History

The story of the Bruce Power site begins in the 1960s when Douglas Point, Canada’s first commerical reactor, was built and placed into service. Learn more about nuclear energy’s rich history on the Bruce site.

1960s

Photo of the Douglas Point construction in the 60s.

1960

Construction begins on Douglas Point, Canada’s first commercial nuclear reactor.

1967

Douglas Point is powered up for the first time.

1968

Plans are announced for four nuclear reactors at Bruce A, as well as a Heavy Water Plant.

1969

Bruce A and Heavy Water Plant construction begins, while a proposal for a bulk steam system is proposed.

1970s

Photo of the construction of Bruce B in the 70s.

1972

A site bulk steam system is placed in service, while construction begins on the Western Waste Management Facility.

1973

The Bruce A Heavy Water Plant is placed in service.

1974

Construction begins on additional heavy water plants.

1975

A proposal to build four reactors at Bruce B is approved by the Ontario government. Construction begins the following year.

1977

Bruce Units 1 and 2 are placed in service.

1978

Bruce Unit 3 is placed in service.

1979

Bruce Unit 4 is placed in service.

1980s

Aerial photo of the Heavy Water Plant during the 80s.

1980

Bruce B Heavy Water Plant is commissioned for service.

1981

Unit 1 is ranked the top reactor in the world with a 97% capability factor.

1983

Construction begins on the Bruce Learning Centre (called the Western Nuclear Training Centre at the time).

1984

Douglas Point and Bruce A Heavy Water Plant are shut down. Unit 6 comes online at Bruce B.

1985

Bruce Unit 5 placed in service.

1986

Bruce Unit 7 placed in service.

1987

Bruce Unit 8 placed in service.

1988

Bruce Units 3, 4, 6 and 7 place in the Top 10 reactors in the world for the previous year’s excellent performance.

1990s

Photo of the Heavy Water Plant being dismantled.

1991

Rehabilitation project approved for Bruce A.

1993

Faced with the largest surplus capacity of electricity in its history, Ontario Hydro defers decision made in previous year to retube Unit 2.

1994

Work begins to dismantle Bruce A Heavy Water Plant.

1995

Unit 2 at Bruce A is shut down and placed in layup by the former Ontario Hydro.

1997

Unit 1 at Bruce A is shut down and placed in layup by the former Ontario Hydro.

1998

Units 3 and 4 are shut down and placed in layup by the former Ontario Hydro.

1999

Ontario Hydro is divided into five successor companies to prepare for a competitive electricity market.

2000s

Aerial photo of employees celebrating Unit 4 Return to Service.

2001

Bruce Power assumes operational control of the site and confirms plans to restart Units 3 and 4. Terrorist attacks in the U.S. prompt the formation of a full-time, rapid-response, armed security force at Bruce Power.

2002

Ontario’s electricity market opens to competition. TransCanada Corp. and BPC Generation Infrastructure Trust (OMERS) join Cameco, the Power Workers’ Union and the Society of Energy Professionals in the Bruce Power partnership, while British Energy withdraws.

2003

Units 5, 7 and 8 at Bruce B remain online to help restore power to the grid after a massive blackout leaves large parts of Ontario and the northeastern U.S. without power. Unit 4 is returned to service for the first time since 1998.

2004

Unit 3 returns to service for the first time since 1998.

2005

A multi-billion dollar agreement is reached between Bruce Power and the Ontario Power Authority paved the way for the refurbishment of Units 1 and 2, which were shut down in 1997 and 1995 respectively.

2006

Bruce Power celebrates its 5th anniversary on May 11 when Lieutenant Governor James Bartleman officially opens its new corporate headquarters on the Bruce site. Bruce B also finishes the year as the top-performing multi-unit nuclear plant in Canada.

2007

History is made in Unit 2 with the installation of the first steam generator ever to be replaced in a Canadian nuclear plant.

2008

Bruce Power signs a protocol agreement with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, on whose historical lands the site sits.

2010s

Photo of employees harvesting cobalt from the fuel bays.

2010

Bruce Power employees achieve 22 million injury-free hours.

2011

A Fukushima Response program is launched on site after earthquakes and a tsunami in Japan cripple the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility. Many upgrades to our safety systems and emergency response are implemented over the next four years. Bruce Power celebrates its 10th anniversary on May 11 with a site-wide barbecue and a scholarship program for area students.

2012

Staff and contractors return Units 1 and 2 to service, while life-extension programs on Units 3 and 4 are completed. A state-of-the-art Emergency Management Centre is installed at the Visitors’ Centre. Bruce Power is recognized as one of Canada’s top employers of young people.

2013

Bruce Power supplies 30% of Ontario’s power, and over 50% of its nuclear, while becoming the world’s largest operating nuclear facility with the return of Units 1 and 2. Bruce Power breaks a 1991 site record for site output.

2014

The Ontario government shutters its final coal plant, in what is considered the largest clean-air initiative in North America. Bruce Power, in returning Units 1-4 to service over the past decade, provided the government with 70% of the carbon-free energy it needed to shut down coal.

2015

Bruce Power provides over 30% of Ontario’s energy, setting a site production record of 47.63 terrawatt-hours. The company signed an amended agreement with the Independent Electricity System Operator to extend the life of Units 3-8 over the next two decades, securing the long-term future of the site through 2064.

2016

Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program officially begins on Jan. 1, 2016. President and CEO Duncan Hawthorne announces his retirement after 15 years at the helm of the company. He is replaced by Mike Rencheck. Unit 7 celebrates a record run of 487 days before being removed from service for a planned maintenance outage.

2017

Bruce Power sets site record for output with 49.02 Terawatt-hours, which equalled 34% of Ontario’s electricity. Bruce Power collaborates with the County of Bruce to launch the Economic Development and Innovation Initiative, which sees 12 companies open offices or warehouses in Bruce, Grey or Huron counties, boosting the local economy. Over 4,000 take part in the Summer Bus Tour Program, which runs in July and August.

2018

Unit 8 sets a site record by continuously operating for 623 days before it was removed for a planned maintenance outage. Bruce Power receives a 10-year operating licence extension from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) verifies Bruce Power’s final cost estimate for the Unit 6 Major Component Replacement Project. Over 40 companies move into the Bruce County region to support Bruce Power MCR.

2019

A 129,000-square-foot training facility opened in preparation for the Major Component Replacement project. Unit 5 surpassed its record of 520 consecutive days and Unit 1 established a post-refurbishment record run of 193 days. Announcements around the production of life-saving isotopes included: Bruce Power completes first successful harvest of High Specific Acivity (HAS) Cobalt; a partnership with Kinectrics and Framatome is formed to enable production of Lutetium-177; the Saugeen Ojibway Nation and Bruce Power agreed to jointly market new isotopes and create new economic opportunities within the SON territory; Bruce Power, Nordion and Xcision agreed on a framework to support the use of Cobalt-60 and the GammaPod for cancer treatments; and agreements involving Bruce Power, Kinectrics, Framatome and Munich-based ITM will establish Ontario as a leading global hub for medical isotopes.

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