Bruce Power MCR hits new milestone

Bruce Power’s Unit 6 Major Component Replacement (MCR) project reached a major milestone October 25 with the completion of fuel channel assembly installation.

Bruce Power credits their team of dedicated and highly skilled tradespeople for the successful installation of 480 fuel channels in the Unit 6 reactor core.

The accomplishment puts the nuclear power plan on track to complete the first of six MCR outages, as part of Ontario’s largest clean-energy infrastructure project.

The project will eventually be completed in Units 3-8 to extend the life of the Bruce Power site through 2064.

Bruce power is removing and replacing large nuclear components including steam generators, reactor internal parts and the vault pipework. Workers are also upgrading electrical, the cooling water system, steam turbines, and safety systems. The next step is installing the remaining vault reactor components.

Bruce Power produces 30 per cent of Ontario’s energy and supplies the world market with cancer-fighting medical isotopes. The multi year project is expected to generate billions in annual economic benefits throughout the province and support about 22,000 jobs annually, directly and indirectly.

According to a report by GHD Limited released earlier this year, the MCR project is expected to help offset demand for electricity to prevent the predicted increase in the greenhouse gas emission intensity of the grid.

“It is important to take advantage of the amount of existing low and zero carbon energy generation capacity assets that currently exist and extend the life of these assets to maximize the increased
demand that will be met with zero carbon electricity,” the report continued.

“The fuel channel installation took a lot of teamwork and this sets us up for not only the successful completion of the Unit 6 MCR project next year, but also for our subsequent MCR outages over the next decade,” said Eric Chassard, Bruce Power Executive Vice-President, Projects and Engineering. “We’re making huge investments into our site to continue to provide reliable, carbon-free electricity for decades to come while also stimulating Ontario’s economy.”

Ontario’s Minister of Energy believes the project will power the province’s clean-energy future and the economy.

“Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program and Major Component Replacement Project are securing decades of clean power to grow and electrify our economy while also creating and sustaining good-paying jobs in Ontario,” said Minister Todd Smith. “The world is watching Ontario, and the continued on-time and on-budget delivery of life extension at Bruce Power is a demonstration of the incredible skill of Ontario's world-class nuclear operators.”

The fuel channel installation was a joint effort between the Unit 6 MCR construction team and Shoreline Power Group, a joint venture between Aecon, SNC-Lavalin and United Engineers & Constructors.  That team will also be in charge of the replacement of fuel channels and feeders for the Unit 3 MCR. Bruce Power is funding the which will move to successive units based on safety, quality, cost and overall performance.

“Our members take great pride in our partnership with Bruce Power to help provide the people of Ontario with safe, reliable and carbon-free nuclear power,” said Marc Arsenault, Business Manager and Secretary-Treasurer of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario. “We are committed to leveraging our knowledge, skills and experience to help make sure that these projects are completed safely and successfully.”

The Unit 3 MCR project is scheduled to begin next March and will build off successes of Unit 6, which is set to return to service in 2023.