New safety system at Bruce Power wins prestigious industry award

Bruce Power has been awarded a Top Innovative Practice (TIP) Award for a game-changing safety system that was implemented as part of the company’s post-Fukushima improvements.

Bruce Power’s Containment Filtered Ventilation System (CFVS), which was developed with Framatome, was recognized at the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Nuclear Energy Assembly in Washington, DC, on May 16. Members of Bruce Power’s engineering and design team were present to accept this international award.

“We are extremely proud to be the recipient of a Top Innovative Practice Award for this landmark safety project at Bruce Power,” said Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power’s President and CEO. “This first-of-its-kind safety system is a game changer and provides a new level of safety for our community and environment that is unparalleled. Essentially this prevents the risk of a potential radiological release to the environment in the highly unlikely case of an accident.”

The new system, which has been added to the vacuum buildings at both the Bruce A and B stations, would filter radioactive materials, effectively preventing release to the environment in the unlikely event of an accident in the reactor. Vacuum buildings are unique to multi-unit CANDU generating stations and are part of their robust safety systems, providing an additional protective barrier to the release of radioactivity to the environment.

The vacuum building, which is a 45 metre-tall structure with concrete walls more than a metre thick, is designed to suck up any radioactive steam from the reactor. The steam would then be doused with two million litres of water, which is kept at the top of the structure at all times. Eventually, as pressure builds up, the steam would need to be vented and the new CFVS would filter out radioactive contaminants.

“We firmly believe that this would modernize considerations for actions like evacuation or shelter-in-place in the event of an unprecedented accident at our site,” Rencheck added. “This is a tremendous example of how our industry innovates and is modernizing as part of our Life-Extension Program, pursuing safety improvements to protect and advance technologies like cancer-fighting medical isotopes for our people, our communities and our environment.”

The CFVS is unique among the existing safety systems at Bruce Power in that it works independently of all other safety systems and does not require electrical power to function, providing an additional layer of safety for plant personnel. The system took years of design, modelling and testing that spanned the globe to deliver a final product that will enhance the existing robust safety and emergency response systems already in place.

“It is important that we continually improve our plant and systems based on industry experience, and the CFVS is the last in a series of defenses that we have put in place using lessons learned from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi incident,” said Gary Newman, Bruce Power’s Chief Engineer and Senior Vice President, Engineering. “This was an ambitious project years in the making, and a true team effort of design, modelling and testing. I congratulate the team and our partners at Framatome, and thank the people at Bruce Power and our vendor partners who designed and delivered this additional barrier to protect the public and the environment.”

The awards were presented at the Nuclear Energy Institute’s annual Nuclear Energy Assembly, which brings together leaders from all levels of the nuclear technology industry. TIP Awards are one of the nuclear industry’s highest recognitions of excellence.

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.