Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and BWX Technologies, Inc. announced a contract for Fuelling Machine (FM) head engineering and component supply as part of refurbishment of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station.

The $50 million contract will be executed by BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. in Peterborough, where a team of more than 250 employees, engineers, skilled trades and other specialized personnel will design and supply complex parts and assemblies to enable refurbishment of all eight FM heads at Darlington. Engineering work on this project began in 2020, with component supply occurring from 2022 to 2026.

“Our team in Peterborough produces innovative fuel handling systems for CANDU nuclear plants around the world and is committed to supplying engineering services and components of the highest quality,” said John MacQuarrie, president of BWXT’s Nuclear Power Group. “We are excited to get started on this project that will again showcase BWXT’s engineering and manufacturing solutions that help our customers to operate their plants reliably.”

FM heads are part of the remote-controlled system that allows continuous on-power fuelling in CANDU reactors, like those found at Darlington.

“Ontario’s nuclear supply chain is strong, allowing us to source much of what we need, both as we refurbish Darlington and also as we work toward small modular reactor deployment, right here at home.” said Subo Sinnathamby, OPG’s senior vice president, Refurbishment. “We know BWXT has the skilled workers and the same rigorous commitment to quality and safety we do at OPG, which is imperative as they provide key parts and knowledge to refurbish Darlington’s fuel machine heads.”

After 30 years of providing safe, clean, reliable power to Ontarians, Darlington is in the midst of a planned midlife overhaul. The first of four units was shut down in 2016 and returned to service in 2020. A second unit is currently being refurbished, with the four-unit project slated for completion in 2026.

“In addition to securing decades of safe, economical and clean power, Darlington Refurbishment is also enabling Ontario’s nuclear supply chain partners like BWXT to expand its capabilities and bolster its leading position in the global nuclear industry,” said Todd Smith, Ontario’s Minister of Energy. “As the Darlington Refurbishment project shows, we are so fortunate and proud to have a world-class nuclear supply chain that is the envy of the global industry.”

Featured image: (OPG)

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