A critical component for the refurbishment of Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington unit 3 has arrived at the reactor site. The stator, which will be installed in 2020, is the largest piece of equipment to arrive at Darlington since the plant’s initial construction.
The stator is a key component of the turbine generator, serving as the stationary portion of an electric generator that converts the rotating magnetic field into electric current. Weighing 350 tonnes and over 12 metres in length, it was built in Poland by GE Power. It was transported by ship across the Atlantic Ocean, then through the St Lawrence Seaway to Oshawa Harbour, where it was craned onto a barge for the final eight kilometres (nearly 5 miles) of its journey to the Darlington site.
On arrival at Darlington, the equipment was removed via a self-propelled modular transporter, using specially engineered ramps, which were craned into place to bridge the gap between the barge and the power station’s dock.
Jeff Richardson, OPG senior vice president for nuclear refurbishment, said the sheer size of the load and the critical importance of completing the work safely and event free made the move a complicated one. The team had planned and practised extensively, considered all possible scenarios and prepared for contingencies.
Final preparations are under way for the refurbishment of unit 3 – a 878 MWe (net) Candu reactor which began commercial operation in 1993 – as part of OPG’s 10-year refurbishment programme for the Darlington site. Refurbishment of unit 2 began in 2016 and is on track for completion in early 2020. The full refurbishment programme is due to be completed in 2026.