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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.
Zoltán Hózer, László Maróti, Péter Windberg, Lajos Matus, Imre Nagy, György Gyenes, Márta Horváth, Anna Pintér, Márton Balaskó, Aladár Czitrovszky, Péter Jani, Attila Nagy, Oleg Prokopiev, Béla Tóth
Nuclear Technology | Volume 154 | Number 3 | June 2006 | Pages 302-317
Technical Paper | Reactor Safety | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT06-A3735
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The early phase of severe accidents in VVER reactors was simulated in the CODEX (COre Degradation EXperiment) facility with electrically heated fuel rod bundles. The selected test conditions and applied measurement techniques made possible the observation of some specific phenomena, such as the protective role of oxide scale during quenching of high-temperature bundles, the composition of gases produced during the oxidation of boron-carbide control rods, and the interlink between the aerosol release and the oxidation process. The general behavior of the VVER bundles did not differ significantly from that of the Western-design light water reactor bundles tested under similar high-temperature conditions, but the experiments emphasized that the application of VVER-specific material properties and models is essential for comprehensive numerical simulations.