Darlington turbine refurb contract

04 April 2013

Alstom is to refurbish the turbines and generators of all four Candu reactors at the Darlington nuclear power plant under a contract signed with Ontario Power Generation (OPG). The work is part of a project to extend the plant's life by up to 30 years.

The long-term service contract, worth some $350 million, will see Alstom refurbish four steam turbines and generator units, and the associated auxiliary equipment. The company - which supplied the original equipment when the plant was built - said that new equipment will be supplied by its manufacturing facilities in Europe and the USA.

OPG senior vice president of nuclear refurbishment Dietmar Reiner said: "This is a very important part of our refurbishment project. We concluded thorough reviews of the major turbine and generator components, and determined that they are in good shape, with no life-limiting issues. However, other factors that might affect their life need to be addressed through refurbishment. The work and upgrades associated with this contract will allow the equipment to run for another 30 years."

Alstom has provided on-going service and technical support to OPG since the Darlington plant was commissioned in the early 1990s. Alstom Thermal Service senior vice president Hans-Peter Meer commented, "We have been supporting OPG at Darlington since it was built and know the equipment and project requirements very well."

OPG plans to start work on the Darlington refurbishment project in 2016 with completion scheduled for late 2024. The refurbishment would enable the units to continue operating for a further 25-30 years. Last month, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission concluded that the proposed refurbishment "is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, taking into account mitigation measures identified in the environmental assessment screening report." It can therefore proceed with its consideration of OPG's licence application for the proposed project.

In March 2012, OPG awarded a contract - worth some $600 million - to SNC-Lavalin and Aecon to carry out the definition phase of the refurbishment project. Aecon will construct a full-scale reactor mock-up where key elements of the project can be simulated and tested prior to work beginning on the actual reactors. Meanwhile, SNC-Lavalin will develop specialized tooling required for the project. The two companies will also develop a detailed scope, schedule and budget for the execution phase, as well as procure components for the first reactor unit to be refurbished.

OPG recently contracted with Burns & McDonnell to provide independent oversight of the Darlington refurbishment project.

The Darlington plant is OPG's newest Candu nuclear generating station. It is a four-unit plant with a total output of 3524 MWe. It provides about 20% of Ontario's electricity needs.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News