Bruce 6 back on the grid after refurbishment

08 September 2023

The unit has been reconnected to Ontario's grid following a successful Major Component Replacement (MCR) outage that was completed ahead of schedule and on budget.

Bruce Power staff carried out the grid synchronisation on 8 September (Image: Bruce Power)

Beginning its MCR outage in January 2020, Bruce 6 is the first of six units to undergo the refurbishment process under Bruce Power's Life Extension Program, extending their operation to 2064 and beyond. According to Bruce Power, the programme is Ontario's largest clean-energy initiative and one of Canada's largest private sector infrastructure projects, funded by private-sector investors.

Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Rencheck expressed the company's pride in the people and partners, including suppliers and trades unions, who have contributed to the project. "As one of the largest nuclear operators in the world, refurbishing our units is key to providing clean, reliable energy to the people of Ontario well into the future. We have shown strong performance and we’ve committed to providing the lowest-cost nuclear energy in Ontario and to bettering our performance in each successive MCR outage," he said.

The company also thanked Ontario Power Generation (OPG) for sharing lessons learned and operating experience. OPG has completed the refurbishment of the first two of four units at its Darlington site in a ten-year programme that will enable the plant to continue operations until 2055.

Bruce 3 - which began its MCR outage earlier this year - is reaping the benefits of lessons learned in Unit 6 to achieve time and cost savings, the company said. Innovations realised in Bruce 6's refurbishment will be carried forward to improve performance and quality in subsequent MCR outages, including tooling and inspection automation and robotics, and advanced modelling and training.

Hundreds of companies, and thousands of tradespeople, are involved in each MCR. The refurbishment includes replacing and upgrading key equipment - 480 fuel channels, 960 feeders and eight team generators - in addition to thousands of other modifications and tasks, before 5,760 new fuel bundles are loaded into the reactor core.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News