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ATS and Bruce Power open advanced automation testing lab

ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. and Bruce Power held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the Major Component Replacement (MCR) Integration testing facility on the ATS Cambridge campus, Ontario, Canada.

Bruce Power is a Canadian private nuclear power generator company. ATS plays a key role in supporting Bruce Power’s MCR program 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.

There are multiple systems required to remove the components; all are highly automated and controlled remotely. This equipment has been designed to maximise safety during the removal process while optimising operational resources.

To this end, the 43,000-square-foot MCR Integration Facility was designed with geometries and interfaces identical to the actual Bruce Power reactor vault.

This facility’s goal 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 optimised to greatly reduce project risk. Work is already under way in the facility.

The Bruce Power MCR will begin in Unit 6 in 2020, followed by Units 3 through 8, extending the life of the site to 2064. Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program, which includes Asset Management and MCR, began on January 1, 2016.