Bruce Power has commenced loading fuel into Unit 6 and is on track to resume the production of clean, reliable energy and cancer-fighting medical isotopes for decades to come at the conclusion of the unit’s Major Component Replacement (MCR) outage later this year.
With the construction phase of the Unit 6 MCR substantially completed early this month, the company is now focused on returning the unit to service. The refurbished unit, the first of six units Bruce Power and its partners will refurbish between 2020 and 2033, will provide enough electricity to power a city the size of Hamilton.
“The team has been preparing for the return to service of Unit 6 for well over a year and we now are entering an exciting phase of loading fuel into the reactor followed by returning systems and the unit to service in the months ahead,” said James Scongack, Vice-President of Bruce Power’s Bruce B station. “All of the dedicated nuclear professionals who have been and are contributing to this work are united by our collective commitment to continue to power Ontario forward, producing clean electricity and life-saving medical isotopes.”
With approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), the company has begun to load fuel into the reactor core for the first time in almost four years. Bruce Power Operations staff will refuel the unit’s 480 fuel channels with 5,760 fuel bundles over the next few weeks. All of these bundles are provided by Canadian-based Cameco Corporation and each bundle produces clean electricity equivalent to 400,000 Kg of coal or 400,000 cubic meters of natural gas.
This will be followed by heat transport system fill and pressurization and other lead-out activities and regulatory inspections to be completed to return it to Ontario’s electricity grid in the fourth quarter of this year.
Unit 6 was removed from service in January 2020 and Bruce Power and its construction partners overcame a major hurdle with the impact and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic to progress the project toward completion. The privately-funded investment into Units 3-8 will extend the life of the site through 2064 and is Ontario’s largest clean-energy infrastructure project, supporting climate change targets and future clean energy needs.
The second unit to undergo major component replacement is Unit 3 which was taken offline March 1 for defueling, with bulkhead installation and the Primary Heat Transport system ‘drain and dry’ as the next steps in the project prior to starting construction activity, which begins with major component disassembly later this quarter.
Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program will generate billions in annual economic benefits in communities throughout the province. It directly and indirectly supports 22,000 jobs annually and injects $4 billion into the province’s economy.
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.