A significant planned maintenance and inspection outage got underway on Bruce Power’s Unit 6 last week as it is the final planned outage on the unit before it undergoes a four-year Major Component Replacement (MCR) project to completely refurbish and extend the operating life of the unit.

Unit 6 is the first Bruce Power unit scheduled for Major Component Replacement starting in 2020.

“We’ve conducted meticulous preparation and planning for this outage involving teamwork and input from across the company,” said Len Clewett, Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer. “When the breaker closes at the end of this campaign, we plan to run Unit 6 safely and reliably to January 2020 when the MCR project will begin.”

Approximately 14,000 tasks, many of which will help extend the life of the unit, will be completed with a total investment of more than a $100 million. Unit 6 will return to service in the fourth quarter of 2017 in time to meet Ontario’s high winter demand.

“We have a large electrical program and to support that Bruce Power has hired 150 additional electricians to help complete the work,” said Clewett. “Safety will continue to be paramount and we’ve enhanced our training and qualifications for incoming supplemental staff to ensure that everyone goes home safely at the end of every day.”

Workers will also remove 24 Cobalt adjuster rods and the Cobalt-60 will be used in sterilization of medical devices to prevent infection and other vital processes throughout the world. The rods will be replaced with four of them containing a different style of cobalt pellet known as High Specific Activity Cobalt which will support lifesaving gamma knife surgery for cancer patients when it is harvested in two years.

Additional modifications to our reactor systems will also be completed over the next few weeks as part of Bruce Power’s ongoing efforts to provide additional safety margins for its operating units as a result of the Fukushima lessons learned.