*By: Donald Jones, P.Eng., retired nuclear industry engineer, 2016 March 27*

History

The two lead CANDU 6 projects were Gentilly 2 in Quebec and Point Lepreau in New Brunswick and these were quickly followed by Embalse in Argentina and Wolsong, now Wolsong 1, in South Korea and all came into service in the early to mid 1980s. These can be regarded as the first tranche of CANDU 6 build.

The second tranche of CANDU 6 units came with Wolsong 2, 3 and 4 in South Korea, Cernavoda 1 and 2 in Romania, and Qinshan 3-1 and 3-2 in China (the other units at Qinshan site are not CANDU), all entering service between 1996 to 2007. Each of the second tranche CANDU 6 units incorporate lessons learned from operation of the earlier units with changes to meet latest regulatory codes and standards.

More information on the CANDU 6 projects can be found in, CANDU 6 Performance in 2014 (reference 1). Note that the Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) database of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) identifies the Qinshan units in China as Qinshan 3-1 and Qinshan 3-2, that is, units 1 and 2 of Phase 3 of the Qinshan Nuclear Power Project. These were identified previously (reference 1) as Qinshan 4 and 5.

Capacity Factor

The Capacity Factors are taken from the PRIS database. Note that the Load Factor term used in the PRIS database has the same meaning as Capacity Factor. Capacity Factors are based on the (net) Reference Unit Power and on the (net) Electricity Supplied figures, as defined in the PRIS database. The annual Energy Availability Factor (reference 2) will only be given in this article if it is significantly different from the unit Capacity Factor.

CANDU 6 Units

Point Lepreau, New Brunswick, Canada. At the end of 2015, just over three years after refurbishment, the “refurbished lifetime” Capacity Factor was 75 percent and the annual Capacity Factor for 2015 was 74.0 percent. The lifetime Capacity Factor since start of commercial operation in 1983 was 69.7 percent, including the refurbishment outage.

Gentilly 2, Quebec, Canada. Unit came into commercial operation in 1983 October. The unit was permanently shutdown at the end of 2012 by Hydro-Quebec after election of the short lived Parti Quebecois government earlier in the year. At the end of 2012, when it was shutdown, it had a lifetime Capacity Factor of 76.2 percent with an annual Capacity Factor for 2012 of 70.7 percent.

Wolsong 1, South Korea. The unit re-entered service in 2015 June after receiving its 10 year operating license from the nuclear regulator. At the end of 2015 its annual Capacity Factor was 53.2 percent. The lifetime Capacity Factor since start of commercial operation in 1983 was 74.2 percent, including the refurbishment outage. It had an annual Energy Availability Factor for 2015 of 73.3 percent.

Wolsong 2, South Korea. At the end of 2015 it had a lifetime Capacity Factor of 93.4 percent and an annual Capacity Factor for 2015 of 90.1 percent.

Wolsong 3, South Korea. At the end of 2015 it had a lifetime Capacity Factor of 94.1 percent and an annual Capacity Factor for 2015 of 94.9 percent.

Wolsong 4, South Korea. At the end of 2015 it had a lifetime Capacity Factor of 94.8 percent and an annual Capacity Factor for 2015 of 87.3 percent.

Embalse, Argentina. After many postponements the unit finally shutdown at the end of 2015 for refurbishment. Some of the upgrades have already been completed by the plant employees. At the end of 2015 Embalse had a lifetime Capacity Factor of 78.7 percent and an annual Capacity Factor for 2015 of 12.2 percent although the annual Energy Availability Factor was 99.8 percent.

Cernavoda 1, Romania. At the end of 2015 it had a lifetime Capacity Factor of 90.1 percent and an annual Capacity Factor for 2015 of 96.7 percent.

Cernavoda 2, Romania. At the end of 2015 it had a lifetime Capacity Factor of 94.1 percent and an annual Capacity Factor for 2015 of 91.4 percent.

Qinshan 3-1, China. At the end of 2015 it had a lifetime Capacity Factor of 90.6 percent and an annual Capacity Factor for 2015 of 80.2 percent. The annual Energy Availability Factor for 2015 was 83.2 percent.

Qinshan 3-2, China. At the end of 2015 it had a lifetime Capacity Factor of 92.5 percent and an annual Capacity Factor for 2015 of 94.8 percent. The annual Energy Availability Factor for 2015 was 97.3 percent.

CANDU 6 summary

The seven CANDU 6 units in the second tranche of build are amongst the world’s best performers. The average lifetime Capacity Factor for the seven CANDU 6 units in the second tranche of build was 92.8 percent up to end of 2015 and their average annual Capacity Factor for 2015 was 90.8 percent. They make an excellent reference design for the Enhanced CANDU 6 units at Darlington B, when the time comes.

References

1. CANDU 6 Performance in 2014, Don Jones, 2015 March 25, https://thedonjonesarticles.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/candu-6-performance-in-2014/

2. Performance of Ontario’s CANDU nuclear generating stations in 2015, Don Jones, 2016 March 18, https://thedonjonesarticles.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/performance-of-ontarios-candu-nuclear-generating-stations-in-2015/