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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 3 | June 2006 | Pages 350-360
Technical Paper | Radiation Protection | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT06-A3739
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The effect of material homogenization on the calculated gamma-ray dose rate was studied for several arrangements of typical pressurized water reactor (PWR) spent fuel pins in an air medium using the Monte Carlo code MCNP. The models analyzed increased in geometric complexity, beginning with a single fuel pin; progressing to small lattices, i.e., 3 × 3, 5 × 5, and 7 × 7 fuel pins; and culminating with a full 17 × 17 pin PWR bundle analysis. The fuel pin dimensions and compositions were taken directly from a previous study, and efforts were made to parallel this study by specifying identical flux-to-dose functions and gamma-ray source spectra.The analysis shows two competing components to the overall effect of material homogenization on the calculated dose rate. Homogenization of pin lattices tends to lower the effect of radiation channeling but increase the effect of source redistribution. Depending on the size of the lattice and the location of the detectors, the net effect of material homogenization on the dose rate can be insignificant, or it can range from a 6% decrease to a 35% increase relative to the detailed geometry model.