Alstom to refurbish turbines of four Ontario Candu nuclear reactors

Alstom will refurbish the turbines and generators of all four Candu reactors at the Darlington nuclear power plant under a contract signed with Ontario Power Generation. The project will extend the plant’s life by up to 30 years.

The service contract, worth about $350 million, will see Alstom refurbish four steam turbines and generator units, and the associated auxiliary equipment. The company, which supplied the original equipment when the plant was built, said that new equipment would be supplied by its manufacturing facilities in Europe and the U.S.

Alstom has provided on-going service and technical support to OPG since the Darlington plant was commissioned in the early 1990s.

OPG plans to start work on the Darlington refurbishment project in 2016 with completion scheduled for late 2024. The refurbishment would enable the units to continue operating for a further 25-30 years.

In March 2012, OPG awarded a contract — worth some $600 million — to SNC-Lavalin and Aecon to carry out the definition phase of the refurbishment project. Aecon will construct a full-scale reactor mock-up where key elements of the project can be simulated and tested prior to work beginning on the actual reactors.

Meanwhile, SNC-Lavalin will develop specialized tooling required for the project. The two companies will also develop a detailed scope, schedule and budget for the execution phase, as well as procure components for the first reactor unit to be refurbished.

OPG recently contracted with Burns & McDonnell to provide independent oversight of the Darlington refurbishment project.

The Darlington plant is OPG’s newest Candu nuclear generating station. It is a four-unit plant with a total output of 3,524 MW. It provides about 20 percent of Ontario’s electricity needs.

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