Restart of Bruce progresses

1 February 2003

Bruce Power's plan to restart Bruce 3 and 4 has moved forward with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's (CNSC's) decision to accept the environmental assessment report on the units' return to service.

Pending authorisation, Bruce Power plans to restart unit 4 in April, and unit 3 in June, in time to help meet the peak summer demand. The 904MWe Candu reactors were shut down in 1998, and have undergone extensive work to improve their future operational reliability.

The CNSC's review concluded that the units' restart: "Is not likely to cause significant adverse effects on the environment, taking into account appropriate mitigation measures." The CNSC said it had decided not to refer the project for peer review.

In a related decision, the CNSC recently gave the go-ahead to begin fuel loading at the units. Conditions set by the CNSC for fuel loading included financial guarantees that were made on behalf of Bruce Power by its majority partner, British Energy (BE). The UK Department of Trade and Industry agreed to restore Bruce Power's loan guarantees as part of the deal in which BE is selling its 82.4% stake in Bruce Power.

All systems necessary to control and monitor the reactor in its fuelled state had been returned to service in preparation for fuel loading. Bruce Power said it would take about 45 days to install 6240 fuel bundles into 480 fuel channels.

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