ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. unveiled Friday (Feb. 21) the tooling systems which will be used to perform some of the most significant work in Bruce Power’s Major Component Replacement (MCR) project.
The MCR project, launched last month with the start of refurbishing the Unit 6 nuclear reactor at the Bruce B generating station, is the centrepiece of Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program, which will ensure the company continues to produce carbon-free, low-cost and reliable electricity through 2064. ATS Automation has a multi-year tooling agreement with Bruce Power for the supply of automated tooling systems and related services.
The tools designed and built to safely remove the irradiated reactor components, have over the last year undergone significant testing at ATS’s Major Component Replacement Integration Facility. As this phase of the work for tools for Unit 6 is being completed, ATS – in collaboration with Bruce Power – is preparing the tools for shipment to site for use in the hands-on training and preparation for work in the Unit 6 refurbishment.
“The delivery of the tooling for the MCR project is a significant accomplishment for our team, and represents the culmination of several years of effort that spanned design, first-off tool builds and quality testing, and finally, production tooling with detailed integration testing for the Unit 6 refurbishment,” said Andrew Hider, CEO, ATS. “This work drew upon many of our highly skilled people at ATS which included engineers, programmers, vision experts, electricians, toolmakers, integrators, technicians, and support staff. We are proud of the work accomplished by our team, in collaboration with Bruce Power.”
The Life-Extension Program at Bruce Power will create and sustain 22,000 direct and indirect jobs annually, while creating $4 billion in annual economic benefit to Ontario through the direct and indirect spending on operational equipment, supplies, materials and labour income.
“We are at a significant and exciting point in our journey to 2064 with our first MCR project underway,” said Mike Rencheck, President and CEO, Bruce Power. “ATS is playing a key role in supporting MCR by designing and supplying the automation equipment required to remove the irradiated reactor components including the fuel channels, calandria tubes and calandria tube inserts.
“Through continued collaboration, a commitment to quality and passion for excellence, we will work together to successfully complete our project while bringing widespread economic growth to the province of Ontario.”
The Ontario government, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, is also supporting ATS Automation through an investment of $1.5 million from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund for its expansion of its Cambridge, Ontario campus. With Ontario’s support, ATS is expanding its operations by 122,000 square feet, including dedicated space for an Innovation Centre and creating 80 new positions.
“Our government has been working hard to create the best conditions for businesses and job creators,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “That is why we are supporting forward-thinking companies like ATS Automation through the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund. Through our continued commitment to supporting key sectors like advanced manufacturing in regional communities, we are helping make Ontario open for business and open for jobs.”
The Major Component Replacement Integration Facility, opened in March 2018, is a 43,000-square-foot building that is used for the testing, verification and optimization of the removal, inspection and installation tools. The facility ensures the tools are operating correctly in a full-scale simulation environment where production time, budgets and vault transitions can be verified and optimized, greatly reducing risk to the project.
“Cambridge’s nuclear industry continues to innovate, excel, and grow,” said Bryan May, MP for Cambridge. “This new tooling system announcement continues the strong partnership between ATS and Bruce Power, and it shows that the advanced manufacturing sector in Cambridge is the best in Canada and a world leader in nuclear manufacturing. Congratulations!”
“This collaboration between ATS and Bruce Power is excellent news for our community and the province of Ontario,” said Amy Fee, MPP for Kitchener South-Hespeler. “The substantial number of jobs created through this project will have a tremendous economic impact for many years to come.”
“This project reflects not only on ATS Automation as a world leader – it reflects on our community here in the City of Cambridge, too,” said Belinda Karahalios, MPP for Cambridge. “It’s also a testament to the great things happening across Ontario and to the important role that ATS Automation, as a local company and innovator plays in that.”
City of Cambridge Councillor Donna Reid called the announcement a “good day” for the municipality.
“The City of Cambridge is excited and very supportive of the partnership with Bruce Power to provide carbon free, low-cost and reliable electricity in our city and region,” Councillor Reid said.”
About ATS Automation
ATS is an industry-leading automation solutions provider to many of the world’s most successful companies. ATS uses its extensive knowledge base and global capabilities in custom automation, repeat automation, automation products and value-added services, including pre-automation and after-sales services, to address the sophisticated manufacturing automation systems and service needs of multinational customers in markets such as life sciences, chemicals, consumer products, electronics, food, beverage, transportation, energy, and oil and gas. Founded in 1978, ATS employs approximately 4,500 people at 24 manufacturing facilities and over 50 offices in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia and China. The Company’s shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA. Visit the Company’s website at www.atsautomation.com.
About Bruce Power
Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is an electricity company based in Bruce County, Ontario. We are powered by our people. Our 4,200 employees are the foundation of our accomplishments and are proud of the role they play in safely delivering clean, reliable, low-cost nuclear power to families and businesses across the province. Bruce Power has worked hard to build strong roots in Ontario and is committed to protecting the environment and supporting the communities in which we live. Learn more at www.brucepower.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.