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.

The history of the Bruce Power site dates back to the 1960s.

Historical timeline

1960s     1970s     1980s      1990s     2000s     2010s


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.


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.


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.


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 place 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.


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 paves 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.


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, guaranteeing its start on Jan. 1, 2020. Over 40 companies move into the Bruce County region to support Bruce Power MCR.

Guide to Bruce Power