Community Matters: Unit 3 marks 45 years – now set for MCR

John Peevers, Director, Community and Media Relations

Bruce Power’s Unit 3 marked 45 years since it first began generating electricity on February 1st, with the Bruce A unit beginning its lengthy run of providing clean, reliable power for the people of Ontario in 1978, when the Bee Gees were topping the charts with the appropriately titled hit song ‘Staying Alive’.

It also marked one month from the beginning of the Unit 3 Major Component Replacement (MCR) outage, with final preparations continuing to bring the unit off-line on March 1st.  The replacement of major components on Unit 3 is the next step in Bruce power’s Life Extension Program, one of Canada’s largest private-sector clean energy projects which will help Ontario and Canada achieve their Net Zero targets.

The Unit 3 MCR outage begins as Unit 6, the first Bruce Power unit to undergo its life-extension outage, is on track to be returned to service late this year.  The Unit 3 project will build on many lessons learned and innovations during the Unit 6 MCR to delivery the subsequent MCR outages more efficiently in terms of schedule and cost.

Bruce Power’s MCR outages consist of the following key critical path activities:  Reactor shutdown and de-fuel; reactor preparation; reactor re-tube and feeder replace; and commissioning.

This privately funded investment into Units 3-8 (Units 1 and 2 were refurbished a decade ago) will extend the life of the Bruce Power site through 2064 and will allow the company to continue to produce a stable and reliable source for Ontario’s clean energy mix and supply the world market with cancer-fighting medical isotopes.

Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program and MCR Project will extend the operational life of each reactor by 30 to 35 years and, as a result, help mitigate the predicted increase in GHG emissions intensity of the electricity grid.  Bruce Power’s MCR and Asset Management investments will be closely coordinated with Project 2030, a program that leverages innovation and new efficient technology to increase site capacity, targeting upwards of 7,000 megawatts of net peak output through the 2030s once all units have returned to service post-MCR.

The Bruce Power refurbishment project will generate billions of annual economic benefits in communities throughout the province and, particularly, right here in the Clean Energy Frontier region of Bruce, Grey and Huron counties.  Extending the lives of the Bruce Power units will support and sustain an estimated 22,000 operational. jobs annually, directly and indirectly.