Bruce Power and Bruce County partner with Scotland-based University

(Left-to-right) Graham Wren [University of Strathclyde's director of major projects and special adviser to the principal and vice-chancellor], Mitch Twolan [Bruce County warden] and Frank Saunders [President of Ontario's Nuclear Innovation Institute] sign the memorandum of understanding. (photo by Jordan MacKinnon)

A familiar face was on hand Tuesday to announce the first international partnership for Ontario’s Nuclear Innovation Institute.

Former Bruce Powerhead Duncan Hawthorne announced a memorandum of understanding between the NII and the University of Strathclyde, based out of Glasgow, Scotland.

Hawthorne is the chair of the university’s Advanced Nuclear Research Centre and said it’s a meaningful connection between his past career at Bruce Power and his current work in the U.K.

The agreement will see the NII and the University of Strathclyde collaborate on research and development for safety and operational efficiencies across the nuclear industry.

While Canada’s CANDU reactors and the nuclear technology in the U.K. differ, Hawthorne pointed out there are enough similarities to make the partnership a no-brainer.

Former Bruce Power president & CEO Duncan Hawthorne announces a partnership between Ontario’s Nuclear Innovation Institute and the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Nuclear Research Centre. (photo by Jordan MacKinnon)

“CANDU units have got challenges which can prolong or extend the operating life, the U.K. nuclear fleet similar challenges but with a different technology, but the skill-sets are the same,” said Hawthorne. “But a lot of bright, young PhD students working together to solve some industry-wide problems is the way to tackle it.”

From Bruce Power’s perspective, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Operational Services James Scongack said the agreement builds on an already-successful partnership.

“We have done work with Strathclyde University for a number of years, obviously they have tremendous linkages throughout the nuclear industry and this is really bringing a lot of that work we have been doing with them and their expertise, here to Bruce County,” said Scongack.

Scongack said the NII remains committed to finding a permanent location within Saugeen Shores, with plans for the University of Strathclyde to have a physical presence within the facility once it is constructed.