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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.
Nuclear Technology | Volume 154 | Number 1 | April 2006 | Pages 52-68
Technical Paper | Thermal Hydraulics | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT06-A3717
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
In the frame of the European PDS-XADS (Preliminary Design Study-EXperimental Accelerator-Driven System) project, two concepts of a subcritical reactor core cooled by liquid lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE) were proposed. In this paper, the local thermal-hydraulic behavior of both LBE-cooled reactor-core concepts was analyzed. For this purpose, the MATRA subchannel analysis code (Multichannel Analyzer for Steady States and Transients in Rod Arrays) was selected, and modification was made for its applications to XADS conditions. Compared to the small-core concept, the large-core concept has a much lower hydraulic resistance, lower local coolant velocity, and lower temperatures of coolant and fuel pins. This enables the natural convection approach for removing reactor heat and for short-term realization of the core design using available technologies. The fuel assembly of the small-core concept has a tight configuration that leads to a high flow velocity and high pressure drop. The high power density of the small core results in high local temperatures of coolant, cladding, and fuel. Both coolant velocity and cladding temperature are such that special attention has to be paid to avoid corrosion and erosion damage of cladding materials. A parametric study shows that under the parameters considered, the mixing coefficient has the biggest effect on the coolant temperature distribution, whereas the cladding temperature is strongly affected by the selection of heat transfer correlations.