The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and Bruce Power continue to work together to secure an important source of cost-effective and emission-free electricity for Ontario ratepayers through the long-term supply of 6,300 MW from the Bruce Power site. This critical component of Ontario’s supply mix is one of the key features in the Ministry of Energy’s November 2010 Long-Term Energy Plan.
A February 2011 amendment to the existing contract between the OPA and Bruce Power for the refurbishment of the Bruce A units will result in $3 billion in savings for Ontario ratepayers over the life of the contract ($1 billion net present value). The savings are the result of adopting an alternative to the use of slightly enriched uranium fuel that was originally going to be used in the refurbished units. This alternative, a new high-tech electronic program, is currently under development and will cost less than 1.4% of the fuel cost savings.
Bruce Power recently disclosed that the refurbishment of units 1 and 2 are approximately 85% complete and will return to commercial operation in 2012. The contract was amended to reflect this timeline.
The refurbishment contract with Bruce Power continues to provide good value. A July 2009 contract amendment protects ratepayers from cost overruns – ratepayer exposure is capped at $3.4 billion. This remains unchanged.
In addition to refurbishment of units 1 and 2, Bruce Power is investing approximately $300 million in 2011 and 2012 to add 10 more years of reactor life to units 3 and 4, which will continue to supply 1,500 megawatts (MW) of baseload electricity until 2021, when the units are due for refurbishment under the existing contract between the OPA and Bruce Power.
Bruce Power received about 6.4 cents per kilowatt-hour for the electricity it generated from Bruce A in 2010, which is 1,500 MW of cost-effective power generation in the province.
In 2010, nuclear power accounted for 55% of Ontario’s power supply. The Long-Term Energy Plan calls for nuclear to be about 50% over the 20-year of the plan.
The OPA is carefully reviewing the operations and forecasted end of service life of existing nuclear units in the province to ensure that overall nuclear operations and unit refurbishments are coordinated and continue to contribute to a reliable and cost-effective electricity system.