Bruce Power: Progress Report on Units 1 and 2 Restart
MARKETWIRE: Steve Cannon - April 17, 2008
TIVERTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 17, 2008) - Bruce Power announced today it has completed its comprehensive review of cost and schedule estimates for the Units 1 and 2 Restart project.
"Having conducted a thorough assessment of costs incurred to date, together with a complete review of remaining work programs, it is our view that the total cost for the return to service of Units 1 and 2 will be in the range of $3.1 to $3.4 billion," said Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power's President and CEO.
The project to restart the two units, idled since the mid-1990s, is approximately 60 per cent complete, according to Hawthorne. "While there is still much to be done, we remain confident the units can return to service close to the planned dates of 2009 and early 2010."
A multi-disciplinary team, including Bruce Power staff and independent third-party experts, conducted the exhaustive review of the project, which has been described as the largest infrastructure project in Canada.
"We have committed a lot of time and effort to this systematic review and gain a great deal of confidence from the findings of this expert team," Hawthorne said.
More than halfway through the project, Hawthorne highlighted some of the project's milestones and successes:
Stellar safety performance continues with nine million hours worked without an acute lost-time injury, a mark we understand to be unrivalled on construction projects of similar scale worldwide.
Babcock & Wilcox Canada and SNC Lavalin Nuclear have successfully manufactured and installed 16 new steam generators for Units 1 and 2, the first time such work has ever been done at a CANDU facility.
Turbine work is progressing well with the Unit 2 turbine largely reassembled while Unit 1 work is well underway with reassembly set to begin next month.
Significant progress has also been made on the complex reactor refurbishment work undertaken by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL).
Currently, AECL crews are beginning to remove the calandria tube components in Unit 2, which is the final stage in the disassembly process. The next step will be to begin installing the new components. AECL has faced unique challenges while developing new tools and robotic equipment to remove and replace the reactor's internal components without placing employees in areas of hazards.
"It would be fair to say that this work has been, by its very nature, discovery work since many of the robotic designs had to be tested in place," Hawthorne said. "As a result, Unit 2, which is the lead unit, has borne many of the first-of-a-kind risks which has impacted our overall costs for the project. We do, however, see many examples of performance improvements on our second unit."
A similar story of continual improvement played out during the steam generator replacement program, when crews managed to improve their efficiency by roughly 40 per cent between the first and second unit.
While generally pleased with the overall progress to date, Hawthorne said this midpoint analysis also confirms that many challenges still exist outside of the fuel channel and steam generator replacement programs.
"To focus on these two major project areas alone would be an understatement of the full scope of work," he said. "There are more than 20,000 other activities, both large and small, that have to be completed before these units return to service. A range of Canadian companies are conducting these activities with expertise in the various elements of the plant systems and components. This work requires a high level of co-ordination and is being supported by more than 1,500 skilled building tradesmen and nearly 800 support staff drawn from across the country."
Many of these activities will deliver safety and performance enhancements. One example is the replacement of condenser tubes which carry water from the lake to cool the leftover steam from the turbines. In Unit 2, 40,000 tubes have been removed and chopped up to be sold as scrap. The old brass tubes are being replaced with stainless steel to help reduce copper emissions and allow for greater heat exchange during the warmer months of the year.
As the Restart project continues to progress, it will evolve from a project management organization to a joint organization which will include a combination of AMEC NCL project management experts and Bruce Power staff who will begin to assume the operational control of systems en route to the units' return to service.
"This joint team approach will allow the strengths of each organization to be applied in the most productive manner," Hawthorne said. "I remain committed to open and transparent communication of all of Bruce Power's activities and will provide progress reports on this project as we move towards its successful completion."
For additional information, including weekly stories, project photographs and video stories about our progress to date, please check out our Bruce A Restart website at www.brucepower.com.
About Bruce Power A Limited Partnership
Bruce Power A Limited Partnership is a partnership among TransCanada Corporation, BPC Generation Infrastructure Trust, a trust established by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, the Power Workers' Union and The Society of Energy Professionals. It is responsible for Bruce A operations, restart and refurbishment.