SNC-Lavalin, Aecon awarded $2.75B reactor rebuild project
January 13, 2016 by On-Site Magazine
A joint venture between SNC-Lavalin and the Aecon Group has been awarded the $2.75-billion contract to refurbish and replace components of the four Darlington nuclear reactors.
The joint venture has spent the past four years in the definition phase of the project. This included the construction of a full-scale reactor mock-up facility to simulate key elements of the refurbishment work and the testing of specialized tooling to prepare a comprehensive estimate and schedule for the project.
The execution phase of the project will involve the replacement of main reactor components using tools and methods that were developed and tested during the project’s definition phase. Each of the four Darlington Candu reactors will be taken out of service sequentially for approximately three years to allow for the replacement of fuel channels, feeder pipes, calandria tubes and end fittings.
“Following almost four years of preparation and planning, this amendment to proceed with the physical refurbishment work demonstrates Ontario Power Generation’s confidence in our joint venture team and in our capabilities in the nuclear industry,” said Sandy Taylor, president, Power, SNC-Lavalin.
“The Darlington nuclear refurbishment project will contribute significantly to the economic vitality of Ontario while ensuring the supply of emissions-free and reliable baseload electricity,” said Teri McKibbon, president and CEO, Aecon Group Inc.. “We look forward to working with OPG on what we are confident will become a benchmark project for the industry. We’d also like to thank Canada’s Building Trades for their support on this project.”
When the reactors are fully refurbished, OPG’s Darlington station, which produces 20 per cent of Ontario’s electricity, will provide safe, reliable, affordable and CO2-free energy to the citizens of Ontario for another 30 years.
“Our team will immediately shift its focus to the execution phase of the project. This will include training and procurement of critical resources before the outage begins,” said Preston Swafford, chief nuclear officer and executive vice-president, Nuclear.
The first outage is targeted to begin in the fourth quarter of 2016 and it will take approximately 10 years to complete the work on all four units.
The project is part of an overall $12.8-billion plan to extend the life of the power plant by four years to 2024.