Part of the former Southeast Consolidated School building in Stella has been rebuilt to be a replica of a key section of the plant.
Jeff Wagner, Cooper’s night shift manager, says the mock-up of the drywell unit will be used to train workers in how to replace fan coil units during next month’s refueling.
“We have several workers that’ve never been in a nuclear power plant before so we can show them what the protective clothing requirements are going to be like, what our work control process is like, the contamination control requirements that we’re going to have,” Wagner says. “We’ll also be able to practice all of our material handling so when we take the old units out, we don’t spread radioactive contamination to areas outside of the drywell.”
The fan coil units cool the air inside the drywell, maintaining a temperature of less than 150-degrees to protect the electrical components. The drywell is the area of the plant that houses the reactor and is not accessible while the plant is in operation, which is why they built the mock-up in Stella.
Wagner says the mock-up is an exact replica of what workers will experience at the nuclear plant. He says no other boiling water reactor has a mock-up drywell of a size similar to the one in Stella.
“This mockup is one-to-one built using the same set of drawings that we have from the construction of the plant,” Wagner says. “So, on the floor, where you see a beam or a piece of grating, that’s what it looks like in the plant.”
The refueling outage at Cooper is scheduled for October and it’s slated to take 27 days to complete. The operation to change the fan coil units will take seven days.
More information on the mock-up and the scope of the work is available through a video tour on the Nebraska Public Power District’s Facebook page and at www.nppd.com.
By Matthew Leaf, KTNC, Falls City