Six units at Ontario facility will have their lifetimes extendedBruce-6 has returned to commercial operation for the first time since it was taken offline in 2020 for a complete overhaul and refurbishment. Courtesy Bruce Power.
Unit 6 at the Bruce nuclear power station in Canada has returned to commercial operation following a major refurbishment and life extension project that is costing about CAD13bn (€9bn, $9.6bn) for six units at the facility.
Owner and operator Bruce Power said the Candu pressurised heavy water reactor unit was declared commercially operational on 14 September, 39 years to the day of its first in-service date of 14 September 1984.
The company said the refurbishment outage was completed ahead of schedule.
Unit 6 was first synchronised to Ontario’s electricity grid at 30% power on 8 September, returning to operation ahead of schedule and for the first time since it was taken offline in 2020 for a complete overhaul and refurbishment.
Bruce Power’s life extension programme started in 2016 and remains on track with inspections, refurbishment and major component replacement progressing.
Unit 6 is the first of six units that Bruce Power and its partners will refurbish as part of the project between 2020 and 2033.
The project will extend the life of the Bruce site in Ontario until “2064 and beyond”, Bruce Power said.
Work on the Unit 3 project is on track, the company said. Unit 3 was taken offline for defuelling in March.
Bruce Power said in 2015 that the cost of the project to refurbish all six units would be CAD13bn. The company said it would assume all risks for cost overruns.
In 2022 Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator said the final fixed cost of the Unit 3 refurbishment alone was CAD1.9bn.
The eight Candu units at the Bruce site began commercial operation between September 1977 and May 1987.