Bruce Power seeks to be the best nuclear operator in the world
By Liz Dadson


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Bruce Power not only wants to operate the largest nuclear power plant in the world, but the best.

And so far, it is achieving that objective as it received high marks in its annual report card from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for 2012.

The report card gives Bruce Power's security and conventional health and safety functions the highest available marks of "Fully Satisfactory," while 11 other aspects of the company were deemed "Satisfactory" for the second year in a row.

The CNSC compares these marks to grades of "A-plus" for "Fully Satisfactory," and "A" for "Satisfactory."

Speaking to local media on a conference call yesterday
(Aug. 20), Bruce Power president and chief executive officer Duncan Hawthorne said this is the best report card the company has ever had.

"In previous years, we had a few areas that scored high, but Units 1 and 2 were not back in service," he said. "Now, not only have we returned our site to its full operating capacity, but we have worked very hard over the years to continuously improve each function of our business, and for the second year in a row, we're seeing our efforts reflected in the CNSC's report card."

He said 2012 was an historic year for Bruce Power as it was the first time that all units at Bruce A and B were up and running, making the Bruce site the world's largest nuclear operating power station.

"With this report card, we have a lot of confidence that we are doing all the right things on-site," he said.

Hawthorne said that 2013 is going to be a banner year for Bruce Power. Unit 4 has operated for 569 consecutive days which is a new record. And Bruce B has had all four units running for 125 consecutive days which is an operational record.

"We have pride in these accomplishments," said Hawthorne.

In response to questions from the press, he said that the report card is based on operations from January to December, 2012. The CNSC has people permanently on-site to rate the performance of the licensee.

Hawthorne stressed that Bruce Power is seeking operational excellence, not regulatory compliance.

"We are constantly looking to best practices for managing the site," he said. "We want to be the best in the world."


When asked about opposition to Ontario Power Generation (OPG)'s Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for low-level and intermediate-level nuclear waste, Hawthorne said Bruce Power is not a party to that discussion. Nor is the company involved in the dialogue about the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO)'s adaptive phased management for the long-term storage of used nuclear fuel.

"We are impacted by some of the dialogue in the community," he said, noting that while the DGR for low-level and intermediate-level waste makes a lot of sense, the recent discussion about a DGR for used fuel is causing people to be confused about the two projects.

As for opposition to the shipping of the used steam generators for recycling in Sweden, Hawthorne said those objections did not come from the formal process. Bruce Power, in fact, had regulatory permission to ship the generators through the Great Lakes.

But, given the strong opposition, Bruce Power did not proceed, allowing for more dialogue, said Hawthorne, and the contractual deadline for recycling the steam generators was not met.

The company will still meet the highest environmental standards, he said, and will recycle those steam generators.

Hawthorne is in Ottawa today (Aug. 21), appearing before the CNSC, to discuss the report card rating.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013