Bruce A1 can go full power

29 May 2013

The newly refurbished Bruce A1 reactor has been given permission to increase to full power, marking the completion of commissioning and the start of normal operation.

"Bruce Power has successfully completed all safety tests and has met Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) requirements to bring unit 1 to full power," said CNSC executive vice-president and chief regulatory operations officer Ramzi Jammal.

Bruce A (Bruce Power)
The four Candu units at Bruce A lie nearby their slightly larger sister units at Bruce B in the background

Four reactors at Bruce A were mothballed in the late 1990s after about 20 years of operation only to be recalled in the early 2000s by Bruce Power and the government of Ontario, which was facing power shortages and hoping to phase out coal generation.

A refurbishment project followed, with Bruce A 3 and 4 brought back into operation by 2004, and units 1 and 2 following in 2012. Today's approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to take Bruce A unit 1 to full power marks the end of the reactor's commissioning and the start of normal operation. It had previously been permitted to operate only to 50% power. Bruce A2 remains at an earlier stage of commissioning thanks to a problem with its grid connection.

The success of the Bruce A refurbishment project, as well as similar work by Ontario Power Generation for two units at Pickering put 4134 MWe of nuclear power back on the grid. This was crucial to enabling the shutdown of 4368 MWe of coal generation and achieving a step change improvement in air quality for Ontario, Canada's most populous and industrious province.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News