AECL provides update on NRU activities

    CHALK RIVER, ON, May 22 /CNW/ - Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL)
provides the following update of activities related to the unplanned shutdown
of NRU at Chalk River Laboratories:

    -   The remaining Moly-99 available for isotope supply has now been
        removed from the NRU reactor and will be processed today.
    -   As reported on May 18th, the location of the heavy water leak has
        been identified at the base of the reactor vessel in a location where
        there is corrosion on the outside wall.
    -   The heavy water leak rate remains stable at approximately 5 kg/hr.
        Options to reduce the leak rate while inspections are ongoing are
        being considered.
    -   Due to high airflow in the area, a small portion of the leakage
        evaporates and results in a monitored tritium release through the NRU
        ventilation system. Although the airborne release is well below
        regulatory limits, the release has reached action levels for tritium.
    -   Visual inspections using remote imaging devices are ongoing and will
        provide AECL with a better understanding of the nature of the leak
        and repair options.
    -   An internal reactor vessel inspection using remote imaging was
        carried out at the leak location. No abnormalities were visible.
    -   Remote imaging inspection of the external wall of the reactor is
    -   Ultrasonic investigation of the interior vessel wall is set to begin
        this weekend.

    AECL anticipates that the NRU reactor will remain out of service for more
than one month. However, the visual inspection process, once completed, will
provide a more accurate return to service timeframe.
    AECL confirms that there is no threat to workers, the public, the
environment or nuclear safety related to this event. AECL will continue to
provide updates to the CNSC and stakeholders when new information becomes

For further information:

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

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