On May 7, 2012, scheduled equipment checks and testing by Bruce Power found a problem with a newly serviced non-nuclear component which has delayed re-starting Unit 2 at Bruce A nuclear station. A review by Bruce Power traced the cause of the problem to an error in the original design drawings used to manufacture the component. On May 25, Bruce Power asked the OPA to recognize that the problem was beyond the company’s reasonable control (force majeure).
Outside technical and legal experts carried out the due diligence on Bruce Power’s findings. In separate reviews, two technical experts confirmed the error and concluded it existed prior to Bruce Power acquiring the equipment and was therefore beyond the control of Bruce Power and prevented the company from meeting its July 1 in-service date. As a result, Bruce Power will continue to receive the contract price (6.8 cents per kWh) for the electricity it currently generates by the operating Bruce A units.
There are no added costs to ratepayers. None of the repair and maintenance costs will be paid for by the ratepayer or taxpayer. Once the two refurbished units are in-service, OPA will analyze the work schedule and determine if there were any delays not associated with fixing the non-nuclear problem. Bruce Power will not be paid for any such delays, as per Bruce Power’s contract.
The price of energy under the Bruce contract provides good value to ratepayers. It is low-cost, reliable and flexible base-load generation for the province. Nuclear energy remains an important part of Ontario’s energy supply and an important part of getting out of coal by 2014.