TIVERTON, ON – Nov. 10, 2010 – Workers on the Bruce A Restart Project have successfully completed the installation of new calandria tubes in the Unit 1 reactor just three months after the same work was completed in Unit 2.
“This project has been the subject of much commentary and criticism,” said Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power’s President and CEO. “Despite this, our team has worked with great professionalism and focus to complete their work programs in a manner that reflects well on their skill and is a testament to the quality of our Canadian workforce. This work is challenging and contains many first-of-a-kind activities but with a highly-skilled workforce we can face these challenges with confidence.”
Final seal tests concluded the work sequence, which saw 480 new tubes installed horizontally in the reactor vessel. Approximately six metres long by 13 centimetres in diameter, the zirconium-alloy tubes are used to house the reactor’s 480 fuel channels.
“The crews involved have exhibited an unwavering commitment to excellence and a true dedication to safely performing the task at hand,” said John Sauger, Executive Vice President, Project Management and Construction.
The first calandria tube was installed in the Unit 1 reactor during a trial run in December 2009 after Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) crews spent more than two years with remote-controlled tools removing the original core components and refurbishing what remained. The final tube was secured on Oct. 27, 2010 and all seal tests were successfully achieved by Nov. 10, 2010.
Calandria tube installation was completed in parallel with other tasks to prepare feeder tubes, clean the reactor vessel’s inside surfaces and install initial fuel channel assemblies. To date, crews have installed 38 of 480 new fuel channels in the Unit 1 reactor.
“In Unit 2 we’ve surpassed the half-way mark with new fuel channels and expect to have the reactor substantially complete by year-end,” said Sauger. “In Unit 1 we’re going to spend some time cleaning the insides of the remaining feeder tube segments and then we’ll resume fuel channel installation.”
Individual feeder tubes connect to end fittings on each fuel channel assembly to circulate heavy water coolant between the reactor and steam generators. The lower segment of each feeder tube was removed earlier in the project to be replaced after new fuel channels are installed.
The four 750 megawatt units at Bruce A were laid up in the mid-1990s by former operator Ontario Hydro. Units 3 and 4 were restarted by Bruce Power earlier this decade; Unit 2 is expected to synchronize with Ontario’s electricity grid in late 2011 with Unit 1 following in 2012.
For stories and video clips on all aspects of the project, please check out our Bruce A Restart web pages at www.brucepower.com.
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