OPG prepares for Unit 2 fuel load on the Darlington Refurbishment project
As OPG eyes the completion of the reassembly phase of the Unit 2 reactor at our Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, the company and our project partners are preparing for another significant Darlington Refurbishment milestone: fuel load.
“Fuel load, or fuelling the reactor, means we’re closer to turning the engine on again,” said Mike Allen, Senior Vice President of Nuclear Refurbishment. “Fuel bundles have been inspected, sequenced and packed by our fuel supplier BWX Technologies, and OPG and CanAtom have been working together, focused on completing the necessary steps to make the reactor whole again.”
With upper and middle feeder tubes already installed and lower feeder installation underway, workers are now practising the complex task of refuelling the unit in the Mock-Up and Training Facility at the Darlington Energy Complex. The process will require workers to manually load 6,240 new fuel bundles into the actual reactor, according to a serialized numbering sequence.
Fuel load is a historic moment for both OPG and the wider nuclear industry. The work series is scheduled for completion this summer, shortly after OPG recognizes the 30th anniversary since workers loaded the first fuel bundle into the Unit 2 reactor.
Premier, minister visit OPG for skilled trades announcement
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Merrilee Fullerton and local MPPs Lindsey Park and David Piccini recently visited OPG’s Darlington Energy Complex to announce actions aimed at building skilled trades – part of the critical workforce OPG will need as refurbishment at Darlington Nuclear progresses.
“As we approach the return to service of Darlington’s Unit 2, and prepare to refurbish Unit 3, we continue to see a real need for more skilled trades workers,” said OPG President and CEO Ken Hartwick. “Whether it is boilermakers, millwrights or welders, we anticipate by the midpoint of refurbishment, the demand for these skilled trades will be at its peak.”