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Maurice Rhoades Arkansas Nuclear one unit one outage cost & critical path
In This paper I intend to discuss a nuclear electrical plant outage, the critical path, and the cost to perform the operation in downtime. I will also explain what a watt is and the cost for a kilowatt hour (I have attached a chart for you to look up your cost by location). A Nuclear power plant generates electricity using slightly enriched uranium U-235 to produce steam for the main generator. After a certain time period (approximately 12 months) the reactor starts running out of the U-235 and must be refueled. The old fuel assemblies (things that hold the fuel) are replaced with a certain amount of new fuel assemblies, and the reactor is restarted. Arkansas nuclear one unit one is scheduled for an outage and refueling on 3/13 /2013, lasting approximately a month in duration in which the plant is not operating. Arkansas nuclear one unit one (for the rest of this paper, I will refer to the plant as ANO-1) is a 891 megawatt plant, a megawatt being 1million watts. What’s a watt? A watt is a derived SI unit and is equal to one joule/second, in English that’s volts x amps. An example: to explain what a watt hour is; a 100 watt bulb is on for one hour; that’s 100 watt hours and a kilowatt is 1,000 watts; a kilowatt hour is 10 of those bulbs on for an hour. Now, since we pay in kilowatt hours lets figure out for ANO-1 for a year’s output at 891 megawatts; we can then use that figure to determine outage cost (just production cost) 891 megawatts = 891000 Kilowatts x 365 days/year x 24
hours/day =7805160000 kilowatt hours. The cost for power in Arkansas from tagetmap.com is 7.9 cents for a kilowatt hour. So, 7.9 cents /kilowatt hour x 7,805,160,000 kilowatt hour = 61,660,764,000 cents which is 616,607,640 dollars a year, dividing by 12 to come up with a monthly dollar amount = 51,383,970 dollars/month, remember this figure, we will come back to it when figuring the cost for the outage. Before we go on any further, let’s talk about critical path. In an outage it is the most limiting work progression
2 forcompletion of the outage goals. Critical path is the schedules of activities which must necessarily be accomplished in proper sequence and order so that the goals of the outage may be achieved. Let me give you a simple example, You’re driving your car and you get a flat. Your car is now in a forced outage (you can’t drive it) you must change the tire with the spare in your car. In order to change out the tire you must first jack up the car; so this order of jacking the car then changing the tire, becomes a critical path for you to accomplish your goal ( Getting back on the road); the jacking up of the car is the critical path for changing the tire. Because you can’t get around it you must follow the critical path. For power plant outages this takes on an almost frantic pace because of the money lost with a down plant. (Power is drawn in from the grid from another producer) Let’s take a little closer look at the critical path at ANO-1. There are things that must be done in order. First the reactor must be shut down and cooled down; the reactor coolant system must then be borated to refueling levels. The polar crane is checked out, (this is the crane on the celling of the reactor building used to lift the vessel head), duct work to the CRDMS are then removed, missile shields are moved out of the way, the head bolts on the vessel head and CRDMS are removed, the vessel head is removed, removal and storage of upper vessel internals are next, removal of the spent fuel rod assembles, addition of new fuel assembles, reversing the steps I listed and brining the plant back on line. Is this a little simplified, yes, but it’s the main items on critical path. Below is a diagram you might see describing the critical path for ANO-1.
Check out polar crane load cell
Shut down and cool down the reactor Borate RCS to refueling level Move vessel internals to spent fuel pool Remove CRDM duct work and Missile shields Remove head BOLTS AND CRDMs Install new fuel in vessel
Check out polar crane
Remove vessel head to stand
Move spent fuel to fuel pool
Install head, ductwork, and shields
Note the box in parallel with the critical path this is work that can be done at the same time as the block it is associated with. Refueling outage takes about one month to complete if the above critical path is performed in the time slot permitted. To see what that would cost let’s go back to that earlier figure I told you to note. 51,383,970. That’s 51 million 383 thousand 970 dollars; that’s why critical path is so important. The company lost that amount in revenue during the outage; that’s not including cost for labor and parts. If the outage is extended for any extra time, the cost just goes up to see what that might be, take the monthly figure and divide by 30, that equals 1,779,464 that’s almost two million a day. For a 7 day outage just multiply that by 7. That’s a high cost to the company for forced outages and slips in outage schedule. In the end nuclear power plant outages are very expensive due to lost output. Scheduling becomes very important during these outages to affect a quicker resolution to the problem as possible. The critical path must be established and followed closely by management to control the cost to the company.
4 References: Taget map.com. 2011 Google 5/30/2012 http://www.targetmap.com/viewer.aspx?reportId=9037
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