Bruce Power strives to make Ontario a cleaner, greener place to live
Nuclear energy is experiencing a global resurgence in large part because nuclear plants do not emit greenhouse gases when they generate electricity.
Today, we’re moving away from generating sources that burn fossil fuels such as coal, oil or natural gas. All of them contribute to air pollution and global warming. We’re adding generating sources such as wind and solar, but it’s understood that these need to be supported by a constant source of energy when the sun isn’t shining and there’s no wind.
Nuclear provides a clean base source of electricity
Numerous studies show the life-cycle emissions from nuclear energy are comparable to other non-emitting sources of electricity like wind, solar and hydro power.
We value all of the conveniences that electricity brings to us. We also value the benefits of clean air. That’s why nuclear fits in with the next generation of electricity sources.
Bruce Power adheres to strict environmental regulations
Bruce Power is regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), an organization that is recognized as one of the best nuclear regulators in the world. The CNSC places strict limits on nuclear plants’ radiological emissions. It is designed to protect the people and the environment from man-made radiation that results from the use of nuclear energy and materials.
As a leading member of the CSA Group’s nuclear community, Bruce Power lends its resources and expertise to develop and maintain more than 50 nuclear-related standards and guidelines. Among these are nine standards under the umbrella of N288 – Environmental Management of Nuclear Facilities.
Just like safety, environmental stewardship is central to Bruce Power’s daily operations. We are committed to meeting or exceeding the standards of environmental performance set by our regulators. We remain committed to preserving the environment by continually assessing the implications our day-to-day actions have on the land, water and air that surround us.
Bruce Power’s Environment & Sustainability department is focused on providing this clean energy to meet current and future electricity needs without compromising quality of life for future generations. We care about people and the planet, while generating carbon-free electricity for over 30 per cent of Ontarians.
For years we have had highly motivated individuals doing various acts of sustainability without really ever giving them a label, but rather just doing them because it was the right thing to do. This internal employee motivation is what led to the formation of – and our commitment to – developing and delivering on a Corporate Sustainability Strategy. With the intention of using the philosophy of ‘Crawl, walk, run…’ the Environment and Sustainability Team, which was formed in 2013, will focus on identifying further opportunities in the area of waste reduction and energy savings.
Read more about our programs in our Sustainability Report.
Electric vehicle and public charging station
In 2013, Bruce Power purchased its first Electric Vehicle (EV), which is educating people about the environmental benefits, innovation and future of EVs. We also partnered with Plug’n Drive for EV Education Day, and worked together to install a public charging station at the Bruce Power Visitors’ Centre.
Binder Recovery Initiative
Upon completion of our Restart project there nearly 6,000 binders deemed surplus on our site. We could have easily shipped the binders to landfill for disposal at a minimal cost of $470, but we soon realized these binders would take up 35 m3 of landfill space.
Employees from Business Services, Civil Maintenance, Facilities and Environment & Sustainability knew there was a lot more value in the binders than a net loss of $470.
Binders were sorted into three piles – reuse on site, donate or deconstruct. Over 3,000 binders were reused on site, saving the company $12,000. Nearly 1,300 binders were donated to schools in the area, creating and off-site value of around $5,000, and 1,487 binders were deemed unusable. Initially there was no solution for disposal, but we couldn’t accept that nothing could be done, so in partnership with the Grey Bruce Sustainability Network we were able to arrange for members of our Community Lliving group to add binder deconstruction to their waste segregation portfolio and take apart binders for an agreed upon cost for each.
This resulted in an off-site income for these community members, as well as unquantifiable social enjoyment. The binders were deconstructed into three parts – cardboard, vinyl and metal.
There was 282 lbs of cardboard donated to local summer camps, daycare centres and Kindergarten classes. The cardboard was valued by a local art shop and was deemed to have generated a local off-site value of $2,974.
There was 144 lbs of metal that was able to be recycled and generated a small off-site value for the landfill of $10.
After everything was repurposed of recycled all that was left was 170 lbs of vinyl that fit into six bags, taking up only 0.61m³ of space. The deconstruction effort resulted in an 82 per cent reduction of waste needing to be disposed of in landfill. Initially if we had sent 1,487 binders to landfill it would have required and offset of approximately 77 trees versus an actual offset of less than one tree.
Bruce Power recently announced the formal creation of the Environmental and Sustainability Fund, which will see about $500,000 per year dedicated to a number of environmental projects and partnerships in Grey, Bruce and Huron counties.
This fund formalizes the support we’ve traditionally offered to a number of initiatives that advance conservation, restoration and education projects. Bruce Power has built a number of strong partnerships that work toward common goals and this fund will ensure continued funding so those goals are realized.
Some of our key partnerships include:
- The construction of Electric Vehicle Charging stations in Huron, Bruce and Grey counties in partnership with Plug’N Drive.
- A partnership with the Lake Huron Fishing Club to advance the continued health of Lake Huron including support the elementary school educational Mini-Hatcheries Program, Maple Hill Fishway and Huron Tributary Stream projects.
- The protection of our watershed in partnership with Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority, with particular emphasis on education through programs like the DEER program, which is offered to local schools and deals with various aspects of the local ecosystem as well as energy conservation, the Lockerby Dam projects and the Emerald Ash Borer Collaborative Trapping and Education Program.
- A Phragmites Management Plan in partnership with the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation and the Municipality of Kincardine.
- The construction of Monarch Way Stations in partnership with Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores.