Bruce 5 reactor back

BRUCE PENINSULA, ONTARIO - Bruce Power LP's 822-megawatt Unit 5 at the Bruce nuclear power station in Ontario returned to service on March 8 after fixing a fueling machine, the company said in a release.

The unit shut on February 23.

CANDU (Canadian Deuterium Uranium) reactors refueling machines latch onto opposite ends of a designated fuel channel to add new fuel bundles at one end and remove old ones from the other.

Unlike the nuclear reactors in the United States, the CANDU reactors in Canada, like Bruce, do not need to shut for refueling. Operators, however, must shut the units every one, two or three years for maintenance.

The 6,261 MW Bruce station is located on the eastern shore of Lake Huron north of Kincardine about 155 miles northwest of Toronto. There are four 750 MW Units 1-4 at the A station (which entered service in 1977-1979) and three 822 MW Units 5-7 and one 795 MW Unit 8 at the B station (1984-1987).

Unit 7 shut Jan. 27 and will likely return in late March.

The company expects to increase the output of Unit 8 to about 822 MW by modifying the fuel-loading system by 2009.

Ontario Hydro, the former province-owned power company, shut Units 1 and 2 in 1997 and 1995, respectively, because they needed extensive upgrades.

One megawatt powers about 1,000 homes in Ontario.

Bruce Power LP, of Tiverton, Ont., operates the entire Bruce complex and leases the Bruce B station from Ontario Power Generation, the province-owned generating company.

Bruce Power LP is owned by uranium miner Cameco Corp (31.6%), energy company TransCanada Corp. (31.6%), BPC Generation Infrastructure Trust, an investment entity owned by Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (31.6%), the Power Workers' Union (4%) and the Society of Energy Professionals (1.2%).

Bruce Power A LP, which leases the Bruce A station from OPG, was set up when Bruce Power and the government agreed to restore the A station to full service. It is a partnership among TransCanada (47.4%), BPC (47.4%), the Power Workers' Union (4%) and the Society of Energy Professionals (1.2%).

Bruce Power continues to work on a $5.25-billion project to fully restore the Bruce A station.

The company plans to restart Unit 2 in late 2009 and Unit 1 in early 2010, and replace the fuel channels and steam generators on Units 3 and 4 by 2013.

The return of Units 1 and 2 would replace more than 20% of the province's 6,400 MW of coal-fired generation, which the government wants to shut for health and environmental reasons by 2014.

Bruce is also looking to refurbish the four Bruce B reactors and is considering building new reactors at the station.

In January 2007, Bruce launched an environmental assessment of the new build project that will take about three years to complete. The project would add 4,000 MW of electricity to the grid by about 2016. The company plans to use the environmental assessment to select the best reactor design, location on the Bruce site and waste management system.

Bruce said it would need to refurbish all four Bruce B units between 2015 and 2020. The company said it would decide in the future whether it makes economic sense to refurbish the existing units or replace them with new reactors.


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