Ontario now has 13 reactors supplying electricity to the grid simultaneously - the first time since December 1997 when the four Pickering A reactors were shut - due to the reconnection of Bruce 3 last night. Bruce-3 and 4 last operated on April 9 1998 and Jan 19 1998, respectively, but some of the 12 reactors at Pickering B, Bruce B and Darlington B were undergoing maintenance in early 1998. Bruce-8 and Pickering-6 are presently undergoing maintenance outages - there are now 15 operating/operable power reactors in Ontario, with the restarts of Pickering-4 and Bruce-4 in August and Oct 2003, and now Bruce-3.
Bruce-4 was reconnected to the grid on Oct 7, 2003 38 days after first criticality Aug 30. Bruce-3 was reconnected 31 days after its first (post refurb) criticality on Dec 8, 2003. Bruce-4 took about
5 weeks to reach full power after first grid reconnection, due to commissioning tests at lower powers. Bruce-4 was declared in commercial operation on Dec 22, 2003.
Since re-connection on Oct 7, Bruce-4 has delivered 1081093 MWh (preliminary IEMO data) to the grid up to yesterday, worth about $50 million. During that period, which includes the low-power testing and trip test at 50% power, Bruce-4 operated at a capacity factor of 65% (December 93%). These factors are based on an assumed net output of 750 MWe, though the highest output I've seen so far is 710 MWe. The Bruce A reactors were originally 769 MWe net.
Bruce A Unit 3 reconnects to Ontario electricity grid
9 January 2004
Return to service of 750 MW unit brings Bruce A restart project to a close
TIVERTON, ON, Jan. 9 /CNW/ - Unit 3 at the Bruce A generating station has reconnected to Ontario's electricity grid, bringing Bruce Power's ambitious project to restart two long idled reactors to a close. Unit 4 restarted on Oct. 7, 2003.
After two years of extensive work to restore the 750 MW units to the latest industrial and safety standards, operators synchronized Unit 3 to the grid at 10:47 p.m. Thursday, January 8 and secured a special place for Bruce Power in Canadian nuclear history.
"This is the first time any company has restarted two CANDU units back-to-back," said Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We take great pride in that accomplishment, which required all of our combined skills and efforts. Breathing new life into Bruce A has indeed been a challenge, but we've emerged stronger for the experience and can look to the future with renewed confidence."
As Unit 3 returns to full power over the coming weeks, its output will combine with that of Unit 4 to supply the needs of roughly 500,000 homes. Unit 3 was commissioned by the former Ontario Hydro in 1978, a year earlier than Unit 4. Both units were removed from service in 1998.
Following the most comprehensive assessment ever done on a CANDU station, Bruce Power announced in 2001 that it would embark on a restart project that encompassed a myriad of challenging projects. Safety, fire and seismic systems were all reviewed and upgraded to meet or exceed current regulatory standards, including the implementation of an entirely new secondary control area and a back-up emergency power system.
The project scope grew even more following the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, when all Canadian nuclear facilities underwent major enhancements to improve their security provisions as mandated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).
"At the height of our project, we had more than 1,100 qualified and experienced employees and contractors working as a team to ensure the job was done to our exacting standards," said Ron Mottram, Vice President Bruce A Restart. "In the past two years, we've met every challenge thrown our way. On behalf of those who worked so hard to make this a reality, I'm extremely proud to say that Bruce A is back."
With the return of Unit 3, Bruce Power's vision to create an integrated six-unit site is now complete. Units 4, 5, 6 and 7 are operating at full power and Unit 8 is set to return from its current outage. As previously announced, the outage was extended to repair some erosion that was found on three of the unit's eight steam generators. That work is now complete and operators are awaiting final approval from the CNSC before returning the unit to service.
About Bruce Power
One of Ontario's largest independent power generators, Bruce Power is a partnership among Cameco Corporation (31.6%), TransCanada Corporation (31.6%), BPC Generation Infrastructure Trust, a trust established by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (31.6%), the Power Workers' Union (4%) and The Society of Energy Professionals (1.2%). With the return to service of Bruce A Units 3 and 4, Bruce Power will generate enough clean electricity to supply approximately 20 per cent of Ontario's power needs.