Tag Archives: Refurbishment

CNA2013

CNA2013 Video: Nuclear Refurbishment Projects

The next in our CNA2013 Conference video series features a panel discussion on nuclear refurbishment projects.

Nuclear refurbishments are often referred to as the most complex engineering challenges in the history of infrastructure. With some Canadian projects recently completed, and others in initial planning phases, this session featured Canadian nuclear leaders sharing how lessons learned will inform future initiatives.

Mark Sutcliffe moderated the panel of:

You can watch more CNA2013 conference videos on the playlist we created. Other videos including videos from previous conference years can be found on our YouTube channel.

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2012 CNA AGM and Nuclear Refurbishment Summit

The Canadian Nuclear Association is having its 52nd annual general meeting to elect 13 new Directors of the Board. We’re going to have more elected members, more representation across the industry, than ever before! We are stronger when we work together.

After the AGM, up to 200 guests are expected to attend the Nuclear Refurbishment Summit, an event sponsored by the Canadian Nuclear Association, the Organization of CANDU Industries and Aecon Nuclear.

Ontario’s Minister of Energy Chris Bentley will be a keynote speaker at the event taking place in Cambridge on May 17, 2012.

Keynote speakers at the event include:

  • Albert Sweetnam, Executive Vice President, Nuclear Projects at Ontario Power Generation (OPG), on OPG’s plans to implement lessons learned from Fukushima.
  • Kevin Wallace, President and General Manager of Candu Energy Inc., on lessons learned from the Wolsong Refurbishment.

Notable attendees include: Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig, Cambridge MPP Rob Leone, OPG Chief Nuclear Officer Wayne Robbins and John Beck, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Aecon Group Inc.

The event is open to guests, including CNA and OCI members. For more details and to register, please contact Aecon at refurbsummit@aecon.com.

We’re encouraging all CNA members to attend! Hope to see you there!

Aecon has more than forty years of experience in the nuclear industry and maintains a CSA N285 nuclear quality certification in Canada. On January 1 of this year, Aecon’s Cambridge fabrication facility was awarded nuclear accreditation, known as the “N-Stamp”, from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

On March 1, 2012, Aecon Group Inc. announced that a joint venture they were part of had been awarded a major contract with OPG to carry out the Darlington Retube and Feeder Replacement Project. This project includes the refurbishment of all four reactors at the Darlington Generating Station.

Aecon Group Inc. is one of Canada’s largest and most diverse construction and infrastructure development companies.  Aecon and its subsidiaries provide services to private and public sector clients throughout Canada and on a selected basis internationally.  Aecon is pleased to be recognized as one of the Best Employers in Canada.

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Nuclear Projects and Costs: Jobs and Affordability

In the article Rising electricity prices have little to do with renewable energy (May 5), Weis makes several omissions and extrapolations in the areas of transparency, cost and the role of nuclear energy projects in Ontario.

Ontario Power Generation (OPG), which is owned by the people of Ontario, produces about 60 per cent of the electricity used in Ontario and half of that comes from its 10 operating nuclear units. The price for this electricity is 5.6 cents per kilowatt hour, up from 5.5 cents two years ago.  This information is publicly available and is set by the Ontario Energy Board during a public process.

While “full costs associated with refurbishing existing units or building new ones has never been made public,” that’s because OPG and the government have yet to determine a projected cost, Similarly, OPG has yet to determine precise costs to refurbish the four units at Darlington. Both projects will be the result of competitive bidding processes. Setting a price before the bids are complete would not result in the best deal for consumers.

Building two new nuclear units will be a major undertaking. It will require thousands of skilled tradespeople, enormous quantities of cement, steel and other metals. It would require thousands of specifically fabricated components which will create numerous spin off jobs in the manufacturing sector.

According to a report released in July 2010 by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, refurbishing nuclear facilities at Bruce and Darlington will create 25,000 jobs in the next decade and inject $5 billion into the Ontario economy annually.

For example, the contractor workforce for the Bruce Power refurbishment wrapping up this year, at its peak, included over 3,000 skilled tradespersons. The project has been employing thousands of people since 2006. In addition to this direct employment, there is also a significant amount of indirect employment in those firms that supply services and materials to the refurbishment projects. Ontario has an ambitious clean energy development targets and nuclear energy – an integral part of the province’s clean energy portfolio – is crucial to achieving those targets. Many people may not realize that nuclear’s clean, base load power is enabling the province of Ontario to be coal-free by 2014 and provides the stable base that is needed to bring renewables onto the grid.

Reaching these clean energy goals does have associated costs and to better understand the costs of Ontario’s energy mix, plain and accessible information can be found in the provincial Auditor General’s latest report, which cites what the Ontario Energy Board itself said in 2010:

“In April 2010, the OEB completed an analysis predicting that a typical household’s annual electricity bill will increase by about $570, or 46%, from about $1,250 in 2009 to more than $1,820 by 2014. More than half of this increase would be because of renewable energy contracts” (page 95).

Nuclear energy provides over half of the province’s electricity. It’s clean, reliable and affordable. The CNA invites Canadians to read the Auditor General’s report and make an informed decision on energy costs.

We also invite you to join the conversation on our TalkNUclear blog, Facebook and Twitter and ask us about the topics that are important to you. Our NU microsite NUnuclear.ca is an excellent tool that illustrates the role nuclear technology plays in our daily lives beyond power generation. From life-saving nuclear medicine to enabling materials safety, we depend on nuclear for much more than just keeping the lights on.

