How to maintain an ageing plant:

Posted August 2011 by David Sear


It’s a major challenge for many nuclear power operators: how to maintain an ageing fleet of power stations. A lot of issues need to be considered, such as setting the cost of keeping expensive spare parts on the shelf against the risk of an extended shut-down if urgent repairs are needed.

The Bruce Nuclear Generating Station provides over 20% of Ontario’s power

However, as Christian Borrmann discovered when talking to maintenance experts at the Bruce Power Tiverton plant, a bit of creativity can go a long way.

During the interview, for example, Mr Al Church (Maintenance Mechanic) explained that the engineering department is skilled at finding machining or welding options to return items to the as-new condition. This can apparently be more cost-effective than finding replacement items at short notice.

Colleague Mr Mike Lamont (Mechanical Maintainer) commented that the replacement of certain isolators has been a great help, as they can enable work to be carried out on valves whilst the plant is still on-line.

Both see an important role for nuclear power which, comments Mr Chruch, “is the greenest and least expensive energy available with close to zero emissions.”

In short, a very interesting interview, which can be read in full in the August issue of Valve World magazine?

Not yet a subscriber? Check out the available subscriptions here.

Or request a PDF of this specific article from the on-line editor.

Previous articleStainless steel pilot valves
Next articleChina dual certification