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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.
T. H. Trumbull, D. R. Harris
Nuclear Technology | Volume 154 | Number 1 | April 2006 | Pages 117-127
Technical Paper | Radiation Measurements and Instrumentation | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT06-A3722
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Measurements of delayed fission product gamma-ray transmission through low-enriched UO2 fuel pin lattices in an air medium were conducted at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Reactor Critical Facility (RCF). The RCF core consists of excess Special Power Excursion Reactor Test fuel pins enriched to 4.81 wt% 235U and clad in stainless steel. An experimental apparatus was constructed to hold various arrangements of fuel pin lattices. The arrangements consisted of a single activated source pin taken from the reactor core surrounded by inactive fuel pins in an air medium. A sodium-iodide detector and gamma-ray spectroscopy system was used to generate a pulse-height spectrum of the gamma-ray radiation for detector positions outside the lattice. The change in radiation intensity as the detector is rotated about the vertical axis of the lattice, the "channeling effect," was measured. Measurements of the channeling effect were performed for six experimental arrangements: 3 × 3, 5 × 5, and 7 × 7 lattices, with both the corner and the center positions containing the activated pin. The results of the measurements demonstrate that the gamma-ray radiation intensity can vary widely as a function of angle relative to the angle of rotation about the vertical axis of the lattice.