NRU repairs are completed

17 June 2010

The weld repairs at Canada’s NRU reactor have been fully completed and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is holding a hearing on 28 June to consider AECL’s application for the reactor to restart.

NRU inspection
AECL inspections of the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor at Chalk River Laboratories

“During the past week, the repair team completed the finishing weld and a series of non-destructive examinations (NDE) of the final repair site. A review of the NDE results has confirmed that all requirements for the final repair have been met, ” Atomic Energy of Canada Limited said in a statement on 16 June.

Final vacuuming of the vessel will be completed later this week, followed by a hand over of the NRU reactor from the Repair team to the Return-to-Service team.

Part of the Return-to-Service project’s plan includes reactivating the NRU’s auxiliary operating systems. To date, 23 of the 35 NRU systems are now in service.

The NRU reactor repairs began on 12 December 2009 and according to AECL’s latest estimate the reactor is expected to resume isotope production by the end of July. The first medical isotopes will be removed from the NRU for processing and distribution within 10 days of the reactor being returned to service, or, according to this estimate, by 22 July.

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