Chalk River reactor return delayed until late May

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The Chalk River, Ontario-based National Research Universal (NRU) reactor restart has been delayed until the second half of May 2010.

"The very complex nature of the remaining repairs requires that extra precautions be taken," said Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) in a statement released Wednesday. "Each of these repairs presents unique and more difficult challenges that require first-of-a-kind technical solutions. To ensure that the repair process itself does not cause damage to the vessel an additional level of preparation is necessary to program the welding sequences and to qualify the welders." AECL added that there is a chance the schedule "will be adjusted."

AECL said that NRU reactor vessel repair activities are continuing and 46 percent of the repair activities and associated post-repair examinations have been completed. AECL also reported that the new flow of medical isotopes will "begin to be removed from the NRU for processing and distribution within 10 days of the reactor being returned to service."