NRU Status Report No. 26 - AECL provides update on NRU activities

CHALK RIVER, ON, Oct. 21 /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).

Cleaning activities are approximately 88 per cent complete. Progress on this activity has been made possible though the use of the customized tooling designed and built by AECL staff working at the Chalk River Laboratories. This is a critical step in the repair process as the cleaning prepares the repair sites for welding.

Work continues on the training and qualification of welders who are preparing to execute the weld repairs. Over the past week the weld procedures to be used in the repair process and the welders who will be carrying out the repairs have been qualified by the Technical Standard and Safety Authority (TSSA). The outage team will continue to train using the remote welding tools and the full height mock-up in preparation for the actual in-vessel welding.

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 www.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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