Canada's ATS Automation Tooling Systems said it reached a contract extension agreement with Bruce Power valued at CAD $60 million (US $43 million) involving design and delivery of robotic systems for removing and replacing 480 fuel channels and calandria tubes as part of a Bruce Power's Life Extension Program, announced December 2016.
The work is expected to last through the next six quarters. The new contract calls for automated detube production removal tools, enhanced testing, and replacement parts for the removal tools, as needed.
ATS systems are highly automated, remotely controlled systems that decrease the risk to workers in the refurbishment program. Bruce Power expects to maintain an average of 22,000 workers per year over the course of the refurbishment of eight reactors, according to a press release.
With the contract committing ATS to designing and building automation systems for Bruce Power, the company constructed a new testing facility in Cambridge, Ontario, that includes simulations that replicate conditions at Bruce Power's nuclear power plant. “ATS will test the automation equipment in its new MCR (Major Component Replacement) Integration Facility in Cambridge that has geometries and interfaces identical to the actual Bruce Power reactor vault,” the statement said.
Fuel channel and calandria tube replacement will begin with Unit 6 in 2020. It will be followed by component replacement in Units 3-8. The goal is to extend the life of the reactors to 2064.
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