The Nuclear Energy Institute has produced four video news releases that examine innovations that have been recognized with a Top Industry Practice award. The final video features the Entergy Vermont Yankee plant in Vernon. The video, “Robotic Inspectors,” highlights new inspection devices developed at the Vermont Yankee nuclear energy station to closely analyze the facility’s steam dryer. Entergy Nuclear employees at Vermont Yankee are recipients of the Maintenance Process Award for developing innovative tooling for the inspection of a boiling water reactor steam dryer. The steam dryer is located in the top of the reactor.Entergy Nuclear partnered with AREVA NP Inc. to develop two remotely operated inspection systems, one to inspect the outer diameter of the dryer and the other to inspect the inner diameter. The outer diameter innovation uses a rail-and-trolley system with a telescoping mast and camera to inspect all 213 welds and components. The inner diameter method uses an underwater crawler with a telescoping mast and camera to inspect all 253 welds and components.Advantages common to both inspection systems include: improved safety, higher inspection quality, greatly reduced radiation exposure and parallel inspection capability. An annual reduction of 3.6 person-rem of radiation exposure is expected along with a minimum $500,000 cost reduction per outage. The tooling is highly transferable. It was developed so it can be used on all makes and sizes of dryers, regardless of the rail configuration on the refuel floor. The new dryer inspection tools can be used for dryer inspections at all boiling water reactors.To download “Robotic Inspectors,” go to: http://www.nei.org/filefolder/Robotic_Inspectors.wmv(link is external). The news release describing the all of the award-winning TIP entries is available at:http://www.nei.org/newsandevents/newsreleases/omaha-public-power-distric…(link is external). All four videos are posted on NEI’s Web siteThe first video, “High Tech Stress Relief,” released on July 7, looked at the challenge of microscopic stress corrosion cracking in plant systems. Released on July 14, the second video, “Global Ties Boost Nuclear Plant Performance,” showcased an international exchange of best practices by Exelon Nuclear. And released on July 21, “The Secret Is Plastic” focused on the impressive new use of polyethylene piping at nuclear plants.One hundred and four nuclear power plants operating in 31 states supply one-fifth of the nation’s electricity, even though they constitute only 10 percent of installed electric generating capacity.Source: NEI. The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available at www.nei.org(link is external).
Formula 1’s summer break has been moved forward from August as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.The new season has been thrown into disarray by the virus and F1 is working on plans to run as long a season as possible once races can be held.Following unanimous agreement, the ‘break’ will be held in March and April, with teams choosing a three-week period in that time to close.It is normally held in August, when teams shut down for two weeks.The change, made to facilitate fitting in as many races as possible once the season starts, was approved by governing body the FIA’s legislative body, the World Motor Sport Council, on Wednesday.Further changes are expected in due course. Teams and F1 bosses are working on plans for a reshaped calendar with a reduced number of races from the 22 originally scheduled in 2020. The four opening races in Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam and China have all been postponed, and the three next events in the Netherlands, Spain and Monaco are expected to follow in the coming days.Red Bull said in a statement that they were planning to shut down for three weeks from 27 March but “there may be some flexibility around those dates due to the ever-changing nature of the pandemic”.The former champions said they “agreed with the measures being taken to reduce the risk of transmission and will support any further race postponements that are deemed necessary”.They said they were “taking every possible precaution to mitigate the spread of the virus” and were “implementing special working methods, guided by the UK government and medical professionals”.F1 bosses are currently working on a plan to start the season with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on 7 June but that is dependent on the development of the coronavirus outbreak and related global travel restrictions. A number of races have been identified as the most likely to be left off a truncated scheduled, with Monaco, Brazil, Spain, China and Australia at the top of the list.Teams are trying to secure the required unanimous agreement on a plan to delay until 2022 the introduction of major regulations changes which are scheduled for next season.Nine of the 10 teams agreed to the proposal at a meeting on Tuesday, with only Ferrari asking for more time to consider it.The idea behind the plan is to keep costs under control at a time when teams are facing reduced revenue as a result of the expected lower number of races.A further meeting is scheduled for Thursday to discuss the matter again.