Bruce Power’s Unit 5 was removed from service on Feb. 3 to begin a planned maintenance and inspection program that will ensure Bruce Power continues to supply low-cost electricity to Ontario homes and business for the long term.
The $135 million maintenance and inspection program will last about 90 days and will help extend the life of the Bruce Power site, ensuring the electricity it provides Ontario families and businesses continues to be part of the solution now and in the future by providing a source of low-cost, stable power.
Bruce Power generates 30 per cent of Ontario’s electricity at 30 per cent less than the average residential price. In 2016, Bruce Power was paid 6.6 cents per kilowatt-hour (kw/h) for its electricity, while the average residential price was about 11 cents kw/h.
“During the maintenance and inspection program, thousands of tasks will be completed by Bruce Power staff, as well as hundreds of contractors who have been hired from across the province for their expertise in maintenance activities,” said Len Clewett, Bruce Power’s Chief Nuclear Officer. “Our Life-Extension Program and other site activities directly and indirectly create and sustain 22,000 jobs and inject about $4 billion annually into our local and provincial economies through the procurement of materials, hiring of skilled labour and investing of private dollars into publicly owned assets.”
Cobalt-60 will also be harvested from the reactor during this maintenance and inspection program, before being processed by Nordion, which sterilizes 40 per cent of the world’s single-use medical devices, including gloves, masks and stents. While Cobalt-60 helps keep the world’s hospitals safe for its most vulnerable citizens, it also plays a role in controlling the Zika Virus, through a mosquito sterilization program which is now underway in affected countries. Learn more about the life-saving role of Cobalt-60 at www.cleannuclearpowersafehospitals.com.
Last year, Bruce Power signed an agreement to supply Nordion with ‘High Specific Activity’ (HSA) Cobalt, which is used in the treatment of brain-related cancers. For 60 years, Nordion’s supply of medical-grade Cobalt has come primarily from the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor in Chalk River, ON, which is slated to reach its end-of-life in 2018, creating the possibility of an international shortage of medical-grade Cobalt – a gap Bruce Power will now help fill.
HSA Cobalt will be loaded into Unit 5 during this planned maintenance program and will be harvested and sent to Nordion for processing in about two years.
About Bruce Power
Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is an electricity company based in Bruce County, Ontario. We are powered by our people. Our 4,200 employees are the foundation of our accomplishments and are proud of the role they play in safely delivering clean, reliable, low-cost nuclear power to families and businesses across the province. Bruce Power has worked hard to build strong roots in Ontario and is committed to protecting the environment and supporting the communities in which we live. Learn more at www.brucepower.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.
For more information, contact:
John Peevers, Department Manager, Communications and Media Relations