Rolls-Royce on 12 May announced the opening of its third Nuclear Services office in Canada at Port Elgin in Ontario as the focal point for implementation of its T-104 optimisation program across Bruce Power's nuclear fleet under a multi-year contract. The digital technology, developed in Rolls-Royce's aerospace business to improve operational efficiency, exploits “Big Data” – very large data sets, typically so large that its manipulation and management present significant logistical challenges.

With suitable analysis tools, Big Data can be used to reveal useful business and operational information such as previously unrecognised trends or behaviour. The contract will see Rolls-Royce implement its T-104 technology to optimise the operational lifetime of Bruce Power's NPPs as part of Bruce's life-extension programme.  It will enable intelligence from world-wide nuclear operating data to be converted into insights to help improve operational efficiency.

Rolls-Royce employees will be "embedded" at Bruce Power to make best use of the data to improve equipment reliability, reduce inventories and maintenance and materials costs, while improving operational and supply chain practices. The companies say this should dramatically reduce operating cost and also reduce capital tied up in parts inventories.        

Bruce Power's eight Candu reactors provide 30% of Ontario's electricity and played a central role in the province's phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation. The company launched its multi-year life-extension programme in January 2016 under an agreement with the Independent Electricity System Operator, the government corporation responsible for Ontario's power supply. The  programme will take until 2053 to complete, and will ensure the units' continued operation until 2064.Unit 6 at the Bruce NPP will be the first unit to undergo refurbishment, beginning in 2020.