NRU Status Report No. 21

AECL provides update on NRU activities

CHALK RIVER, ON, Sept. 16 /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).

Data analysis continues on Phases II and III of the Non Destructive Examinations (NDE). Probe development is nearing completion and preparations are underway to commence Phase IV NDE at the base of the vessel. AECL has determined that Phase IV 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.

Efforts remain focused on completing fabrication, assembly and qualification of the repair tooling. During the past week, the vendor successfully demonstrated operation of the complete welding tool assembly. AECL staff continues to work with vendor staff at their facility to assist in tool assembly and participate in training.

In preparation of vessel repair, various surface preparation and cleaning tools are being developed. Testing of this tooling is also underway and remains on schedule.

Testing of the cleaning and repair processes and tools will continue using the full height NRU mock-ups now constructed at AECL's Chalk River Laboratories, Sheridan Park facility in Mississauga, Ontario, and at the vendor's facility.

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.

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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