Work to repair Canada’s NRU reactor continues but technical challenges have put the targeted return-to-service date back to April.
.In its weekly status update Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) said that 29% of the reactor vessel repair activities are complete.
Difficulties that were experienced in deploying the specialized tooling required for the current sequence of repairs have been addressed, and welding activities are scheduled to resume later this week. However, in light of the continuing technical challenges, the project team has reviewed the return-to-service work plan and NRU’s targeted return-to-service has been updated to April.
Welders are continuing to practice repair welds in the NRU mockups and the project team has made progress in completing stress analysis for this repair sequence. This testing minimizes the chance that activities undertaken in the reactor vessel could cause damage to the reactor. The project team is now working with third-party experts optimize the repair strategy for final sequence of weld repairs.
To help offset schedule delays, return-to-service activities are being brought forward in the schedule. Activities such as the commissioning of the Fuel Rod Flask, a major component required to add fuel to the reactor, are in progress.