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Major Ontario nuclear milestone - criticality #5406047 04/17/20 01:54 PM
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Forgot to update the other thread, so I figured this deserves a new one.

On April 7th, 2020, Darlington Unit 2 achieved first criticality since the refurbishment, marking a huge step in bringing the unit back online. Constraints have been lifted for it to start generating electricity, so there has been testing since the 7th performed and I expect to see it come back online quite soon.

My primary interest, now that we know the unit operates, is what its output will level-off at. I expect it will be more than 880MWe, but I could be unpleasantly surprised LOL Unlike Bruce Power, who has stated unequivocally that uprates will be part of their refurbishment and life extension activities, OPG has stated they are not actively looking at increasing unit output. This is only somewhat slightly undermined by the results of a recent maintenance outage a Pickering where a 515MWe unit returned to service at ~540MWe (though it varies a bit).

It's also been confirmed that Darlington Unit 3 won't be going down until the fall now, which means all four Darlington units will be online for this summer. Assuming Bruce 4 and Pickering 1 and 8 are also back up (which they should be, they are down for spring maintenance) we'll have around 12,500MWe of nuclear online to handle the summer peak which means some very low emissions thumbsup

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Re: Major Ontario nuclear milestone - criticality [Re: OVERKILL] #5406069 04/17/20 02:13 PM
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Clean air electric power is all good. So few mentioned that once the coal fired generators were shutdown, the bad-air days didn't happen? is the correlation accurate?


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Re: Major Ontario nuclear milestone - criticality [Re: KGMtech] #5406084 04/17/20 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by KGMtech
Clean air electric power is all good. So few mentioned that once the coal fired generators were shutdown, the bad-air days didn't happen? is the correlation accurate?


There's some correlation to be sure, given that some of the coal fired facilities were near the GTA, however much of that smog came from the US too and the transition to natural gas helped there as well. Refurbishing two of the Pickering A units and the refurbishment and reactivation of the 4x Bruce A units was absolutely critical in the elimination of coal, Bruce A alone was responsible for 70% of the power necessary.

Nanticoke could have been converted to gas as another option, which would have been significantly cheaper than the wind and solar FIT and LRP nonsense and we did convert other plants to gas, so it wasn't like it was an impossible undertaking. Of course the other option was to construction Darlington B, which was sabotaged by the GEA. It would be online now I suspect, had it been constructed instead.


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Re: Major Ontario nuclear milestone - criticality [Re: OVERKILL] #5406088 04/17/20 02:35 PM
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The picture is the control rods?

Re: Major Ontario nuclear milestone - criticality [Re: OVERKILL] #5406090 04/17/20 02:37 PM
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When refurbs are done, looks like there are tech advancements that can be applied to increase output and maintain same plant footprint at a reasonable cost
So its a "why not?" question vs a stay the course.

Same with crude refineries. Used to hear we are not building more, oh no !!
Secret sauce is in the ongoing production improvements that takes care of future needs without increasing foot prints.

Seen it happen all day long at my old career in consumer packaged goods.


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Re: Major Ontario nuclear milestone - criticality [Re: OVERKILL] #5406095 04/17/20 02:45 PM
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Were those plants designed by U.S. engineers? My guess is that the U.S. helped the Canadians design them.


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Re: Major Ontario nuclear milestone - criticality [Re: Reddy45] #5406101 04/17/20 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Reddy45
The picture is the control rods?


Fuel channels. The CANDU is a pressure tube design and due to its use of natural uranium, this was necessary so that it could be refuelled online. There are 480 fuel channels in each of the 12 units between Bruce and Darlington, but Darlington's are newer, and subsequently higher output. The face covered by that blanket is called the Calandria which is full of heavy water and all the pressure tubes and fuel channels pass through it and there are removable plugs on both ends for shuffling fuel bundles in and out.


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Re: Major Ontario nuclear milestone - criticality [Re: JohnnyJohnson] #5406104 04/17/20 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnnyJohnson
I'm not impressed can you say Chernobyl or Fukushima Daiichi?


That's not a compelling argument. Fukushima was an expensive lesson in not following the advice of the nuclear safety commission (upgrading the seawall) but it killed nobody. Chernobyl isn't comparable to anything currently operating, it had no containment.


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Re: Major Ontario nuclear milestone - criticality [Re: skyactiv] #5406106 04/17/20 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by skyactiv
Were those plants designed by U.S. engineers? My guess is that the U.S. helped the Canadians design them.


Nope, they were entirely designed by Atomic Energy Canada Limited (AECL) which is our Federal nuclear development agency. The CANDU was entirely designed in Canada by Canadians and the use of natural uranium was critical, because we had no enrichment capacity at the time.


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Re: Major Ontario nuclear milestone - criticality [Re: skyactiv] #5406107 04/17/20 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by skyactiv
Were those plants designed by U.S. engineers? My guess is that the U.S. helped the Canadians design them.


Three mile island and Fukushima Daiichi were both designed by U.S. engineers.


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Re: Major Ontario nuclear milestone - criticality [Re: Danno] #5406109 04/17/20 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Danno
When refurbs are done, looks like there are tech advancements that can be applied to increase output and maintain same plant footprint at a reasonable cost
So its a "why not?" question vs a stay the course.

Same with crude refineries. Used to hear we are not building more, oh no !!
Secret sauce is in the ongoing production improvements that takes care of future needs without increasing foot prints.

Seen it happen all day long at my old career in consumer packaged goods.


thumbsup

Darlington is getting major control and control room upgrades as part of the refurbishment. I expect that the new generator unit and new turbine assembly will increase output despite OPG's claims that they are staying the course. Bruce's target is 7,000MW.


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Re: Major Ontario nuclear milestone - criticality [Re: JohnnyJohnson] #5406113 04/17/20 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnnyJohnson
Originally Posted by skyactiv
Were those plants designed by U.S. engineers? My guess is that the U.S. helped the Canadians design them.


Three mile island and Fukushima Daiichi were both designed by U.S. engineers.


And all TMI did was brick itself.

One of the cool things about the CANDU is that it can be passively cooled by flooding the SG's, so even in the event of a complete loss of all power (Fukushima) the units can be kept cool even with no pumps.


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Re: Major Ontario nuclear milestone - criticality [Re: JohnnyJohnson] #5406115 04/17/20 03:04 PM
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Kind of an apples to oranges comparison. Chernobyl was different sort of reactor design and the were "playing" with it so to speak when they had their accident.

The other aspect of apples to oranges is you need an accident to release ionizing radiation, while a fossil fuel plant releases its poison during the normal course of operation.

Originally Posted by JohnnyJohnson
I'm not impressed can you say Chernobyl or Fukushima Daiichi?


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Re: Major Ontario nuclear milestone - criticality [Re: javacontour] #5406132 04/17/20 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by javacontour
Kind of an apples to oranges comparison. Chernobyl was different sort of reactor design and the were "playing" with it so to speak when they had their accident.

The other aspect of apples to oranges is you need an accident to release ionizing radiation, while a fossil fuel plant releases its poison during the normal course of operation.

Originally Posted by JohnnyJohnson
I'm not impressed can you say Chernobyl or Fukushima Daiichi?



Proven fact is we don't know what the HxXX we are doing with nuclear yet. The only thing that keeps coming to the forefront is known as BS!


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Re: Major Ontario nuclear milestone - criticality [Re: JohnnyJohnson] #5406141 04/17/20 03:31 PM
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Nuclear power under strict safety procures like Subsafe is as safe as any other power generation system, the number of steam ships that used to just "blow up" would boggle your mind. Most reactor accidents can be attributed to normalization of deviance, aka human error.

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