Ontario energy minister commends Bruce Power
on great accomplishments

By Liz Dadson


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Duncan Hawthorne remembers the day, 10 years ago, when Bruce Power successfully returned Unit 4 to service, at the Bruce A generating station, part of the Bruce Nuclear fleet.

The president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Bruce Power commented on that moment as he addressed a crowd of employees Monday afternoon, after touring the Bruce site with Ontario energy minister Bob Chiarelli.

"I still remember seeing the look of delight on the face of Robert Nixon, a vice- president on the site for many years," said Hawthorne. "Since that time, we have challenged ourselves to continue to bring innovative ideas to this industry."

He said there is nothing more important to him than the people who show up every day to work at Bruce Power.

Following a short video, "Innovations," outlining the accomplishments at the Bruce Nuclear site which includes the restart of Units 3 and 4 a decade ago, and Units 1 and 2 last year, Hawthorne introduced Chiarelli.

"He understands the energy file well and is pragmatic with the sector," said Hawthorne. "He's going to have some big decisions to make in the next weeks and months."

Chiarelli, who has been the provincial energy minister for the past nine months, said he was quite impressed during his first visit to the Bruce Nuclear station.

"You have impressive leadership and impressive technology," he said. 

"This is a Canadian accomplishment - the world's largest nuclear operating station."

He commended management and staff on the great achievements at Bruce Power, and paid tribute to Hawthorne as an unbelievable leader in the nuclear industry.

Visiting the site today, it was clear to me what an incredible amount of innovation and work has gone into the revitalization of the Bruce Power site, which has contributed to both system reliability and the phase out of coal in Ontario,” said Chiarelli. 

Bruce Power president and CEO Duncan Hawthorne (R) explains the inner workings of Bruce Nuclear's main control room to Ontario energy minister Bob Chiarelli during a tour of Bruce A, Monday
photo courtesy of Bruce Power

“Bruce Power and the Government of Ontario have a strong partnership, securing private investment in public assets, and its Ontario’s ratepayers who benefit from the reliable, affordable electricity from this site.”

He said the Ontario government is focused on three main areas: people; infrastructure; and business community support. "And we've found all three here at Bruce Nuclear."

Chiarelli said the renewal of Bruce A and continued modernization of Bruce B have laid the groundwork for future refurbishments in the province. Since its successful revitalization, Bruce A has provided 3,000 megawatts of carbon-free energy through the new Bruce-to-Milton transmission line to the people of Ontario, assisting the province in its plan to shut down coal plants.

He said nuclear provides the baseload for Ontario's energy supply mix, and will continue to do so for decades to come.

"People relate to electricity on two occasions: when they see their hydro bill, and when the lights go out," he said. "Collectively, we need to do a better job of educating people about electricity."

He said nuclear plays a vital role in ensuring a reliable energy system and a healthier province. "Thank you for all your hard work. We are with you all the way."

Hawthorne then presented Chiarelli with an Ottawa Senators hockey jersey with "8" on the back, representing the eight reactors up and running at the Bruce Nuclear site.

"You have a state-of-the-art facility here," said Chiarelli. "It is spectacular."

Regarding Unit 4 being the first reactor returned to service a decade ago, Hawthorne said it was just the first of many things Bruce Power did that had never been done before.

“That’s what pioneers do," he said. "They take a chance and use creative thinking to tackle issues. The result is that, over the past 10 years, Unit 4 has consistently been one of the top CANDU units in the world, while Units 1-3 and 5-8 continue to operate to an incredibly high standard.

Everything our industry will tackle in the coming years has been done on our site and this will provide a greater certainty and predictability that we can apply on future projects as we extend the lives of our units to benefit Ontario ratepayers."

Over the past 10 years, Bruce Power has injected $7-billion into Ontario’s economy, said Hawthorne, and as part of its 2040 vision, plans to invest $1-billion per year over the next 15 years to ensure its remaining units provide safe, clean and reliable electricity for generations to come.


Ontario energy minister Bob Chiarelli comments on the Joint Review Panel hearing into OPG's proposed DGR for low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste while visiting Bruce Power Monday

Duncan Hawthorne (L), president and chief executive officer of Bruce Power, and Ontario energy minister Bob Chiarelli stand in front of Bruce Power's electric car at the Bruce Nuclear site Monday afternoon

Bruce Power president and CEO Duncan Hawthorne (L) presents a custom-made Ottawa Senators hockey jersey to Ontario energy minister Bob Chiarelli

Unit 4 Key Facts:

  • Bruce A’s Unit 4 reactor was officially placed into service on Jan. 18, 1979. After nearly two decades of safe and reliable operation, the unit was subsequently laid up by the former Ontario Hydro on March 16, 1998.
  • Within months of assuming operational control of the site in 2001, newly-established Bruce Power announced an ambitious set of plans to restart Units 3 and 4.
  • Following a two-year restart program, Unit 4 was synchronized to the provincial grid on Oct. 7, 2003, marking the first output from Bruce A since April 1998.
  • Unit 4 has run safely and reliably since being restarted, setting an operational record of 569 continuous days on-line in August 2012 – more than doubling its previous operational run and setting an all-time continuous production record at Bruce A.
  • This extended operational run also earned Unit 4 the distinction of being named the top-performing Candu unit in the world prior to its next planned maintenance outage.
  • In a first for the electrical power industry, Unit 4 played a key role in advancing the Units 1 and 2 restart project schedule when its 418-ton stator assembly was transported across the Bruce A turbine and successfully installed in Unit 2.
  • Building on this success, Bruce Power undertook a $120-million outage investment program in 
    Unit 4 to ensure safe, reliable operating cycles through 2013 and beyond.
  • With a workforce topping 800 at the peak, this comprehensive outage program included low-pressure turbine overhauls, feeder replacements, moderator drain, boiler work, electrical upgrades and an extensive fuel channel inspection program.
  • This substantial investment has enabled a potentially record-breaking projected operational run of 732 days, which will take Unit 4 to its next planned maintenance outage in August, 2015.

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Monday, October 07, 2013