NRU Status Report No. 29

AECL provides update on NRU activities

CHALK RIVER, ON, Nov. 11 /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 has installed the first set of welding tools and equipment in the full height mock-up at Chalk River's NRX facility. The NRX mock-up allows the repair team to simulate the real repair on the NRU vessel. Welders are practicing using the tools to repair simulated areas of corrosion located 9 meters below their access point, with the only available visuals of the repair site displayed on a video monitor. Welding training also continues at the facility of vendor Liburdi Engineering in Dundas, Ontario.

Once the welders have completed simulation training on the use of the tools, the welding equipment will be disassembled and moved to the NRU reactor in preparation for the next major activity, the start of in-vessel repair. In parallel to weld preparations, analysis of samples obtained from the vessel wall last week continues. Material analysis and test welding on the samples improve the outage team's understanding of material properties in order to ensure a quality repair.

More information on the return to service of the NRU is available at NRUCanada.ca.

Evidence collected to-date continues to support AECL's view that the necessary vessel repairs can be made and that the 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 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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