Canadian utility Bruce Power said on 20 January that it is beginning the execution phase of its first Major Component Replacement (MCR) project. The Operations team at the Bruce B nuclear generating station in Ontario completed the rundown sequence for unit 6, which was then taken offline. Between now and 2033, units 3-8 will be upgraded during MCR, replacing the reactor components to extend the life of those units, and the Bruce Power site, until 2064. The eight pressurised heavy-water Candu reactor units at the Bruce site began commercial operation between September 1977 and May 1987.
The life extension programme started in January 2016 and will continue until 2053. The major component replacement component of the work, which begins with unit 6, will take 46 months for each unit. Units 1 and 2 have already been refurbished. Between 2016 and 2020 the company has invested about CAD2.3 billion ($1.75bn) in the project, with the total cost put at around CAD13 billion. Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator in 2018 verified a final fixed cost for the Bruce 6 refurbishment of CAD2.185 billion. The life extension will add about 30 to 35 years of operational life for each unit, while other investments will add a combined 30 reactor years of operational life to the plant.
“The Unit 6 project marks the next big step in a long campaign to revitalise this site,” said Mike Rencheck, President and CEO. Extending the life of the Bruce Power site until 2064 will result in an annual injection of CAD4 billion into Ontario’s economy while creating and sustaining 22,000 jobs across the province each year, the company noted. “With Unit 6 offline, we have reached a pivotal moment in Bruce Power’s history,” Rencheck said. “We are focused on doing our work safely, to the highest standard, on time and on budget.” Bruce Power, formed in 2001, directly employs 4,200 people. Elsewhere in Canada,
Ontario Power Generation is also in the process of refurbishing four Candu units at the Darlington NPP in a project scheduled for completion in 2026.