Heavy Equipment Guide Logo

AGF Access Group contributes to Darlington Nuclear refurbishment

​Part of the Darlington Station refurbishment requires the removal and replacement of 960 feeder tubes within each of the reactors' cores, with each tube weighing up to 600 pounds. In order to reach and replace the upper feeder tubes, the workers need safety and efficiency.
​Part of the Darlington Station refurbishment requires the removal and replacement of 960 feeder tubes within each of the reactors' cores, with each tube weighing up to 600 pounds. In order to reach and replace the upper feeder tubes, the workers need safety and efficiency.

Company info

125, de l'Industrie
L'Assomption, QC
CA, J5W 2V1

Website:
groupeagf.com

Read more

20 Carlson Court, Suite 800
Toronto, ON
CA, M9W 7K6

Website:
aecon.com

Read more

455 René-Lévesque Blvd. West
Montreal, QC
CA, H2Z 1Z3

Website:
snclavalin.com

Read more

Montreal-based AGF Access Group, Inc. has been selected to provide a modular access solution manufactured under its Winsafe brand for Canada's largest clean energy project: the Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) Darlington Nuclear Generating Station in Southern Ontario, a joint venture refurbishment project led by SNC-Lavalin Group, Inc. and Aecon Group, Inc.  

Part of the Darlington Station refurbishment requires the removal and replacement of 960 feeder tubes within each of the reactors' cores, with each tube weighing up to 600 pounds. In order to reach and replace the upper feeder tubes, the workers need safety and efficiency. 

Winsafe engineers created a new platform concept to meet the challenge of the constricted space and time constraints of the reactor core. They fabricated an extruded aluminum, lightweight, modular platform system that could quickly and easily be assembled by workers.

Alex Di Domenico, Vice President, Major Projects said: "We never say no to projects, but when we first looked at the details of the Darlington refurbishment, it was a challenging request. Although the access portion was just a small piece of the overall puzzle, the project had unusual needs and traditional access equipment was not going to be the answer."

Historically for accessing this type of work, workers would weld steel platforms together while inside the reactor vault to make access feasible, and then later cut them out, but that approach was problematic in this environment with limited space and access. Within the reactor vault, the extremely constrained space left little room for workers in bulky protective equipment to efficiently build and remove a high-capacity work platform to access the four-sided matrix of feeder tubes.

"Keeping the workers safe was our primary consideration. We also needed to be sure to minimize exposure to the radiation dose as much as possible," said Emmanuel Piec, General Manager, Winsafe. "We needed a design that would allow them to quickly put together the feeder platform without struggling with nuts and bolts in their protective gloves. By making the platform modular and almost completely tool-free, they could get it into place in the tight space quickly and safely."

The two platforms, each consisting of two independent rectangular halves measuring roughly 30 feet in length and 20 feet wide, provide access to the faces of the two-sided reactor. Each platform has a weight capacity of 5,000 lbs. to support multiple workers and their tools while they maneuver and fit -up the tight and exacting tolerances for work with the heavy feeder tubes.

The platform main structure, suspended from a series of fixed and relocatable steel rod hangers, needed to fit into an area that was only nine inches deep, including peak deflection at maximum load. The spans between platform hangers needed to be maximized, in order to minimize impeding movement of the long feeder tubes across the platform working surface. From the platform, the workers could remove and replace each of the tubes, using existing station mezzanines to get on and off the platform, and temporary step-up platforms as needed to reach the higher tubes. Feeder tubes and other materials were brought to the working area through a hoistway located between the two corresponding platform halves. "The space constraints surrounding this job were extremely challenging, but we came up with a solution which worked, and worked well," said Di Domenico. "Given our experience in the nuclear industry, and our reputation for engineering ingenuity, we are a good fit for the project's small but crucial access challenge."

The feeder tubes in the first reactor were successfully removed on time, on budget, and most importantly, safely. Additionally, the design of the feeder platform was such that it could be easily dismantled and reassembled at the next reactor to do the same job. OPG's Darlington Refurbishment project, which began in October 2016 and involves the refurbishing of all four units, is scheduled for completion in 2026. Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) Darlington Nuclear Generating Station is one of the most the best-performing nuclear stations in the world. According to the Conference Board of Canada, the nuclear power station's continued operation to 2055 will take the equivalent of two million cars off the road and will generate a total of $89.9 billion in economic benefits.

More from Industry News

Kryton adds wireless real-time concrete monitoring to product offerings

Kryton International Inc. announced the company has acquired a 30 percent interest in Sensohive Technologies ApS of Odense, Denmark. The acquisition makes Kryton Sensohive's largest shareholder. Kryton will also be the exclusive North American distributor of Sensohive's award-winning Maturix technology, which uses advanced sensors and software enabling contractors and engineers to wirelessly monitor the concrete hardening process in real time from virtually any internet-connected device.

Sunnen offers new line of drill heads and consumables for Sandvik-style tooling

Sunnen Products Company now offers a new series of drill heads, inserts and pads that are directly interchangeable with Sandvik deep-hole drilling tools. The new line, Sunnen DirectDex, features BTA/STS (Single Tube System) and DTS/Ejector (Double Tube System) style deep-hole drilling tools designed to produce a low cost-per-bore with consistent performance. The new product series directly corresponds to the previously available line of Sandvik drill heads, inserts, and guide pads, with additional product series set to be released soon.  

