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Fuel channel installation completed at Point Lepreau generating station


November 26, 2011
By Anthony Capkun

November 26, 2011 – 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 to complete the retubing activities by May 2012, announced NB Power. After the commissioning activities are completed, the Point Lepreau generating station is expected to return to service by Fall 2012 and deliver safe and reliable power to New Brunswick for the next 25 to 30 years.

The fuel channel installation activities involved 380 pressure tubes inserted horizontally into the calandria vessel with 760 end fittings (one at each end), spacers, positioning assemblies as well as bellows welding.

The fuel channel installation project milestone was achieved ahead of the December 2011 scheduled completion date. Rod Eagles, NB Power Refurbishment project director, says that the early completion of the fuel channel installations is a result of the commitment of every man and woman working on the project.

“The continued commitment of all workers is a key element of the successful completion of the complex fuel channel installation series. Over the past year our team has consistently met the project milestones and achieved the expected high levels of quality and safety performance,” said Eagles.

The next major activity is to remove the large work platforms from which the majority of reactor retube activities were conducted. The fuel channel platform is made up of several large beams and columns and its removal is expected to take about a month. Following the fuel channel platform removal, the installation of 760 lower feeder pipes will proceed, which is the last major refurbishment activity prior to loading fuel inside the reactor.

In parallel with the platform removal, NB Power is reintroducing heavy water inside the calandria vessel. This parallel activity is one of many that NB Power will complete in preparation for the fuel loading and restart activities. 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:

• Lower feeder installation completion (May 2012)
• Return to service and generating electricity (Fall 2012)