NRU Status Report No. 24 - AECL provides update on NRU activities

CHALK RIVER, ON, Oct. 7 /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).

This week AECL completed the Phase II Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) data analysis. Examination of the data confirms that only six sites within the vessel require localized repair.

Phase IV NDE inspections are also complete and analysis of that data is underway. Further NDE inspections will be conducted to confirm the quality of the vessel repair upon its completion.

Prior to executing the weld build-up repair, cleaning of all surface corrosion in the vessel must be completed. This work began earlier this week. To date, approximately 10% of the vessel circumference has been cleaned.

Manufacturing of the repair tool is now complete, and qualification of the welding process by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) is ongoing. Training of AECL employees on the repair tool continues at the vendor's facility.

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.

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.

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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