Bruce Power, through the hard work of its employees and with the support of many stakeholders and suppliers, achieved many milestones in 2019 in delivering its mission to safely provide clean, affordable and reliable power and life-saving medical isotopes while strengthening our communities and protecting the environment.
A busy year is drawing to a close. Since beginning its Life-Extension Program in 2016, the company is on track with nearly $2 billion invested in new equipment and services, and is entering the next phase with final preparations for the start of the Major Component Replacement (MCR) Project in January. The Unit 6 major component replacement raises the curtain on the next phase of the program, which will extend the life of Bruce Power’s reactors, and the site, to 2064.
The MCR planning process created the new MCR Training Facility in Kincardine, a 129,000-square-foot facility that was opened in April to enable the setup of our advanced robotic systems and training of skilled tradespeople in operating these robotic tools. Bruce Power’s partners will practise executing the highly technical MCR programs at this facility before deploying to perform the work at site.
The commitment from partner suppliers to the Life-Extension Program included another 16 companies opening offices and warehouses in Bruce, Grey and Huron counties in 2019. There are now about 60 Bruce Power suppliers which have established offices and light manufacturing, creating about 2,000 local jobs.
As part of its commitment to the global health-care community, the company announced in 2019 a series of initiatives around the production of life-saving medical isotopes. In November, with Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Minister Lisa Thompson in attendance, Bruce Power, Kinectrics, Framatome and ITM signed agreements to expand Bruce Power’s capability to produce isotopes through 2064 and with that, establish the province as a leading global health hub for medical isotopes – including research, development, production, processing and export.
Bruce Power made two announcements in July, the first that it would work with Kinectrics and Framatome to advance an innovative new technology to enable the production of a key medical isotope (Lutetium-177) that’s used to treat prostate cancer and “open the door” to producing other isotopes in the future. The company also reached an agreement with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) to jointly develop and market new isotopes; and work collaboratively on creating new economic opportunities within the SON territory.
“With the support of our people, communities, contractors, suppliers and other partners, we accomplished many great things in 2019,” said Mike Rencheck, President and CEO. “We are very proud of our people, our role as a leader in providing our customers with carbon-free, cost-effective electricity, and furthering the development of medical isotopes to help in the global fight against cancer.
“We have great people, and great people do great things. I’m excited for what lies ahead in 2020 as we continue to focus on improving our performance, doing our work safely, with high quality, on time and on budget, and doing our part to make our communities a better place to live and protecting the environment.”
Other highlights from the year:
- January: Minister of Energy Greg Rickford visited Bruce Power to help announce that the company’s focus on innovation, simplification and delivering efficiencies, while increasing site output and reliability, means Ontario electricity consumers is benefitting from over $200 million in efficiency payments between 2019 and 2021.
- March: Bruce Power’s Unit 5 surpassed its previous record of 520 consecutive days of providing power to the province’s electricity grid. Unit 5 would have set a new site record for continuous safe operation on its run to the start of the unit’s outage, but it was disconnected from the grid on April 8 to resolve an issue in the switchyard. It now has an operational record of 555 days, just one day short of Unit 6 which marked 556 days on Feb. 15, 2013; Unit 7 established its record of 487 days on Sept. 9, 2016, and Unit 8 set a unit and site record of 623 days on Feb. 13, 2018. These four reactors have been in service since the mid-1980s and setting new records for operational reliability. Bruce B reactors also produce Cobalt-60, a life-saving medical isotope that is used to sterilize single-use medical devices across the world, while also fighting cancer.
- July: Bruce Power opened the doors to its new, 116,000-square-foot Chesley Warehouse. The warehouse is being used as a storage space for the volume of materials that will be received during the Major Component Replacement (MCR) Project over the next 10 years. The opening of the warehouse expands Bruce Power’s footprint across Bruce, Grey and Huron counties.
- August: Unit 1 marked one year of generating electricity, four days after setting a new record run of 361 days of continuous operation. The unit, which was returned to service in 2012 after the Bruce A station was shut down by the former Ontario Hydro in the 1990s, continues to set a new record daily, now at 491 days, through safe, reliable operation. Unit 1’s previous record run of 360 days was from May 19, 1985 to May 14, 1986.
- October: Bruce Power completed a three-day ‘Exercise Huron Resilience’, testing the company’s emergency management program and Safety First focus for its workers, the surrounding communities and the environment. Approximately 1,200 employees participated in the emergency exercise, which involved simulating an on-site scenario caused by an earthquake. Huron Resilience also included participation from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Health Canada, the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre and the Municipality of Kincardine.
- November; Bruce Power, OCNI, and Bruce, Grey, and Huron counties conducted an annual economic development forum with more than 200 participants. Progress to date has included about 60 companies in 65 locations, 300 small businesses created, 250,000 square feet of unused buildings now occupied. Saugeen Shores noted an increase in building permits with a total of nearly $100 million.
- December: Bruce Power and Kinectrics announced the opening of a new industrial laundry facility that will employ at its start 20 people in Teeswater, with expansion plans to achieve nearly 50 in the coming years.
- Bruce Power’s Community Investment and Sponsorship Program provided more than $2 million to groups, organizations and events, including community hospital foundations, the Truax Dam Removal Project in the Brockton and other environmental initiatives, the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario, Wounded Warriors, Indigenous initiatives, and food banks and hamper programs in Bruce, Grey and Huron counties. The program also provides $100,000 annually to assist local students with their post-secondary education.
- An unprecedented 6,200 people took advantage of the company’s summer tourism initiative including a bus tour of the site, and a total of nearly 19,000 visiting the Bruce Power Visitors’ Centre. The program attracts visitors from Bruce, Grey and Huron counties, and summer tourists from across Canada and internationally.
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.