SNC-Lavalin has been awarded a contract for detailed design, fabrication/manufacturing and first commercial deployment of the newly developed PRECISE (Pressure Tube Circumferential Sampling Equipment) tool at OPG’s Darlington Nuclear Generating Station starting early 2021. This contract win is aligned with the Company’s new strategy moving forward towards engineering services and greater growth.

PRECISE is an innovative next generation reactor inspection tool designed by SNC-Lavalin for taking samples of reactor core internals, allowing for in-situ life assessment of the pressure boundary material of fuel channel assemblies.

“We value innovation, and PRECISE will establish its worth as an important tool that supports Darlington’s continued safe operations,” said Sandy Taylor, President, Nuclear, SNC-Lavalin. “This contract demonstrates how the problem-solving solutions we provide to our clients and tools like PRECISE consistently set SNC-Lavalin apart. We appreciate OPG’s trust in welcoming forward-thinking methods that benefit all involved.”

Fuel channels are subject to in-service aging mechanisms and require regular proactive inspections to monitor their condition and demonstrate fitness-for-service for the operating life of the reactor. This is done through “scraping” whereby the fuel channels are defueled and several samples of the inner diameter of the pressure tube are taken and inspected periodically. The PRECISE tool is capable of taking multiple samples at once, reducing worker dose and on-reactor cycle times. Remote and automated operations allow PRECISE to operate in both wet (with pressure boundary intact) and damp (channel drained and isolated) environments with 100 per cent traceability and capturability. The proven design responds quickly and reliably to changing pressure tube surface conditions in fuel channels and allows for 75 per cent less time on channel when compared to older tooling designs.