ICUEE 2019: What to see at the demo expo, part four

ICUEE, the International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition, will take place October 1-3 in Louisville, Kentucky. ICUEE is the utility industry's largest trade show, covering 28+ acres of indoor and outdoor exhibits, and bringing together more than 18,000 utility professionals every two years.

ICUEE 2019: What to see at the demo expo, part three

ICUEE, the International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition, will take place October 1-3 in Louisville, Kentucky. ICUEE is the utility industry's largest trade show, covering 28+ acres of indoor and outdoor exhibits, and bringing together more than 18,000 utility professionals every two years.

John Deere extends 944K Hybrid wheel loader warranty

Confident in the strength and long-lasting design of its machines, John Deere is extending the eight-year/20,000-hour power electronic components warranty on the 944K Hybrid Wheel Loader. The warranty supports John Deere's commitment to the durability and reliability of its popular 944K Hybrid Wheel Loader, which was recently named as a finalist for the Diesel Progress Summit Awards in the Electrification Application of the Year category.

Stellex Capital Management to sell Morbark to Alamo Group

Stellex Capital Management, a middle market private equity firm, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell Morbark, LLC,  the manufacturer of high-performance equipment and after-market parts for the forestry, recycling, tree care, sawmill, land clearing and biomass markets, to Alamo Group for $352 million. The sale includes all assets and operations of Morbark and its affiliate brands. 

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Screening manufacturer MAJOR partnering with dealer for training program

MAJOR, a manufacturer of high-performance screening media, introduces a training program — Hands-On SMS — to give operations the tools they need to maximize uptime. MAJOR is first offering the program through General Equipment & Supplies, a Fargo, North Dakota-based dealer. The training includes hands-on experience with all aspects of a vibrating screen. It can be a stand-alone presentation, or a supplement to training already provided by the dealer, including material handling and crushing courses.

Check out The Site Visit, a new podcast from Vancouver construction entrepreneurs

Construction industry entrepreneurs James Faulkner, Christian Hamm, and Andrew Hansen today announced the launch of The Site Visit, a podcast focused on leadership in construction with perspective from the jobsite. The podcast has already produced 18 episodes, has 500+ subscribers and has hosted guests that include senior executives from Fusion Projects, Ram Consulting, Faber Technologies, Landa Global, Clearview Demolition, Pit Stop Portables and Colony Construction. 

First Demag AC 45 City deployed in North America

"Large lifting companies with multiple cranes have options to get jobs done. I don't have that luxury," comments Steve Kelly, owner/operator of Steel Giraffe LLC. The Portsmouth, R.I.-based "boutique" crane company doesn't search out the typical residential and commercial construction projects. Rather, Steel Giraffe completes specialized lifting projects, and 90 percent of its lift jobs fall within a 30-mi (48-km) radius of the headquarters location.

Automated trucks hit public roads as Daimler Trucks starts testing

Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics are actively developing and testing automated trucks with SAE Level 4 intent technology on public roads. The initial routes are on highways in southwest Virginia, where Torc Robotics is headquartered. All automated runs require both an engineer overseeing the system and a highly trained safety driver certified by Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics. All safety drivers hold a commercial driver's license and are specially trained in vehicle dynamics and automated systems.

WOLFFKRAN appoints new CEO

On August 1, 2019, Dr. Peter Schiefer handed over his position as CEO to Duncan Salt, the former Head of Sales and Service. Schiefer will remain Delegate of the Board of Directors and increase his focus on the strategic development of WOLFFKRAN.

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

Generac Mobile awarded Sourcewell cooperative purchasing contract

Generac Mobile is now part of Sourcewell cooperative purchasing. Sourcewell, formerly the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA), helps government, education and nonprofit agencies operate more efficiently by helping save time and money with contract purchasing solutions nationwide. Generac Mobile equipment with related accessories and attachments can now be purchased through this program.

3D printing technology finds place improving quality at Volvo Trucks factory

Volvo Trucks North America is utilizing 3D printing technology to produce tools and fixtures used in the manufacturing process at its New River Valley (NRV) plant in Dublin, Virginia, where all trucks for the North American market are built. The implementation of 3D-printed manufacturing tools enables quicker production and continuous quality improvements.

ShearForce joins forces with former Terrafirma team to serve northern Alberta

ShearForce Equipment and key former employees of TerraFirma Equipment has announced that they are joining forces in northern Alberta to provide sales, rentals, parts, and repair and maintenance services for hydraulic excavator attachments. They are not only expanding their regional support capacity across northern Alberta, but also the product lines they can service and repair.

Case announces 2019 “Diamond Dealer” and “Gold Dealer” award winners

Case Construction Equipment has named its 2019 "Diamond Dealer" and "Gold Dealer" award recipients as part of its North American Construction Equipment Partnership Program. The awards recognize dealerships across the U.S. and Canada for excellence in five categories including sales performance, marketing and communications, product support, parts support and training.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Halrai of Quebec to distribute Venturo cranes

Venturo, a producer of truck- and van-equipped cranes, has announced a new distribution partnership with Halrai of Quebec. This Canadian equipment dealer will distribute the entire line of Venturo products with a focus on fully hydraulic cranes, including models equipped with Venturo Logic Controls (VLC).

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more