January 19, Hamilton, Ontario
This month, Stern Laboratories delivered twelve crates of parts to the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. The crates contained a complete ICFD Removal Tool System, and will be used to help safely refurbish Darlington’s unit 2 reactor. The delivery was the culmination of a year-long contract with ES Fox.
The ICFD Removal Tool System, better known as the Chopper Tool, is a system designed and fabricated by Stern Laboratories for removing “In-Core Flux Detectors” (ICFDs) from a CANDU reactor. These detectors are radioactive, and replacing them safely and quickly within the tight confines of the reactor’s containment system presents a difficult challenge for the refurbishment team. The Stern Labs Chopper Tool operates remotely to pull detectors out of the core, reduce their volume, and transport them safely to a shielded Canister, all done with portable equipment that can be carried into place by two operators.
Chopper Tool Systems have been delivered to clients in Ontario, New Brunswick, China, Korea and Argentina. The system’s commercial success demonstrates Stern Laboratories’ ability to provide unique solutions to the nuclear industry. This month’s delivery to E. S. Fox included some custom modifications to make handling ICFD Canisters more efficient to for the big refurbishment job ahead.
About Stern Laboratories:
Stern Laboratories Inc. is a Canadian owned private corporation that conducts reliability and safety experiments for utilities, nuclear reactor and fuel vendors, government agencies and nuclear equipment suppliers. We also manufacture specialized equipment, such as electrically heated nuclear fuel simulators and devices for inspection and handling of spent nuclear fuel. We have a comprehensive quality assurance program in place to meet applicable requirements of various quality standards. Our highly skilled and experienced staff of professional engineers and engineering technologists have served the Nuclear Industry in Canada and in many other countries since 1962.
About ES Fox:
E.S. Fox Ltd. is a multi-faceted organization providing clients with a single source for their construction, fabrication, service and engineering requirements. The company is unique in that it is not only an industry leader in construction and engineering but is one of the country’s major sheet metal, pressure vessel, module and pipe fabricators and has a proven capability of documenting and implementing quality standards.
About the Darlington Refurbishment Project:
Ontario Power Generation started work in 2016 to refurbish the four reactors at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. Darlington has been producing about 20 per cent of the Ontario’s electricity since the early 1990s. After decades of reliable power generation, this clean-power source is receiving a mid-life refurbishment that will benefit Ontarians for another 30 years.