic media. In this method, the stochastic media are transformed to a homogenized material by introducing spatial self-shielding factors and preserving first-collision probabilities. A transmission model is proposed to calculate the first-collision probabilities and the self-shielding factors. In addition, the method is extended to treat the stochastic media with multitype grains. The applicability and correction techniques for the proposed method are discussed. The proposed method has been implemented in a lattice physics code named XPZ for HTRs. Numerical results are presented for typical HTR fuel pebbles and are validated against Monte Carlo solutions. It is concluded that the proposed equivalent homogenization method is promising for treating the double-heterogeneity problem and can be conveniently implemented in existing lattice physics codes.