Unit 1 at Canada’s Darlington nuclear power plant has set a new North American nuclear record for consecutive days in operation, Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) said.
The Candu reactor set a new Canadian and North American nuclear record with 895 straight days and counting of consecutive operation. Unit 7 of Canada’s Pickering NPP held the previous record at 894 days.
Darlington 1 has been online since 16 January 2018 without needing to be taken out of service for maintenance or repair. In 2019, the 878MWe unit set a generation record for the Darlington NPP when it achieved 688 days of consecutive operation on 15 December.
Over its history, Darlington’s other three units have also demonstrated a strong track record. Darlington 3’s best run was set at 687 days, while unit 4 previously set a high of 675 days and unit 2 recorded 454 days of continuous operation. Darlington 2 was recently brought back into service after undergoing a successful mid-life refurbishment to secure 30 more years of operation. Unit 3 is next in the Darlington Refurbishment project, with work set to start in September.
Aside from generating power, Darlington’s four reactors will also soon produce two medical isotopes - Cobalt-60 and Molybdenum-99. The former is used to sterilize single-use medical devices while the latter is used in medical diagnostics and imaging.
“During a year that has been challenging to say the least due to the ongoing pandemic, our employees have proven what we’re capable of and are laying a strong foundation for the station’s post-refurbishment future. I’m confident we will continue to break records and excel in operational and safety performance,” said Steve Gregoris, Senior Vice President of Darlington Nuclear.
Photo: A view of the turbine hall at Darlington 1, which recently set a new North American nuclear record for consecutive days of operation (Credit: Rick-Radell / OPG)