Calandria tube installation complete at Bruce A1

11 November 2010

The installation of new calandria tubes has been completed at unit 1 of Canada's Bruce A nuclear power plant, three months after similar work on the 769 MWe Candu unit's sister plant, Bruce A2. The first of the 480 new tubes was installed in Bruce A1 in December 2009; the last of the tubes, which form horizontal channels through the reactor core in which uranium fuel is inserted and through which the heavy water moderator flows, was installed on 27 October 2010. With the successful completion of seal tests, the installation is now complete. The work is part of a major refurbishment to enable the return to service of the two Bruce A units which have been laid up since the mid-1990s. Work is now continuing on the installation of initial fuel channel assemblies, and is expected to be substantially completed for Bruce A2 by the end of 2010. According to Bruce Power co-owner TransCanada, construction activities at both units will be essentially complete by the end of 2011. Unit 2 is expected to restart by the end of 2011 and re-enter commercial operation in early 2012, with unit 1 restarting in the first quarter of 2012 with commercial operation during the third quarter of the year. Bruce Power executive vice president, project management and construction, praised the "unwavering commitment to excellence" of the crews involved in the work. The retubing work is being carried out by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL).