AECL provides update on NRU activities



    CHALK RIVER, ON, June 24 /CNW/ - Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL)
provides the following status report on the unplanned shutdown of the NRU
reactor at its Chalk River Laboratories.
    AECL reports that removal of all fuel, control and isotope rods has been
completed. The heavy water level in the reactor vessel has been lowered and is
being maintained at approximately 1.2 metres, the level required for
ultrasonic inspections. The heavy water leak rate has been reduced to a flow
of less than 0.5 kg/hr.
    Non-destructive examinations (NDE) of the interior of the aluminum vessel
are underway. Two sets of NDE measurements have been completed to date with
initial results from one set in the area of the leak indicating significant
wall thinning in a region 100 mm wide by 25 mm high. The second set of
measurements indicated no significant thinning of the vessel wall. Further
examinations are being conducted on a 24 hour/7 day rotation and are expected
to take several weeks to complete.
    Metallurgical and materials experts are assisting in determining the most
effective options for cleaning, inspection and repair techniques for the
reactor vessel. Mock-ups of the affected area of the NRU vessel have been
constructed to provide on-site testing and training for vessel inspection and
repair work. A full height mock-up of the reactor vessel components is
currently being developed and will be assembled in the former NRX reactor
building at Chalk River. This mock-up will allow AECL to simulate the repair
procedures.
    Further guidance on a return to service date will be provided as soon as
sufficient data has been collected and analyzed from the non-destructive
examination and a decision has been made with respect to the repair technique
chosen.
    AECL continues to communicate closely with CNSC on NRU outage issues, and
CNSC safety inspectors at Chalk River are closely following work at NRU.
    AECL confirms that there is no threat to workers, the public, the
environment or nuclear safety related to this event. AECL will continue to
provide updates to the CNSC and stakeholders as new information becomes
available.

    Stakeholders can receive real-time updates when new content is posted to
AECL's website by subscribing to RSS (Really Simple Syndication) news feeds at
www.aecl.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Dale Coffin, Director, Corporate
Communications, AECL, 1-866-886-(AECL) 2325

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