By Rod Walton, Power Engineering & POWERGEN+ content material director
The tireless Darlington Nuclear Generation Station’s Unit 1 is getting a brief break previous to its upcoming makeover.
Earlier this month, Ontario Power Generation took Darlington Unit 1 offline for a deliberate inspection and upkeep outage. These outages usually take a few weeks, a lot shorter that was norm.
Brevity, nevertheless, will not be the reactor unit’s norm as of late. Last September, the 878-MW Darlington Unit 1 set a report for steady operation of a nuclear energy reactor when it went 963 days with no stoppage. It’s final time offline previous to that was January 26, 2018.
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“Unit 1’s record-setting run highlights the wonderful work carried out by our devoted nuclear professionals all through the pandemic to make sure Ontarians and front-line employees battling COVID-19 can rely on a gentle provide of energy 24 hours a day, seven days every week,” stated Sean Granville, OPG’s Chief Operating Officer. “It additionally highlights the effectiveness of our preventive upkeep applications, and the general reliability of our nuclear fleet.”
The outage crew will now examine Unit 1’s gear, together with gas channels, and perform upkeep in areas that aren’t usually accessible throughout unit operation. The outage scope additionally consists of upgrading the unit’s reactivity management techniques and finishing preparatory work required previous to refurbishment.
The present deliberate outage is the ultimate inspection and upkeep break earlier than Darlington Unit 1 will get a refurbishment in 2022.
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That undertaking is a part of a 10-year improve plant introduced by OPG a number of years in the past. Units 2 and three have been the primary to be taken offline for a refurbishment anticipated to take about three years every.
Under the plan, the Darlington models are shut down, defueled and islanded to disconnect the reactor from the remainder of the plant. What follows embody containment stress testing, disassembly of feeder tubes, the gas channel and the Calandria tube, which is fabricated from zirconium and surrounds the stress tube to kind a good leak seal of the vessel.
Prior to Darlington Unit 1’s record-setting operational run, the earlier report was 962 days set by the Kaiga energy station in India greater than two years in the past.
All 4 of Darlington’s nuclear reactor energy models have been commissioned within the 1990s. Together they provide than three GW in carbon-free era capability and function with CANDU pressurized heavy water reactors (schematic pictured right here).
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(Rod Walton is content material director for Power Engineering, POWERGEN International and the net POWERGEN+ sequence which resumes subsequent week with classes targeted round utility workforce, operations and upkeep and asset administration. He may be reached at 918-831-9177 and firstname.lastname@example.org).
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