NRU Status Report No.49

AECL provides update on NRU activities

CHALK RIVER, ON, March 31 /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. AECL has successfully completed eight of ten weld site repairs. Work on the ninth repair site is in progress and is nearing completion. To date 65 per cent of the repair work and associated non-destructive examinations have been completed.

Efforts are now focused on initiating the final repair to the vessel. The final repair involves four phases that must be carried out in sequence. The phases are weld development, welder qualification and reliability testing, integration testing and completing the repair in the vessel.

Weld development is the longest and most difficult phase to plan and schedule as a number of weld trials and engineering analyses must be completed to arrive at the optimum solution. For the final repair site, this process began in January and steady progress has been made to date.

The final and largest repair site increases the complexity of achieving a lasting repair while managing the stresses on the vessel. The repair involves a combination of welded plates, vertical and horizontal structural welds for plate attachment, and both vertical and horizontal weld build-up.

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 making every effort to return the NRU to service as quickly and safely as possible with more than 300 highly qualified AECL staff and industry partners now involved in the return-to-service project. Repair efforts will continue over the Easter holiday period, with crews working around the clock, to carry on with repairs to the NRU vessel.

More information on the return-to-service of the NRU is available at

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, More information:

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