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Unit disassembly

Learn how Ontario Power Generation is disassembling reactors at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station - all part of the Darlington Refurbishment Project.

Specialization and safety for shut down

After safely shutting down the reactor through a process that includes defuelling and islanding (separating the unit from the operating station), workers begin the complex task of disassembling the unit.

Disassembling a reactor is complex work involving specialized tooling that is mostly remote-controlled by skilled workers. The operating system is similar to a video game joystick and digital display.

This specialized tooling, which is mounted on automated work platforms, can move up and down, and side-to-side to perform work anywhere across the face of the reactor, on any of the 480 fuel channels.

Using this specialized tooling on the work platforms, workers remove fuel channel components including feeder tubes, end fittings, pressure tubes and calandria tubes.

Materials removed from the reactor are transferred to the Re-tube Waste Processing Building — a facility built specifically for the refurbishment project to compress materials, where possible, and sort them for safe storage or disposal.

Disassembly facts

960 Feeder tubes

Removed from each end fitting, totalling about 390,000 lbs

960 End fittings

Removed from end of each fuel channel

480 Pressure tubes

Containing the fuel bundles

480 Calandria tubes

Housing the fuel bundle-containing pressure tubes

Refurbishment in action

See how OPG is refurbishing the Darlington Station.

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