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An early delivery for Darlington Refurbishment

 An early delivery for Darlington Refurbishment

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​​One of the key components in Darlington Nuclear’s Unit 2 refurbishment has arrived early and on budget.

Cobourg-based fuel manufacturer Cameco delivered the first shipment of more than 200 new calandria tubes ahead of the June 2017 delivery commitment. The remaining 300 tubes are also on track for an early delivery.

A Cameco worker tests a new calandria tube.
A Cameco worker performs testing on a new calandria tube.

The tubes sit inside the calandria, or reactor core, with each one housing a pressure tube that contains the nuclear fuel bundles crucial to making clean, reliable power.

The Canadian-designed and manufactured tubes serve an important purpose in a nuclear reactor, explained Perrik Le Dreff, Re-tube and Feeder Replacement (RFR) Deputy Director.

“Their main purpose is to provide access through the calandria for the fuel channel assemblies,” he said. “As well, they serve to insulate the hot fuel channel from the relatively cold moderator, while holding the calandria together against the internal pressure of the moderator.”

Cameco is one of more than 60 Ontario-based companies engaged in the Darlington Refurbishment project. About 96 per cent of suppliers to the project are located in Ontario.

“Early delivery of the Unit 2 calandria tubes enables us to prepare them for installation on time, and allows the manufacturer to start fabrication of tubes for the next unit to undergo refurbishment,” said Chad Da Maren, a Section Manager on the RFR segment of the project.

Cameco has been awarded the contract for building the calandria tubes as well as annulus spacers, which maintain a gap between the calandria tube and pressure tube, for all four Darlington reactors.

“We are thrilled to be part of this project and look forward to working closely with OPG,” said Dale Clark, Vice President of Cameco’s Fuel Services Division. “We are all reaching for the same goal of delivering safe, low-carbon, reliable energy."