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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.
C. Riffard, H. Toubon, S. Pelletier, M. Batifol, J. M. Vidal
Nuclear Technology | Volume 154 | Number 2 | May 2006 | Pages 186-193
Technical Paper | Fuel Cycle and Management | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT06-A3727
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Before the reprocessing of low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuels at La Hague plant, the assemblies are characterized with a nondestructive assay based on neutron emission (NE) and gamma-ray emission combined with the CESAR depletion code, giving the burnup (BU) with a good accuracy (±5% within a batch of fuels from one of COGEMA-La Hague's clients). The measurements confirm the hypothesis of the safety-criticality analysis of the process, in the context of the BU credit allowance. There is a need to extend the allowance of the reprocessing plants to the case of more highly enriched LEU fuels and to the case of mixed-oxide (MOX) fuels. The aim is to propose an upgraded method, valid for both LEU and MOX fuels, giving the average BU with an uncertainty lower than ±15% for MOX fuels (without any modification of the current acceptance criteria for UO2 fuel, i.e., ±15%), with a complementary module checking the operator data using the gamma-ray emission and the CESAR depletion code. In particular, the NE was interpreted with depletion calculations in the case of MOX fuels, which is the principal aim of this paper. This allows the BU determination of MOX fuels, which has been qualified during a measurement campaign in La Hague with 20 MOX assemblies. The mean BU of pressurized water reactor MOX assemblies has been determined for the first time with a maximum discrepancy of ±5% compared to the declared value.