Bruce output hits new peak

15 October 2021

Bruce Power yesterday announced the achievement of a new site generation peak and set a goal of achieving a site peak of 7000 MW by 2030 as it implements its Made in Ontario post-pandemic economic recovery plan. Production of medical isotopes is also part of the plan, and the company said it plans to carry out a harvest of the medical isotope cobalt-60 before the end of the year.

The Bruce site (Image: Bruce Power)

"We are moving forward with our five-point economic recovery plan and today's milestones demonstrate we're advancing this at a time when our province and our planet need it most," the company's President and CEO Mike Rencheck said. "By achieving a new site peak output and building towards a goal of 7000 MW by 2030, we're supporting Ontario's recovery while also meeting climate change targets and providing the medical isotopes the world needs."

The site generation peak of 6550 MW - up from 6300 MW in 2016 - has been achieved through investments and innovations in the facility, the company said. The previous peak output was achieved at a time when all eight Candu units at the site, on the shores of Lake Huron, were operating. One unit - Bruce 6 - was taken offline in January to undergo major refurbishment under the ongoing Major Component Replacement Project, which will extend the operational life of the power plant until 2064.

The company said it is aiming for a site peak of 7000 MW by 2030 in support of climate change targets and future clean energy needs. To this end, it has launched Project 2030 which will focus on continued asset optimisation, innovations, and leveraging new technology, which could include integration with storage and other forms of energy to increase the site peak. A feasibility review of opportunities to reach this goal is being carried out, and individual initiatives will be announced as they are approved, the company said.

Cobalt harvest

Production of radioisotopes including Co-60, which is widely used for the sterilisation of medical equipment and also in some medical applications, is also a feature of the economic recovery plan. Four of Bruce's eight Candu units produce the isotope, made by irradiating special rods containing cobalt-59 inside a reactor.

The company yesterday said a Co-60 harvest will be completed at Bruce later this year and will be processed and distributed by Ottawa-based Nordion. This harvest will produce sufficient isotopes to sterilise 10 billion pairs of surgical gloves and COVID swabs, as well as producing isotopes for use in the treatment of breast cancer and brain tumours, it added.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News