Canadian nuclear panel lifts 50% restriction on Bruce Power unit

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has agreed to the request by Bruce Power to lift the “regulatory hold” currently limiting Bruce A Unit 1 to no more than 50% generation.

In a four-page ruling the CNSC said May 27 that was releasing the “hold point” for the Candu reactor. Bruce Power had filed its request with the panel in August 2012.

April of this year marked the first time in 20 years that all eight Bruce Power nuclear units were sending electricity to the grid.

The mammoth Bruce Power facility has the ability to send a combined total of 6,300 MW to the grid. It is the world’s largest nuclear power facility and the source of 25% of Ontario’s electricity, according to Bruce Power.

“Bruce Power has successfully completed all safety tests and has met CNSC regulatory requirements to bring unit 1 to full power,” said Ramzi Jammal, CNSC executive vice-president and chief regulatory operations officer. “Our oversight of the unit’s operation will continue through normal compliance activities, marking the end of regulatory activities specific to reactor commissioning,” according to a May 28 statement.

“CNSC staff confirmed that Bruce Power has completed the commissioning for all systems relating to increasing above 50% reactor power and found the results to be acceptable,” according to the ruling.

Also, there have been no failures to meet any of the pre-requisites for removing the hold point that has been established by the commission, the panel said.

On its website, Bruce Power said it has invested more than C$7bn since 2003 on revitalizing the Bruce Power nuclear units and helping Ontario in its goal of shutting old coal-fired generation.

Bruce Power is located approximately 250 kilometers northwest of Toronto, Ontario, on the shores of Lake Huron between the towns of Kincardine and Saugeen Shores.

Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is an all-Canadian partnership among TransCanada, Cameco, Borealis Infrastructure Management (a division of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System) as well as the Power Workers’ Union and 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.