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Now is the Time for Canada to Invest in Nuclear Energy

Here’s another great post from our friends at AREVA Canada. Executive VP Jean-François Béland shares his thoughts on the past year since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and why now is the time for investing in nuclear.

Jean-François Béland, Executive Vice-President, AREVA Canada

Now is the time for Canada to invest in nuclear energy

By Jean-François Béland

During the year that has passed since the earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, many have questioned the future of nuclear energy in nations around the world. While a few nations have decided in the wake of Fukushima to move abruptly away from nuclear energy, many others have taken this opportunity to take a long hard look at this technology and have moved forcefully ahead.

Driven largely by internal political concerns, Germany declared it will gradually shutter its nuclear plants, opting instead to depend more on fossil fuels (domestic brown coal and imported Russian gas) and more renewables. But for the near term, Germans can expect higher electricity prices, more carbon emissions and Imports of nuclear produced electricity from France.

Others, such as China, India and the United Kingdom, are moving forward aggressively with plans for new nuclear power plants. China alone has 26 new reactors under construction, including two by AREVA. The U.S. government recently approved the construction for the first new reactor in 30 years, an event that will lead to other projects.

Taishan 1 EPR reactor under construction in China

Here in Canada, we stand at a crossroads. While some politicians have expressed their support for nuclear energy, this has not translated into the concrete actions necessary to spur significant new investments. Canada’s nuclear power plants generate 15% of our electricity safely, reliably and without producing greenhouse gases. But nearly 20 years have passed since a new plant has come online.

In Ontario more than 50% of the electricity comes from nuclear energy, making this technology critical for the economy. Nuclear energy’s low cost and reliability enables our industrial base in Ontario to remain competitive. Let’s face it, nuclear power generation helps maintain industrial and manufacturing jobs in Ontario better than any other fiscal incentive to date.

The refurbishment project at Darlington Nuclear Generating Station in Ontario has just taken another step forward. This is indeed a positive development. But we must move forward now with the development of new plants to ensure we have reliable power for the future. In addition, each new nuclear plant project would create thousands more jobs and spur billions of dollars in regional investment.

We continue to work with NB Power and other partners on the possibility of developing at the Point Lepreau site in New Brunswick a Clean Energy Park, using a combination of AREVA nuclear energy and renewable technology.

We are delighted to see strong support in Saskatchewan for further development of nuclear technology in the province. Saskatchewan has the world’s best uranium deposits. And for decades, AREVA has been a leading uranium producer in northern Saskatchewan.

Over the past year, the Canadian nuclear industry has thoroughly assessed its systems and operations to ensure its safety. In October, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission concluded that all Canadian nuclear plants could withstand conditions similar to those at Fukushima. But, as an industry, we are still working every day to improve – our operations, our efficiency and our safety. AREVA is likewise constantly striving to help our customers produce cleaner, safer and more reliable electricity.

Canada has an opportunity to regain a leadership position in the one of the world’s pre-eminent clean energy technologies. But to do this, our leaders must take courageous, long-term decisions to invest in new nuclear energy projects today. As a proud Canadian and nuclear industry employee, I look forward to seeing the next new nuclear plant under construction in Ontario. While this may not be the easiest course of action, our leaders will find that new investment in nuclear energy is good for Canadians’ electricity rates, Canada’s industrial base, and Canada’s clean energy future.

Jean-François Béland is Executive Vice President of AREVA Canada.

This post originally appeared on the AREVA North America: Next Energy Blog.

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Point Lepreau Generating Station Refurbishment Project Update

Fuel channel installations in progress

August 12, 2011

The Refurbishment Project team has started the fuel channel installation sequence and has successfully completed approximately six per cent of the 380 installations. The fuel channel installation activities are progressing well along the planned timeline in a safe and quality manner. This sequence is expected to be completed in December 2011.

On July 15, 2011, NB Power announced that AECL had successfully completed the installation and testing of all 380 calandria tubes in the reactor vessel. Following that milestone, workers completed the required transition activities for fuel channel installation and started installations shortly after.

The NB Power and AECL team continues 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 have been 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.

“We’re pleased by AECL’s quick transition from the calandria tube work to the fuel channel installations,” said Rod Eagles, NB Power Refurbishment Project Director. “The successful early days of this sequence demonstrate that our training and preparation are paying off in field execution. Our team of dedicated and highly skilled workers remains on track to meet the project targets.”

The fuel channel installation sequence is very complex as there are multiple steps that need to be executed systematically in order to complete a full installation of each fuel channel.

A subassembly (consisting of a pressure tube and one end fitting) is assembled at the AECL Saint John mock-up facility and transported to the Station. Following the insertion of this subassembly inside of the recently installed calandria tubes located inside the reactor vessel, spacers are put in place at four precise positions along the length of the pressure tube. These spacers will maintain the distance between the pressure and calandria tubes. A second end fitting is then installed on the opposite end and attached to the pressure tube with a rolled joint. The end fitting outlet ports are then aligned to the proper position and welded to the bellows on both sides of the reactor. Finally, positioning assemblies are installed.

Activities to restart the Station continue. The NB Power team will 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 completion (December 2011)
  • Lower feeder installation completion (May 2012)
  • Return to service and generating electricity (fall 2012)

MEDIA CONTACT:
Kathleen Duguay, Public Affairs Manager, (506) 659-6433 or email:
kduguay@nbpower.com.

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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)

NB Power Point Lepreau Generating Station

MEDIA CONTACT:
Kathleen Duguay
Public Affairs Manager
(506) 659-6433
kduguay@nbpower.com.