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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.
M. Zabiégo, F. Fichot, P. Rubiolo
Nuclear Technology | Volume 154 | Number 2 | May 2006 | Pages 194-214
Technical Paper | Thermal Hydraulics | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT06-A3728
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
In the frame of Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire research programs on severe accidents in pressurized water reactors (PWRs), a new radiative heat transfer model to be used in the ICARE/CATHARE software is presented. The reactor core is considered an optically thick porous medium, and the diffusion approximation is adopted. The equivalent conductivity of the medium is determined. Its expression is carefully established to take into account the strong geometrical variations occurring in a reactor core undergoing a severe accident sequence (as observed in Three Mile Island Unit 2). After describing the theoretical basis of our approach, it is shown that the continuity of the equivalent conductivity is ensured when the geometry evolves from an array of intact cylinders to a particle bed.When compared to the more classical radiation method used in most severe accident codes, this approach better predicts the radial temperature gradient obtained by Cox in his experiment in bundle geometry. The same comparison on a PWR vessel undergoing an accidental sequence brings to the fore the impact of the radiation modeling on the degradation process: The sideward heat losses predicted by the method selected in this work are more limited, which slows the radial progression of the degradation.