Bruce Power's role in the future of Ontario's electricity supply was solidified on Dec. 3, 2015, when the company and the provincial Independent Electricity System Operator signed an amended long-term agreement to secure 6,300 megawatts (MW) of electricity from the Bruce Power site, through a multi-year Life-Extension Program. The life extension began on Jan. 1, 2016, and will continue until 2053, allowing Bruce Power's units to operate safely until 2064. The life extension also includes the Major Component Replacement Project (MCR), which will begin on Unit 6 in 2020 and extend the life of Units 3-8. Units 1 and 2 were refurbished and returned to service in 2012.
The amended agreement enables the company to invest $13 billion during this period, including major component replacements of steam generators, reactor calandria tubes, and feeder tubes.
"The life extension work enables us to systematically renew our units while continuing to operate and provide power to the province of Ontario," said Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power's President and CEO. "The agreement ensures Ontario has a secure, long-term supply of clean, reliable, low-cost electricity."
The WANO Peer Review program has had an important role as Bruce Power looks to revitalise its fleet, helping to provide clarity in identifying gaps to excellence and fostering an enhanced focus on continuous improvement which the company has now ingrained into its safety culture.
Bruce Power's life extension work will be completed in three parts; optimising existing plant performance, asset management through annual outages to replace components, and MCR outages to replace the primary reactor components. The asset management investment will also add approximately 30 to 35 years of operational life, while other optimisation investments will add a combined 30 reactor years of ongoing operational life to the units. This approach provides additional benefits in terms of generation availability, sequencing life-extension activities and optimising asset life.
The MCR outages run from 2020 on Unit 6 and continue through Units 3, 4, 5, 7 with the last MCR outage on Unit 8 set to wrap up in 2033. The projects will be focused on re-tubing the reactor and replacing the steam generators. Re-tubing the reactor is the heart of the project and will focus on the removal of feeders, pressure tubes, calandria tubes and the re-installation of new components. The replacement of the eight steam generators will be done within the critical path window of reactor re-tubing activities.