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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.
Yoshihisa Ikusawa, Koji Maeda, Masato Kato, Masayoshi Uno
Nuclear Technology | Volume 199 | Number 1 | July 2017 | Pages 83-95
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2017.1314748
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Based on thermal computation results obtained using an irradiation behavior analysis code, we have evaluated the effect of oxide-metal ratio on fuel restructuring from the results of postirradiation examinations for the B14 irradiation test fuel, which was a mixed oxide fuel and was irradiated in the experimental reactor Joyo. The thermal computation results showed that fuel restructuring in the stoichiometric oxide fuel was accelerated, though the fuel temperature in the stoichiometric oxide fuel was evaluated as lower than that of the hypo-stoichiometric one. We explained this behavior as follows: first, the fuel temperature decreased due to the high thermal conductivity at stoichiometry; second, the pore migration velocity increased due to the increase in vapor pressure caused by the high vapor pressure of UO3, which was derived from the high oxygen potential at stoichiometry. In addition, our results indicated that the central void diameter strongly depended on not only fuel temperature, but also vapor pressure.