In December of 2015, Bruce Power announced its plan to refurbish six of its eight nuclear reactors at its plant near Kincardine, Ont. The project, originally scheduled to commence in 2016, was postponed until 2020 based on the usable life of the reactors.
The eight reactors produce 6,550 megawatts of power annually, approximately 30 per cent of Ontario’s current energy usage. Bruce Power’s operations support 22,000 direct and indirect jobs annually, generating about $4 billion in annual economic benefits in communities throughout the province. The agreement between the Ontario government and Bruce Power has achieved $1.7 billion in savings for electricity customers when compared to the forecast in Ontario’s 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan (2013 LTEP). This means a reduction in forecast household electricity bills by about $66 each year over the next decade, according to the Ontario government.
Bruce Power is investing approximately $13 billion of its own funds to cover the costs associated with the refurbishment and agrees to take full risk of cost overruns on refurbishments of the six nuclear units. In October 2022, the refurbishment of the first reactor (MCR Unit 6) is progressing on time and on budget. So far, the project has completed the inspection of the reactor vessel and installation of upper feeders. Bruce Power has started assembly and installation of the fuel channel assemblies, which will be followed by installation of lower feeders. The Steam Generator installation is substantially complete with demobilization in progress. Preparations for moderator fill are under way. The start of refueling is expected in Q2 of 2023, which would be a key milestone for this refurbishment project. Unit 6 will return to service in 2023. (All capital cost is disclosed by TC Energy). In parallel with Unit 6 refurbishment, preparations are ongoing for refurbishment of the next units. Preparation for construction phase of Unit 3 MCR is ongoing with Breaker Open scheduled for March 1, 2023.