Second Bruce unit begins refurbishment outage

03 March 2023

Bruce unit 3 has officially begun its Major Component Replacement (MCR) outage. The Candu unit was removed from service on 1 March and is scheduled to come back online in 2026.

Unit 3 is taken from service to begin its MCR outage (Image: Bruce Power)

The MCR project will see six of the eight units at the Bruce site undergo refurbishment, enabling them to continue in operation until 2064. Bruce 3 follows Bruce 6, which began its MCR outage in January 2020 and is expected to return to service later this year.

"Ontario is in the enviable position of having one of the cleanest electricity grids in the world and our nuclear sector plays a big role in providing a reliable source of clean baseload power," Ontario Minister of Energy Todd Smith said. "With increasing electrification, refurbishing our nuclear fleet is crucial to meeting future clean energy demands.

"Bruce Power has not only been a leader in innovation through its operation and refurbishment projects, but it has also helped to establish Ontario as a world leader in the production of cancer-fighting medical isotopes," he added.

The unit was removed from the grid - a step known as 'breaker open' - on 1 March (Image: Bruce Power)

MCR includes the replacement of key reactor components such as steam generators, pressure tubes, calandria tubes and feeder tubes. Units 1 and 2 have already been refurbished, returning to operations in 2012.

The MCR project is part of Bruce Power's Life-Extension Program, which is one of Canada's largest clean energy infrastructure projects.

"We've shown that refurbishing our units makes sense," Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Rencheck said. "With the Unit 6 MCR nearing completion and Unit 3 now under way, we're renewing our units with each subsequent MCR in order to continue providing the people, homes, businesses and hospitals of Ontario with carbon-free, clean, reliable electricity for many more decades."

The MCR programme is due to be completed in 2033, and together with other life extension projects will increase Bruce Power's peak output from 6550 MWe today to more than 7000 MWe, the company said. The Life-Extension Program and MCR Projects will extend the operational life of each reactor by 30 to 35 years.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News