The C$3.2 billion deal closed three days after the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission granted operating licences to Bruce Power. Canadian licences are routinely issued for two-year periods.

Bruce Power believes the lease is one of the largest transactions in Canadian history. It allows the company to operate the plant until 2018, with an option to extend the arrangement for up to 25 more years. The licences apply to all eight reactors, four operating units at Bruce B and four laid-up at Bruce A. Bruce Power has launched a programme to restart units 3 and 4 of Bruce A.

British Energy has an 85% interest in Bruce Power, but will turn over 4% to the Power Workers’ Union and 1.2% to The Society of Energy Professionals, the two main unions representing Bruce employees. Uranium supplier Cameco has a 15% stake.