Candu unit sets North American operating record

10 July 2020

Darlington unit 1 has set a new Canadian and North American nuclear record with 895 consecutive days of unbroken operation. Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) Candu reactor has now been online since 26 January 2018 without needing to be taken out of service for maintenance or repair.

Darlington 1's turbine hall (Image: OPG)

"Unit 1's remarkable run is a reflection of the strong dedication and commitment of our employees to drive efficient and robust performance from our generating units for the benefit of all Ontarians," OPG Chief Nuclear Officer Sean Granville said. "This success story is a testament to the reliability of the Darlington station, which produces clean electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

The previous record of 894 days was held by unit 7 at OPG's Pickering plant.

Candus are pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs). Both PHWRs and advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs) are designed to be refuelled without being shut down. The world record for continuous operation of a nuclear plant is currently held by Kaiga unit 1 in India - also a PHWR - which was taken offline on 31 December 2019 after 962 days of operation, breaking the previous record of 940 days set by the UK's Heysham II AGR plant in September 2016.

Darlington's four reactors are soon to produce the medical isotopes cobalt-60, which is used to sterilise single-use medical devices, and molybdenum-99, used in medical diagnostics and imaging.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News