Bruce Power’s Unit 3 was removed from service March 1 to begin its Major Component Replacement (MCR) outage.
The refurbished unit is scheduled to come back online in 2026 and will provide clean, reliable power for the people of Ontario for decades to follow. Bruce Power’s MCR Project will see Units 3-8 refurbished, allowing the eight-unit site to continue to contribute to Ontario’s and Canada’s clean-energy goals and produce cancer-fighting medical isotopes through 2064.
“Ontario is in the enviable position of having one of the cleanest electricity grids in the world and our nuclear sector plays a big role in providing a reliable source of clean baseload power,” said the Hon. Todd Smith, Ontario’s Minister of Energy. “With increasing electrification, refurbishing our nuclear fleet is crucial to meeting future clean energy demands.
“Bruce Power has not only been a leader in innovation through its operation and refurbishment projects, but it has also helped to establish Ontario as a world leader in the production of cancer-fighting medical isotopes,” Minister Smith added.
Unit 6, the first Bruce Power reactor to be refurbished as part of the site’s Life-Extension Program, is on track to be returned to service later this year with all new reactor components, building on the performance and reliability reputation of the CANDU design. MCR outages consist of the following key critical path activities: reactor shutdown and de-fuelling; reactor preparation; reactor retube and feeder replacement; and commissioning.
Bruce Power’s MCR Project and Life-Extension Program is one of Canada’s largest clean energy infrastructure projects and is showcasing to the world that large-scale nuclear refurbishment is not only possible, but can safely and successfully extend the life of existing assets. Units 1 and 2 were refurbished and brought back online in 2012 and have since set new operational performance milestones.
“We’ve shown that refurbishing our units makes sense. We have the skilled workforce and supply chain knowledge right here in Ontario to carry out these projects successfully, while stimulating the economy at the same time. We are Made in Canada,” said Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power’s President and CEO. “With the Unit 6 MCR nearing completion and Unit 3 now underway, we’re renewing our units with each subsequent MCR in order to continue providing the people, homes, businesses and hospitals of Ontario with carbon-free, clean, reliable electricity for many more decades.”
Bruce Power currently produces 6,550 megawatts (MW) of peak clean energy and that output will increase to more than 7,000 MW in the 2030s, following the completion of the MCR program in 2033 and other Life-Extension projects. Nuclear power already provides 60 per cent of the province’s clean energy and, with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) forecasting demand to grow rapidly over the coming decades, this baseload generation is paramount to a clean energy grid and to allow new technologies to emerge.
The Life-Extension Program and MCR Projects 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. As a “Made-in-Canada” clean energy solution, the program and ongoing site operations create and sustain 22,000 direct and indirect jobs annually and contribute approximately $4 billion in annual economic benefits in communities throughout the province, particularly here in the Clean Energy Frontier region of Bruce, Grey and Huron counties.
This privately funded investment into Units 3-8 will also 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.
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 www.brucepower.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.