Canada’s Bruce Power has submitted a proposal to regulators to return Bruce A’s currently shut down units 1 and 2 after refurbishing them to operate until 2043.

An environmental assessment must be carried out before the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) can grant permission to fuel and restart the units, which have been in shut down since 1995 and 1997 respectively. Since 1998 they have been in a guaranteed shutdown state.

The Bruce A site is owned by Ontario Power Generation and hosts four Candu units rated at 769MWe. Units 3 and 4 were brought back into service earlier this year at a cost of C$725 million.

Bruce Power’s Steve Cannon has said that the approach to the regulators is part of investigations to find whether the project is feasible. The restart of units 1 and 2 will require replacement of steam generators and pressure tubes and is likely to cost in excess of $2 billion.

The CNSC understands that no new construction activities will be undertaken for the return to service project and that no changes to existing waste management practices or systems have been proposed.

Bruce Power’s plan also includes the lifespan extension of units 3 and 4 until 2043 and the use of low void reactivity fuel in all four operational units. Bruce Power will have to apply for separate authorisations for these projects.

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