Bruce Power restarts Unit 4 reactor

Bruce Power Unit 4

Bruce Power’s Unit 4 nuclear reactor has been returned to service following a 119-day planned life extension outage.

In a release, the company says it represents another step forward in Canada’s largest private-sector infrastructure project.

“Thanks to the strong performance of our teams, these life extension activities were safely executed with fewer resources in addition to a range of additional health and safety prevention tools as a result of COVID-19,” said Gord Kozak, Vice-President, Bruce A. “The approximately $130 million investment for Unit 4 during the outage will help the unit perform reliably ahead of its Major Component Replacement, scheduled for 2025 to continue providing Ontario with key reliability and low-cost power.”

Unit 4, which was restarted in 2004, is part of the company’s Life-Extension Program and Major Component Replacement (MCR) Project, which will add about 30 years of life to the reactors. MCR has begun with Unit 6 and will be followed by Unit 3, scheduled to begin in 2023.

“I am incredibly proud of the entire Bruce Power team,” said Kozak. “Our performance in delivering the outage safely and on schedule during the pandemic speaks to the commitment and professionalism of everyone involved in this outage.”

Bruce Power has made investments in all eight units on-site to offer additional flexibility to Ontario’s electricity market. Of the 6,400 megawatts (MW) of capacity from its site, there are 2,400 MW of flexible capability which has been utilized many times. The company achieved this flexibility through enhancements on the non-nuclear side of the plant.

Bruce Power reported the clean electricity generated from this unit contributes to 60 per cent of Ontario’s electricity supply from nuclear, with Bruce Power providing half of this at 30 per cent less than the average cost to generate residential power.