Point Lepreau Generating Station Refurbishment Project Update

Calandria tube installation activities completed

July 15, 2011 — The Refurbishment Project team has successfully completed the installation and testing of all 380 calandria tubes in the reactor vessel.

The NB Power and AECL teams continue to work around the clock to complete all project activities safely and with the quality expected by New Brunswickers in order to complete the retubing work by May 2012. After the commissioning activities are completed, the Station is expected to return to service by the fall of 2012 and deliver safe and reliable power to New Brunswick for the next 25 to 30 years.

CANDU calandria, prior to installation. Image Courtesty of NuclearFAQ.ca

Rod Eagles, NB Power Refurbishment Project Director, says that the early completion of the calandria tube installation is a result of the commitment of every man and woman working on the project.

“The installation and testing of each calandria tube was complex and very precise work,” said Eagles. “Our team of highly skilled workers demonstrated perseverance as well as the required commitment to safety and quality throughout this sequence. The dedication of the combined NB Power and AECL team has allowed us to remain on track to meet the May 2012 completion date.”

The calandria tube installation activities involved 380 tubes being inserted horizontally into the calandria vessel with 760 tube inserts (one at each end). The calandria tubes were tested individually at each end to ensure that leak tight seals were achieved and all tests were successful. These tubes are approximately six metres long and 13 centimetres in diameter, and will contain the reactor’s fuel channels and fuel bundles.

Workers are preparing for the fuel channel installation activities which are expected to be completed in December 2011. This sequence will include the installation of pressure tubes, spacers, end fittings and positioning assemblies as well as bellows welding.

Activities to restart the Station continue. NB Power has a team in place to ensure that the remaining commissioning activities are carried out in accordance with all operating and regulatory requirements.

Project updates will continue to be issued on a monthly basis and will include progress on project milestones. The major milestones include:

  • Fuel channel installation (December 2011)
  • Lower feeder installation (May 2012)
  • Return to service and generating electricity (fall 2012)

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