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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.
Akio Yamamoto, Masayuki Toujou, Kentarou Komori, Yasunori Kitamura, Yoshihiro Yamane
Nuclear Technology | Volume 154 | Number 3 | June 2006 | Pages 318-327
Technical Paper | Fuel Cycle and Management | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT06-A3736
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
In this paper, new optimization algorithms for the in-core fuel shuffling sequence of a boiling water reactor (BWR) are proposed to reduce outage time. During the short outage of a BWR, fuel shuffling can be a critical path in the periodic overall plant inspection. Therefore, a reduction in operation time for in-core fuel shuffling is essential to improve the plant capacity factor. For BWR in-core fuel shuffling, the shuffling sequence should be selected carefully since a fuel shuffling operation may affect those following it. Furthermore, several constraints must be satisfied during the in-core fuel shuffling of a BWR; e.g., two fuel assemblies must be inserted diagonally in a cell to fix the position of a control blade in it. Therefore, it is difficult to optimize BWR in-core fuel shuffling. In order to resolve this issue, new optimization methods are proposed, and the performances of some optimization algorithms are compared. Test calculations in actual BWR plants reveal that the workload for in-core fuel shuffling can be reduced by the proposed methods. The results of this paper will contribute to increasing the plant capacity factor by reducing the outage time.