Bruce Power’s Unit 3 Major Component Replacement (MCR) Project will begin in early 2023, after the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) verified the company’s plan for the project.
The Unit 3 MCR represents the next step in Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program, which is one of Canada’s largest private-sector clean energy projects, which will help Ontario and Canada reach their Net Zero targets.
“The Unit 3 Major Component Replacement continues the renewal of our facilities that Ontario’s families and businesses are counting on to provide clean, reliable, and affordable electricity, good jobs and life-saving medical isotopes for decades,” said Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power’s President and CEO. “Our employees, unions and industry continue to work hard every day to secure a bright future for Ontario by decarbonizing our electricity grid, creating and sustaining 22,000 jobs across the province annually, and generating upwards of $10 billion in economic activity each year.”
The Unit 3 project will benefit from the company’s experience on the Unit 6 MCR currently underway, and other refurbishment projects within the industry. Once the Unit 3 project is completed in 2026, half of the Bruce Power units will be fully refurbished as Units 1 and 2 had their major components replaced and were returned to service in 2012.
“With our Unit 6 MCR progressing well, we are building on those experiences as we prepare for the Unit 3 project,” said Eric Chassard, Bruce Power’s Executive Vice President, Projects & Engineering. “Our team of highly skilled employees and contractor partners are ready for the next challenge in our Life-Extension Program.”
Unit 3 will provide enough electricity annually to power over 800,000 Ontario homes reliably and ensure the province’s electricity system remains decarbonized, contributing to a Net Zero future.
“Nuclear power is the backbone of Ontario’s electricity system,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “The Life-Extension Program at Bruce Power will ensure that Ontario families and businesses have a clean, reliable source of emissions-free electricity, while also supporting tens of thousands of good jobs across the province for decades to come.”
In addition to the MCR, the electricity output from Unit 3 will also continue to be optimized as part of Bruce Power’s Project 2030, which is a multi-year initiative to achieve a Bruce Power site peak of 7,000 Megawatts for the 2030s – critical to Ontario and Canada’s Net Zero goals.
Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, also touted the benefits of the project and the impact it will have on the province combining clean and affordable electricity, reliability, and Made-in-Ontario economic activity.
“The Ontario Chamber of Commerce believes this project will contribute to Ontario’s economic recovery, creating jobs through private sector investment, and a stable electricity supply of power at a competitive price, while also keeping the air we breathe clean,” Rossi said.
Over 90 per cent of Bruce Power’s purchasing takes place in Ontario, and the company’s supply chain supports hundreds of businesses throughout the province. The Life-Extension Program will also create significant, long-term employment for Ontario’s building and construction trades.
Hon. Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Huron-Bruce MPP, welcomed the news and the impact it will have for the community and the province.
“In addition to creating jobs, Bruce Power is a critical supplier of low-cost electricity throughout Ontario and medical isotopes around the world. Bruce Power’s ongoing Life-Extension Program will be an economic driver in communities across Huron-Bruce, and positions the region for sustainable prosperity for years to come.”
Bill Walker, the MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, said this is more positive news for the region.
“Bruce Power is driving Ontario’s economy forward, generating clean, reliable power, supplying medical isotopes worldwide, and creating jobs through private sector investment in infrastructure,” Walker said. “This announcement is good news for the Clean Energy Frontier region, which is emerging as a global centre of nuclear innovation, manufacturing, and services.”
A 2017 report from Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office on the life extension of the province’s nuclear fleet reinforces the role low-cost Bruce Power nuclear will continue to play in the supply mix over the long-term. The report states, “There is currently no portfolio of alternative low emissions generation which could replace nuclear generation at a comparable cost.” Furthermore, the report is clear ratepayers are protected. “As Bruce Power is a private sector entity, any transfer of risk to Bruce Power reduces the exposure of ratepayers,” the report states.
The Bruce Power Life-Extension Program, which began in January 2016, is comprised of the Major Component Replacements of Units 3-8 as well as an Asset Management Plan which includes the ongoing inspection, maintenance, replacement and refurbishment activities not included in MCRs. Asset Management activities will be executed before, during and after the MCR outages.
About Bruce Power
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 and life-saving medical isotopes around the world. 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. Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is a Canadian-owned partnership of TC Energy, OMERS, the Power Workers’ Union and The Society of United Professionals. Learn more at www.brucepower.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.