Canada’s Darlington-1 ends record run

February 9, 2021, 12:00PMNuclear News

A view of the Darlington-1 turbine hall. Unit 1 has set a new world record for continuous operation by a nuclear power reactor. Photo: OPG

In continuous operation since January 26, 2018, Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington-1 was taken off line last Friday for an inspection and maintenance outage after a record-setting run of 1,106 days, the Canadian utility has announced.

On September 15 of last year, the unit set a new world record for a power reactor, with 963 days of continuous operation, breaking the previous mark of 962, set by a reactor at India’s Kaiga plant in December 2018, according to OPG.

Dependable Darlington: “Unit 1’s record-setting run highlights the excellent work carried out by our dedicated nuclear professionals throughout the pandemic to ensure Ontarians and frontline workers battling COVID-19 can count on a steady supply of power 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Sean Granville, OPG’s chief operating officer. “It also highlights the effectiveness of our preventive maintenance programs and the overall reliability of our nuclear fleet.”

Charlie Qaqis, Darlington’s section manager for outages, credited work completed during the reactor’s previous outage, as well as maintenance performed while the reactor was on line, with the three-year-plus run. “This extraordinary performance is a positive reflection of the planning and teamwork by both employees and contract staff,” he said.

Next: The Darlington-1 outage team will now inspect the reactor’s equipment, including fuel channels, and carry out maintenance in areas not normally accessible during operation, OPG said, adding that the outage scope also includes upgrading the unit’s reactivity control systems and completing preparatory work required prior to the reactor’s refurbishment.

Reactor renovation: OPG began a major 10-year project to refurbish the four Darlington reactors in 2016, when Unit 2 was taken off line. The Unit 1 refurbishment is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2022 and to be completed in the second quarter of 2025.

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