After months of planning, operators shut down Bruce A Unit 3 today following the weekend shutdown of Unit 4 as part of the scheduled inspection of the station’s vacuum building.
“Our staff has done an excellent job preparing for this significant work program,” said Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “I have every confidence the thorough preparation will translate into a safely and efficiently executed inspection program.”
A unique safety feature of CANDU reactors, the vacuum building is designed to prevent the release of radioactive material to the environment in the unlikely event of an accident. A large cylindrical structure, it is connected to the generating station by a pressure relief duct and kept at negative atmospheric pressure so any potential release of radioactive steam can be sucked into the structure.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) requires all CANDU operators to conduct a thorough examination of the structure every 12 years.
Since the vacuum building is a shared safety system, the two operating Bruce A units will be kept offline during the inspection period, which is expected to last into October. During that time, crews will examine the integrity of the structure and examine any penetrations into the vacuum building where pipes or ducts are run to ensure there are no leaks or cracks. Work on the Bruce A Unit 1 and 2 Restart Project will continue during this time.
About Bruce Power
Bruce Power is a partnership among Cameco Corporation, TransCanada Corporation, BPC Generation Infrastructure Trust, a trust established by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, the Power Workers’ Union and The Society of Energy Professionals.
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