It was a transformational year for the Bruce Power site, which celebrated some of the largest milestones in the company’s 11-year history.
With the successful return to service of Units 1 and 2, the Restart Project officially came to an end. Combined with life-extending outages in Units 3 and 4 in 2012, Bruce A is now positioned to provide over 3,000 megawatts of low-cost, clean and reliable electricity to the people of Ontario for decades to come, allowing the provincial government to advance its aggressive program to phase out coal-fired generation.
While these major projects were being finished at Bruce A, Bruce B went about its business of safely and reliably operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure the lights could always be turned on. Bruce B’s Unit 6 ends the year on a continuous-run record of over 500 days and with a perfect 100 rating on the World Association of Nuclear Operators’ Nuclear Performance Index, making it the top-ranked CANDU unit in the world. Bruce B is also setting records for continuous days with all four units in operation, currently at 113 and counting.
“It has been a monumental year in Bruce Power’s history,” said Duncan Hawthorne, President and CEO. “The Restart Project presented its challenges, but we overcame them and successfully completed the most innovative project in Canadian nuclear history, while operating Bruce B to the world’s highest standards.”
To sum up the successes of the year, here is the Top 12 of 2012:
1. The completion of the Restart Project. After being removed from service in the mid-90s, Units 1 and 2 synchronized to Ontario’s electricity grid in September and October, respectively. Soon after, they were declared commercially operational, bringing the project to an end and making Bruce Power the world’s largest operating nuclear facility with eight units.
2. Bruce Power received the best report card in its 11-year history from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The company was rated as ‘Fully Satisfactory’, the commission’s highest rating, for its security and conventional health and safety functions, while all other areas were rated as ‘Satisfactory’ by the nuclear regulator.
3. Hundreds of millions of dollars were successfully invested into life-extending outages for Units 3 and 4. The innovative, first-of-a-kind maintenance programs extend the life of the units into the next decade.
4. Units at both Bruce A and B provided low-cost, clean and reliable power for much of 2012, setting numerous long-run records in the process. Bruce A’s Unit 4 shattered its post-refurbishment, long-run record by continuously producing electricity for 570 days, more than double its previous record of 267. At Bruce B, Unit 7 blew past its previous record of 432 days and was taken offline briefly after 460 days. Unit 6 continues its long-run record of 498 days as of Dec. 19, while Bruce B also set a record for the longest time all four of its units have produced simultaneously in the company’s history – a record that currently sits at 113 days (also as of Dec. 19).
5. Bruce Power continued to learn lessons and improve its Emergency Response capabilities in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear event of 2011. The company added more layers to its already extensive emergency capabilities, and put it all to the test during Huron Challenge – Trillium Resolve, a five-day, large-scale drill organized by Emergency Management Ontario, which featured dozens of organizations and roughly 1,000 people.
6. Bruce Power became one of three companies in Canada to be awarded a silver level certification for its Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program, through the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business.
7. Bruce Power donated over $1.4 million to dozens of local community organizations and non-profit groups to assist with projects that benefit health and wellness, community, youth development, events, Aboriginal programs, and military, veterans and first responders.
8. Ontario Minister of Energy Chris Bentley visited the Bruce Power site to congratulate workers for returning Units 1 and 2 to service, and for safely and reliably providing low-cost and clean energy to the people of Ontario, helping the government phase out coal plants. “We appreciate what you do – not just the provincial government but the people of Ontario,” Minister Bentley said.
9. Bruce Power teamed up with the Right to Play organization to launch the Promoting Life-skills in Aboriginal Youth (PLAY) program in the Saugeen and Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nations. The program is aimed at developing life skills through play-based activities, sport and recreation. Bruce Power also teamed with the Owen Sound Attack to hold special game nights and road hockey events for these communities.
10. The company maintained its ISO 14001: Environmental Standard designation for its positive environmental performance in reducing carbon emissions. With the return of Bruce A to full operation, Bruce Power is assisting the provincial government with its mandate to phase out coal-fired generating plants. Bruce Power also held numerous Earth Week events and donated $50,000 to community organizations focused on improving the environment locally.
11. Bruce Power received many prestigious awards in 2012, including being named one of the country’s Top Employers for Young People and the Top 50 Most Engaged Workplaces. Both of these awards highlight the company’s work at hiring and retaining young people, as over the past 11 years the demographics have shifted from an aging workforce to one where 25 per cent of employees are 35 years of age or younger.
12. The Joint Physician Recruitment Committee – consisting of representatives from Bruce Power and the communities of Saugeen Shores and Kincardine – secured four new physicians for our community hospitals and emergency rooms. The collaborative effort puts the communities in the enviable position of having no orphan patients to end 2012.
About Bruce Power
Bruce Power operates one of the world’s largest nuclear sites and is the source of roughly 25 per cent of Ontario’s electricity. The company’s site in Tiverton, Ontario is home to eight CANDU reactors, each one capable of generating enough low-cost, reliable, safe and clean electricity to meet the annual needs of a city the size of Ottawa. 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 the Society of Energy Professionals. A majority of Bruce Power’s employees are also owners in the business.
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