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Darlington Refurbishment Project News

Refurb hits another milestone with removal of Unit 2 feeder pipes

Another milestone in the refurbishment of Darlington Nuclear Generating Station has been completed safely and ahead of schedule.

On Sept. 20, workers severed the final feeder in Unit 2, the first of four reactors at the power plant undergoing mid-life refurbishment.

Removal of the 960 feeder pipes, which carry the coolant required to cool nuclear fuel, is the first step in preparing for the disassembly of the unit, and sets the stage for replacement of parts to allow for 30 additional years of safe, reliable, low-cost power generation.

The Unit 2 reactor face at Darlington Nuclear GS
The Unit 2 reactor face.

After the pipes were removed, they were safely packaged and taken to a licensed facility for storage.​

Meticulous preparation in the Darlington Energy Complex training facility, which houses a full-scale reactor mock-up that allows staff to perfect techniques through full dress rehearsals, and the repetitive nature of the work facilitated the safe completion of feeder removal ahead of schedule.

“This is where our mock-up and training pay real dividends,” said Dietmar Reiner, OPG Senior Vice President – Nuclear Projects. “Rehearsing in a controlled environment with all the obstacles and potential challenges that might be faced in the station has been a key ingredient in the success to date.”

Next up is dummy fuel bundle removal and bellows severing, which will set the stage for work to progress to the reactor face.

Refurbishment of Unit 2 remains ahead of schedule and on budget, and planning for Unit 3, the next reactor slated for refurbishment, is well underway.

Fast facts

  • 960 feeder pipes in the reactor meant about 2,400 cuts inside the reactor, leading to removal of approximately 390,000 pounds of feeder tube and related material.