Bruce Power Unit 6 powers up
A renewed Unit 6 at Bruce Power’s Tiverton nuclear generation station has been connected to Ontario’s electricity grid following a Major Component Replacement (MCR) outage.
The Unit 6 MCR began in January 2020 and was completed ahead of schedule and on budget despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the efforts of dedicated Bruce Power employees, industry partners and skilled tradespeople, Bruce Power said in a Sept. 8 news release.
Each MCR Project extends the reactor’s life for 40 years by replacing and upgrading key equipment. Hundreds of companies and thousands of tradespeople replaced 480 fuel channels, 960 feeders and eight massive steam generators, in addition to thousands of other modifications and tasks, including loading 5,760 new fuel bundles into the core.
Unit 6 is the first unit to be returned to service as part of Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program, which will see Units 3-8 refurbished over the next decade to power Ontario forward, extending the units’ operation period to 2064 and beyond.
The release said this comes at a time during which the Independent
Electricity System Operator (IESO) expects the need for clean energy to soar.
Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program is billed as Ontario’s largest clean-energy initiative and one of Canada’s largest private sector infrastructure projects, funded by private-sector investors.
Bruce Power provides between $9 billion and $12 billion in direct and indirect economic activity in Canada from operations and its Life-Extension Program, creating tens of thousands of jobs and economic development.
Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Rencheck said they are proud of their people, partners, suppliers and unions, he said in the release naming the Power Workers’ Union, Society of United Professionals, Building Trades, Canadian Union of Skilled Workers (CUSW), and United Steelworkers Union (USW) members.
“As one of the largest nuclear operators in the world, refurbishing our units is key to providing clean, reliable energy to the people of Ontario well into the future,” Rencheck said. “We have shown strong performance and we’ve committed to providing the lowest-cost nuclear energy in Ontario and to bettering our performance in each successive MCR outage.”
Unit 3 was removed from service for its MCR outage earlier this year and benefited from the lessons learned in Unit 6 to achieve time and cost savings. Several innovations in Unit 6 that will be carried forward to improve performance and quality in subsequent MCR outages, including tooling and inspection automation and robotics, and advanced modelling and training.
Hon. Todd Smith, Ontario’s Minister of Energy offered congratulations to the Bruce Power team and partners on the successful return to service of Unit 6. “Bringing this refurbished unit back online ahead of schedule is a great example of how we’re Powering Ontario’s Growth. We’re already a world leader in clean energy generation and today’s good news only proves that we have the experts and the Made-in-Ontario supply chain to meet increased electrification needs and power our economic growth,” Smith said.
Bruce Power is also a leader in providing cancer-fighting medical isotopes and the Life-Extension Program will ensure a steady supply for the world market for decades to come.