Bruce Power’s Unit 3 marks 45 years since declaring commercial operation; Final preparations underway for Major Component Replacement outage

Bruce Power’s Unit 3 marked 45 years since declaring commercial operation on Feb. 1, with the Bruce A unit beginning its lengthy run of providing clean, reliable power for the people of Ontario on that day in 1978.

It also marked one month to the beginning of the Unit 3 Major Component Replacement (MCR) outage, with final preparations continuing to bring the unit off-line March 1. The replacement of major components on Unit 3 is the next step in Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program, one of Canada’s largest private-sector clean-energy projects, which will help Ontario and Canada achieve their Net Zero targets. Unit 3 established its operational record of 404 continuous days online in 2020.

“It’s an exciting time for Bruce Power as we celebrate the contributions of our site in producing 30 per cent of the province’s safe, reliable and clean electricity for several decades,” said Bruce Power President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Rencheck. “And it’s exciting that we’re renewing our units to be able to continue to produce that baseload of clean energy for the province for decades to come, as well as supply the world market with a stable supply of cancer-fighting medical isotopes.”

The Unit 3 MCR outage begins as Unit 6, the first Bruce Power unit to undergo its MCR outage, is on plan to be returned to service late this year. The Unit 3 project will build on lessons learned and innovations during the Unit 6 MCR to deliver the subsequent MCR outages more efficiently in terms of schedule and cost.

“We’re leveraging innovative new technology with proven best-practices and industry expertise to enable improved performance and efficiency while maintaining the highest standard in safety and quality in our refurbishment programs, allowing our Life-Extension Program to play a huge role in the clean-energy future of Ontario,” said Eric Chassard, Executive Vice-President of Projects and Engineering at Bruce Power.

Bruce Power’s MCR outages consist of the following key critical path activities: Reactor shutdown and de-fuel; reactor preparation; reactor retube and feeder replacement; and commissioning.

This privately funded investment into Units 3-8 (Units 1 and 2 were refurbished a decade ago) will extend the life of the Bruce Power site through 2064 and beyond and will allow the company to continue to produce a stable and reliable source for Ontario’s clean energy mix and supply the world market with cancer-fighting medical isotopes.

Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program and MCR Project will extend the operational life of each reactor by 30 to 35 years and, as a result, help mitigate the predicted increase in greenhouse gas emissions intensity of the electricity grid.

The Bruce Power Life Extension Program is creating an additional 5,000 direct and indirect jobs annually throughout the refurbishment program and contributes approximately $4 billion in annual economic benefits in communities throughout the province and particularly right here in the Clean Energy Frontier region of Bruce, Grey and Huron counties.

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 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 and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.