Major Ontario nuclear milestone - criticality

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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 [Linked Image]
 
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Originally Posted by GZRider
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.
Our downright arrogance, as was the case for Fukushima. Evaluations of the site after previous tsunamis indicated that the seawall needed to be upgraded, the backup generators relocated to behind the facility and the seawater pumps improved. All of those things played a major role in the plant experiencing a triple meltdown, which, while it caused no loss of life, has had a major economic impact and the ongoing cleanup efforts will continue to run up that cost. That said, the most basic of upgrades: the increased size of the sea wall would likely have made all the difference. The site closer to the epicentre experienced no issues whatsoever because it had a much larger sea wall. Tsunamis are however, not an issue for most nuclear power plants, certainly not in Ontario, where almost all of them are in Canada, which is WELL in-land, and not in France, who generates the highest percentage of their electricity of country via nuclear at >70%.
 

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Originally Posted by JohnnyJohnson
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!
Quite the contrary, Nuclear is very well understood and human decisions have been at the heart of all three major nuclear incidents, two of which it begs repeating, caused absolutely no loss of life. Chernobyl stands alone as the incident with loss-of-life tied to it and this was due not only to the non-standard testing that was taking place and the lack of adherence to protocols during it but the fact that the units had no secondary containment, and this was an economic choice by the Soviets due to the size of the units. Everybody else had already been using secondary containment for ages at that point. [Linked Image]
 
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Originally Posted by OVERKILL
Originally Posted by JohnnyJohnson
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!
Quite the contrary, Nuclear is very well understood and human decisions have been at the heart of all three major nuclear incidents, two of which it begs repeating, caused absolutely no loss of life. Chernobyl stands alone as the incident with loss-of-life tied to it and this was due not only to the non-standard testing that was taking place and the lack of adherence to protocols during it but the fact that the units had no secondary containment, and this was an economic choice by the Soviets due to the size of the units. Everybody else had already been using secondary containment for ages at that point.
And I believe all the plants that used the design that Chernobyl had have been shut down. The only reason it blew up was because they were running a test and recklessly at that. I think the real proven fact is that many people don't know anything about nuclear.
 

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Originally Posted by Wolf359
Originally Posted by OVERKILL
Originally Posted by JohnnyJohnson
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!
Quite the contrary, Nuclear is very well understood and human decisions have been at the heart of all three major nuclear incidents, two of which it begs repeating, caused absolutely no loss of life. Chernobyl stands alone as the incident with loss-of-life tied to it and this was due not only to the non-standard testing that was taking place and the lack of adherence to protocols during it but the fact that the units had no secondary containment, and this was an economic choice by the Soviets due to the size of the units. Everybody else had already been using secondary containment for ages at that point.
And I believe all the plants that used the design that Chernobyl had have been shut down. The only reason it blew up was because they were running a test and recklessly at that. I think the real proven fact is that many people don't know anything about nuclear.
You nailed it. It's a very complex subject and that tends to cause people to fear it; the whole fear of the unknown phenomena. Of course years of disinformation campaigns waged by fossil fuel backed advocacy groups and sleezeball orgs like GreenPeace haven't helped in that regard. All RBMK's post-Chernobyl were upgraded to have secondary containment along with other improvements. Apparently there are still 10 of them in operation! But that design was not in-step with the peaceful pursuit of civil power generation, which was the entire purpose of the CANDU. Its unwieldily and over-complex graphite moderated design had "other" purposes, such as producing weapons-grade plutonium.
 

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Originally Posted by Reddy45
The picture is the control rods?
Further to my earlier reply, I figured you might appreciate something more graphic to help with the visual: [Linked Image] [Linked Image] per the first picture, you are looking at a small section of #6 down near the bottom, or #71 (reactor face) on the Pickering diagram (though Pickering has fewer fuel channels per unit).
 
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