NRU Status Report No.55

AECL provides update on NRU activities

CHALK RIVER, ON, May 12 /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).

AECL reports that 71 per cent of the weld repairs and associated Non-Destructive Examinations (NDE) have been completed. The repair phase of the project began on December 12, 2009 and to date nine of ten sites have been repaired.

Work continues on qualifying the welders to perform the complex weld techniques on the final repair site. Significant training and qualification testing must be completed prior to commencing the final repair on the NRU vessel.

Information on the final repair site and the weld techniques to be applied can be seen in a new video posted on NRUCanada.ca featuring AECL's Return-to-Service Project Director Dave Cox. In this video update, Dave illustrates how the team will apply plates and both horizontal and vertical welds to the repair site.

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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