Canada’s ATS Automation Tooling Systems (ATS) and Bruce Power on 12 September formally launched the opening of the Major Component Replacement (MCR) Integration testing facility at the ATS Cambridge campus. ATS plays a crucial role in supporting Bruce Power’s MCR programme by designing and supplying all of the automation equipment required to remove the irradiated reactor components including the fuel channels, calandria tubes and calandria tube inserts.
Multiple systems are needed to remove the components, all of which are highly automated and controlled remotely. The equipment has been designed to maximise safety during the removal process while optimising operational resources, Bruce Power said. The 43,000-square-foot MCR Integration Facility was designed with geometries and interfaces identical to the Bruce Power reactor vault. The facility’s purpose is to ensure that the tools are operating correctly in a full-scale simulation environment, where production time, budgets and vault transitions can be verified and optimized to greatly reduce project risk. Work is already underway in the facility.
“By forming partnerships with key suppliers such as ATS, we are innovating and creating jobs throughout the province with Made-in-Ontario solutions for the components we will need to successfully complete our Major Component Replacement projects,” said Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Rencheck. “The MCR facility will see ATS as well as six other supplier companies testing the tools necessary to execute the project smoothly and efficiently.”
The Bruce Power MCR will begin at unit 6 in 2020, followed by units 3-8, extending the life of the site until 2064. All 480 of the reactor fuel channels and calandria tubes will be removed and replaced. Bruce A 1&2 have already been refurbished. Bruce Power’s CAD13 billion ($10 billion) Life Extension Programme, which includes Asset Management and MCR, began on 1 January 2016, and remains on time and budget. “Bruce Power’s supply chain acquires 90% of its goods and services right in Ontario, investing CAD4 billion into the province’s economy annually while creating and sustaining 22,000 jobs, directly and indirectly, every year, including here in the Cambridge area,” said Rencheck. “We are also delivering 30 per cent of Ontario’s electricity at 30% less than the average cost to generate residential power.”
In June 2018, ATS announced the receipt of new enterprise Order Bookings from Bruce Power valued at approximately CAD60 million. The order is to be delivered over the next 18 months.
The original Bruce Power Life Extension Programme announced in December 2016 named ATS as a supplier for strategic tooling services including key reactor tooling systems for the removal of fuel channels for Bruce Power’s long-term investment programme. A CAD40 million multi-year master tooling agreement for the supply of automated tooling systems and related services for Bruce's Life-Extension Programme followed. ATS’s long-standing relationship with Bruce Power has also included co-development of The Bruce Reactor Inspection and Maintenance System.