CANDU 6 Performance in 2017
By: Donald Jones, retired nuclear industry engineer, 2018 March 27
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.
The Capacity Factors are taken from the PRIS (Power Reactor Information System) database of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). 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.
CANDU 6 Units
Point Lepreau, New Brunswick, Canada. At the end of 2017 the lifetime Capacity Factor since start of commercial operation in 1983 was 70.5 percent, including the refurbishment outage, and the annual Capacity Factor for 2017 was 89.1 percent.
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 the unit is licensed to operate up to 2022, the time of its next Periodic Safety Review, but the government is about to make the decision whether or not to permanently shut the unit down earlier in its push to increase the amount of renewables and natural gas at the expense of nuclear and coal. Now that Kori unit 1 has been permanently shutdown Wolsong unit 1 becomes the oldest operating nuclear unit in Korea. The lifetime Capacity Factor at end of 2017 since start of commercial operation in 1983 was 72.6 percent, including the refurbishment outage. At the end of 2017 its annual Capacity Factor was 40.4 percent. The unit was taken offline 2017 May and was still offline at end of 2017.
Wolsong 2, South Korea. At the end of 2017 it had a lifetime Capacity Factor of 92.4 percent and an annual Capacity Factor for 2017 of 90.0 percent.
Wolsong 3, South Korea. At the end of 2017 it had a lifetime Capacity Factor of 89.9 percent and an annual Capacity Factor for 2017 of 32.7 percent.
Wolsong 4, South Korea. At the end of 2017 it had a lifetime Capacity Factor of 94.0 percent and an annual Capacity Factor for 2017 of 99.2 percent.
Embalse, Argentina. After many postponements the unit finally shutdown at the end of 2015 for refurbishment.
Cernavoda 1, Romania. At the end of 2017 it had a lifetime Capacity Factor of 90.1 percent and an annual Capacity Factor for 2017 of 96.3 percent.
Cernavoda 2, Romania. At the end of 2017 it had a lifetime Capacity Factor of 94.0 percent and an annual Capacity Factor for 2017 of 89.5 percent.
Qinshan 3-1, China. At the end of 2017 it had a lifetime Capacity Factor of 89.8 percent and an annual Capacity Factor for 2017 of 76.6 percent.
Qinshan 3-2, China. At the end of 2017 it had a lifetime Capacity Factor of 91.5 percent and an annual Capacity Factor for 2017 of 94.4 percent.
CANDU 6 summary
The average lifetime Capacity Factor for the nine operating CANDU 6 units was 87.2 percent up to end of 2017 and their average annual Capacity Factor for 2017 was 78.7 percent. The Energy Availability Factor (EAF) in the PRIS is significantly different from the Capacity Factor for the two Qinshan units (reference 1). The annual EAF for Qinshan 3-1 is 78.6 percent and for Qinshan 3-2 it is 98.2 percent. This means that the EAF is really the Unit Capability Factor (UCF) and events external to the plant impacted performance somewhat. There is no significant difference between the EAF and the Capacity Factor for the other CANDU 6 units which means the EAF could be the UCF with no external losses or the EAF could really be the EAF, for example the Wolsong units.
1. Confusion with the IAEA reactor performance data in the PRIS, Don Jones, 2017 July 28, https://thedonjonesarticles.wo rdpress.com/2017/07/30/confusi on-with-the-iaea-reactor- performance-data-in-the-pris/