NRU Status Report No. 51

AECL provides update on NRU activities

CHALK RIVER, ON, April 14 /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 repair phase of the project began on December 12, 2009. To date 65 per cent of the repair work and associated non-destructive examinations have been completed.

AECL reports that development work continues on the detailed repair procedures for the final repair site. Weld development activities are currently focused on trial welds using a combination of welded plate and weld build-up repairs designed to reduce stress on the vessel.

Activities related to the start-up phase of the NRU return-to-service project continue in parallel to the current repair activities. Workers have completed reloading a portion of the non-fuel core assemblies into the reactor vessel in the area where the repairs, inspection and cleaning have been completed. Additional assemblies will be inserted as more sections of the reactor vessel become available.

More information on the return-to-service of the NRU is available at NRUCanada.ca, including a new video update featuring David Godfrey, Project Director at The Welding Institute (TWI) based in Cambridge, UK. With 35 years experience in a range of industrial sectors, including the nuclear industry, Mr. Godfrey shares his expert commentary on AECL's NRU repair strategy.

Guidance on the duration of the shutdown continues to be founded on the best evidence available, including the most up-to-date analysis of inspection data, progress on repair strategies and critical path requirements for restart after an extended shutdown. It is estimated that NRU will resume isotope production by the end of July. Further guidance on the return-to-service date will be provided when more information becomes available.

AECL is working diligently to return the NRU to service as quickly and safely as possible. Efforts are being driven by more than 300 highly qualified AECL staff and industry partners involved in the vessel repairs and return-to-service activities.

The 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.

SOURCE Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

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

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