Atomic Energy of Canada Limited - NRU Status Report No. 23

AECL provides update on NRU activities

CHALK RIVER, ON, Sept. 30 /CNW/ - The following information bulletin is in accordance with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's (AECL) ongoing commitment to voluntary public disclosure of events related to the Chalk River Laboratories (CRL).

The Phase IV NDE probe tool testing and training is complete and collection of in-vessel Phase IV data is underway. Phase IV NDE will be the final phase of condition assessment NDE required before work begins on repairing the vessel. Further NDE inspections will be conducted upon completion of the vessel repair, to confirm the quality of the vessel repair. Analysis continues on Phase II Non Destructive Examinations (NDE) data.

In advance of commencing the vessel repair process, portions of the interior surface of the vessel will undergo surface preparation and cleaning. Functional testing of the AECL developed cleaning equipment, using the mock-up, is complete and the equipment has been moved to NRU for installation and final testing.

Efforts remain focused on completing fabrication, assembly and qualification of the repair tooling. A welding test using the new repair tool was successfully performed at the vendor's mock-up this week. AECL employees continue to be trained by the vendor on the use of the tool.

Testing of the cleaning and repair processes and tools continue using the full height NRU mock-ups constructed at AECL's Chalk River Laboratories, Sheridan Park facility in Mississauga, Ontario, and at the vendor's facility. The work underway at all three locations involves more than 300 engineers, skilled trades, technicians and operators working to return the NRU to service.

Guidance on the duration of the shutdown continues to be founded on the best evidence available, including the most up-to-date analysis of the inspection data, progress on repair strategies, and critical path requirements for restart after an extended shutdown. At this time, the application of the band weld build-up technique, and the number of identified repair sites, indicates the NRU will return to service during the first calendar quarter of 2010. Further guidance on a return to service date will be provided when more information becomes available.

Evidence collected to date continues to support AECL's view that the necessary vessel repairs can be made and that NRU will be safely returned to service.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) safety inspectors continue to provide independent regulatory oversight of AECL activities at the Chalk River Site.

There is no threat to workers, the public, the environment or nuclear safety related to this event.

More information on the return to service of NRU is available at NRUCanada.ca.

SOURCE Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

For further information: For further information: Dale Coffin, Director, Corporate Communications, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, 1-866-886-2325

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