Workers installed the last of 480 new fuel channels in the Unit 1 reactor at Bruce A achieving a major milestone to return the 750 megawatt unit to service in early 2012.
The work follows similar efforts to refurbish Unit 2, which is expected to synchronize with Ontario’s electricity grid later this year.
“We’re very pleased with the progress,” said Duncan Hawthorne, President and CEO. “The reactor retube program was the longest and most challenging evolution on the Restart project but we continue to learn valuable lessons on this groundbreaking project.”
Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) began disassembling the core in September 2006 with work in Unit 1 following by about six months, although the gap narrowed by almost half as the program progressed.
“This past year was remarkable,” said John Soini, Vice President, Projects and Construction. “We increased the production rate from installing one channel every four days, to averaging more than five channels a day. The team focused on developing the best technique for each task and completing the work safely.”
Installed horizontally, each channel consists of a six-metre-long pressure tube with highly complex end components that allow the reactors to be refueled on line. During reactor operation, each channel holds 12 uranium fuel bundles.
The last new fuel channel in Unit 2 was installed in January. Work crews from E.S. Fox Limited are now completing the installation of new feeder tube segments which connect the fuel channels to the unit’s heat transport system. The same work will follow in Unit 1.
For stories and video clips on all aspects of the project, please check out our Bruce A Restart web pages at www.brucepower.com.
For further information, please contact:
Steve Cannon 519-361-6559
24-hour Duty Media Officer 519-361-6161