Bruce Power signs $1.3B contract, completes refurbishment of Unit 6 reactor

Bruce Power announced it has signed a $1.3-billion contract for its remaining reactor replacements the same day the company started to load fuel into the newly refurbished Unit 6.

The nuclear-generating facility in Bruce County confirmed Thursday that it is doing business with Shoreline Power Group for Fuel Channel and Feeder Replacement (FCFR) to complete Major Component Replacement (MCR) projects in Units 4, 5, 7 and 8.

Following the completion of Unit 6, Bruce Power said it is on track and on budget to return the unit service. Unit 6 is said to provide enough electricity to power a city the size of Hamilton. Staff will refuel the unit with 5,760 fuel bundles over the next few weeks, followed by heat transport system fill and pressurization and other lead-out activities to return it to Ontario’s electricity grid in the fourth quarter of this year.

“The team has been preparing for the return to service of Unit 6 for well over a year and we now are entering an exciting phase of loading fuel into the reactor followed by returning systems and the unit to service in the months ahead,” said James Scongack, vice-president of Bruce Power’s Bruce B station. “All of the dedicated nuclear professionals who have been and are contributing to this work are united by our collective commitment to continue to power Ontario forward, producing clean electricity and life-saving medical isotopes.”

Shoreline Power Group, a joint venture between Aecon, SNC-Lavalin and United Engineers and Constructors, completed the replacement for Unit 6 and had previously been awarded the Unit 3 MCR project, which began March 1. This new contract will carry out work on all six of the plant’s MCR projects (Units 3-8), helping to extend the life of the site along the shores of Lake Huron, to 2064 and beyond.

“We’re pleased to be able to partner with Shoreline Power Group for the entirety of our Major Component Replacement [MCR] project over the next decade to perform the major component replacement portion of our Life Extension Program,” said Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Rencheck. “Part of Shoreline’s commitment is to deliver the next two MCRs more efficiently and cost-effectively than the previous one leveraging our lessons learned and best practices.”

Unit 6 was removed from service at the start of 2020, ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bruce Power said the next steps of the privately-funded investment into Units 3 through 8 will see the reactor be defueled, with bulkhead installation and the Primary Heat Transport system ‘drain and dry’ ahead of any construction activity, which is scheduled to begin later this quarter.

Shoreline Power Group and its partners will refurbish the units between 2020 and 2033. The life-extension program is expected to generate billions in annual economic benefits in communities throughout Ontario. The project will also, directly and indirectly, support 22,000 jobs annually, injecting $4 billion into the province’s economy.

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