Bruce Power on track to activate 750-MW nuclear unit in Q3

Bruce Power said recently that it remains on schedule to return its 750-MW Bruce A nuclear Unit 1 to commercial operation in the third quarter.

Unit 1 is now ‘critical’, meaning the nuclear reactor is operating as it progresses through the final stages of commissioning and testing, in preparation of raising power and synchronizing to Ontario’s electricity grid, Bruce Power said in an Aug. 3 statement.

The unit has been shut down for 15 years, but in July the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission gave Bruce Power the go-ahead to restart the reactor.

“The CNSC is satisfied that Bruce Power has completed all necessary safety tests in order to restart its newly refurbished Unit 1,” said Ramzi Jammal, CNSC Executive Vice-President and Chief Regulatory Operations Officer said in a July 20 statement. “CNSC staff will closely monitor all restart activities before electricity is produced.”

Work is also underway to ensure Unit 2 will soon be generating electricity following a non-nuclear issue that occurred within an hour of synchronization to Ontario’s electricity grid in May. This work program is expected to be complete and Unit 2 generating electricity in the fourth quarter of this year. On the nuclear side of the plant, Unit 2 is also critical.

“With this milestone achieved on Unit 1 and activities underway on Unit 2, we are within months of both units providing low-cost, safe and reliable power for the province,” said Bruce A Operations Senior Vice President Mike Burke.

Bruce Power will also execute an expanded outage investment program on Unit 4 starting immediately, in support of extending the life of the unit to the end of decade, the utility said. The work program will involve 800 temporary workers at peak. This planned maintenance outage will align the lifespan of Unit 4 to that of Unit 3, which recently underwent a C$300m investment project that extended its life by up to an additional 10 years.

Bruce Power operates the Bruce A and Bruce B Nuclear Generating Stations, located on the eastern shore of Lake Huron, near Tiverton, Ontario. Bruce B Units 5, 6, 7 and 8 are all operating at full power. Bruce B produces approximately 3,300 MW annually, or 15% of Ontario’s electricity, the generator said.

Bruce Power is a partnership among Cameco (TSE: CCO) , TransCanada (TSE: TRP) BPC Generation Infrastructure Trust, a trust established by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, the Power Workers’ Union and The Society of Energy Professionals.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.