Bruce Power’s Major Component Replacement (MCR) Training Facility was officially opened on April 25th, signalling an important step forward in the mobilization of the project.
The 129,000 sq. ft. facility, located off Sutton Street, Kincardine, offers unique training tools that will allow skilled tradespeople the opportunity to practice executing the highly technical MCR programs, as the life of the site is extended to 2064. This will ensure the project is executed safely, to a high quality, and on time and on budget.
“Bruce Power is very excited about the benefits the MCR Training Facility will provide to our workforce, and we thank the Municipality of Kincardine and the neighbours for welcoming this incredibly important aspect of our MCR Project into their corner of the community,” said Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power’s President and CEO. “By providing hands-on, in-depth training to the people executing these highly technical programs, we expect our Unit 6 MCR to remain on time and on budget, while seeing incremental improvements in time and budget as we progress onto other units.”
“Building a building like this takes inspiration, innovation and a lot of hard work and collaboration.” said Rencheck. “Not only is it a building but it’s one that happened very quickly to get built through site choice, permits, design and construction.”
Rencheck went on to say that the facility would not have been built if the community had not welcomed it. “The adjacent condominium complex had concerns and came forward with them. We worked together to sort them out and we want to thank the Condo Association for all their help and input. We could not have done this without Kincardine staff and the community willingness to support this vision here in Kincardine. We could have built this facility at the Bruce Nuclear site but we wanted to help surrounding communities receive some of the economic benefit and Kincardine welcomed this development.”
“It’s important to be able to train the next generation of trades,” added Rencheck. “We need to combine the ‘artistry’ and craftmanship of those folks who have learned through years-long in their professions and combine that with the technology and innovation we see happening in the world today with advanced robotics, with Artificial Intelligence and learning to blend the next generation of trades with young apprentices who are entering the industry. Training these young people will take us all the way to 2064.”
He went on to say that ‘nuclear’ has been relevant in Ontario for many years and will continue to be through collaboration of partnerships.
“In Grey Bruce and Huron, there are now 10,000 housing units started, 300 small businesses have started up, 250,000 sq. ft. of warehouse facilities have been taken and used and approximately $100 million in building permits in communities of 14,000 and less,” Rencheck added. “So, rural Ontario, you are making a difference and we want to help you make that difference.”
“No-one has done this like we are doing it,” said Rencheck. “We wanted to do this whole thing differently than has ever been done before and it sets a tone for what we want to accomplish. We started in 2016 with the life-extension program and we are three years into it with approximately $1Billion invested and are on time and on budget.”
“We have already started and there is a bright future for the citizens who live in the area. When we talk about operations and careers, it is about having a decent life and decent communities that are strong and stable.”
Rencheck also referred to the recent development of producing Isotopes that contribute to 40 per cent of the world’s sterilizing of medical equipment.
By way of introduction to the Bruce Power Board Chair, Don Wishart, James Scongack, Executive Vice-President Corporate Affairs and Operational Services, pointed out that when Bruce Power goes to the Board and asks to build a facility off-site among the questions asked are: can you get municipal permits on time? will the neighbours welcome the facility? will there be municipal services?
“In many communities, big companies cannot get this type of major facility built,” said Scongack. “The neighbours here in Kincardine welcomed us with open arms but with concerns that were addressed. If they had not, this facility would be on the Bruce Power site and that would have been a disappointment to us and would have been a big loss to the community in terms of tax revenue, local businesses that will benefit and bringing school students into the facility to begin learning.”
Chairman of the Board, Don Wishart, added that, “The facility is very important for Bruce Power and the community and is key as we move forward in the refurbishment and to meet the expectations of Ontario residents for reliable and cheap energy for the next 50 years or more. This has been a collaborative effort that includes the people who live here, local governments, contractors and more. We all succeed of we all fail together. This is a key project and is a very important first step in our relationship with the Ontario consumer and we are committed to meeting our obligations.
The new building features a two-storey office area with office space for 300; classrooms and amenities for the occupants; a one-storey, high-bay shop area to host training; space for an additional 150 in the shop space; and parking, amenities, and facilities for about 500 employees in total.
For larger views, CLICK on Images
The training facility is part of the Bruce Power Life-Extension Program, which started in January 2016 and remains on time and on budget. With the Unit 6 MCR set to begin in early-2020, Bruce Power is upgrading or building new facilities both on site and off site, as it prepares for the influx of contractors and supplier partners who will be part of the project.
The state-of-the-art facility will enable skilled trades people to learn through ‘true’ mock-up equipment situations in the facility so that workers will be completely familiar when they move to the Bruce Power site to perform the actual work. Approximately 150 people will be training at one time with at least 4,000 over 15 years. “We want to use virtual reality and make working situations as real as possible,” said Phelps.
Rencheck was joined in the ribbon cutting by local dignitaries including the Hon. Lisa Thompson, Minister of Education and Huron-Bruce MPP; the Hon. Bill Walker, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, and MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound; David Piccini, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, and MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough South; and Kincardine Mayor Anne Eadie.
For Eadie, the new facility is an extension of the ongoing collaboration between the municipality and Bruce Power.
“Kincardine is proud to host Bruce Power’s Major Component Replacement (MCR) Facility, which will bring more people to our area and benefit local businesses,” the Mayor said. “The Municipality of Kincardine continues to work closely with Bruce Power and its nuclear supplier partners as they prepare for the MCR Project. ”
Bruce County Warden Mitch Twolan said the benefits from opening the facility will be felt across the county, and enhance the county’s standing in the global nuclear industry. “The MCR Training Facility is another excellent economic development opportunity for all of Bruce County. With hundreds of people working and training in this state-of-the-art facility every day, we continue to prove that Bruce County is becoming a world leader in nuclear innovation.”
Minister Thompson said the opening of the facility is the latest initiative by Bruce Power to assist in growing the economy across the county.
“Bruce Power is the driving force in Bruce County’s economy, and the upcoming MCR project and opening of this centre will be crucial to that,” said Minister Thompson. “Bruce Power is hiring local people, drawing young families to the area, and providing a major boost to our local economy. As a result, the region is becoming a hub of innovation, environmental protection, and skilled trades, all in support of the thriving nuclear industry.”
Minister Walker also added that Bruce Power’s MCR Project is the central building block of local economic development in the region.
“A joint initiative between Bruce Power and the County of Bruce, the Economic Development and Innovation Initiative has brought over 50 nuclear supplier companies to Bruce, Grey and Huron counties,” Minister Walker said. “In the region, these suppliers have opened local offices, created new businesses, and expanded their operations. The opening of this MCR centre is only one part of the enormous impact Bruce Power has on Ontario and the community and our government is committed to the nuclear industry as a clean, reliable source of energy now and for the future.”