"For the first time in history, we've entirely rebuilt a CANDU reactor core and are now fuelling up." said Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power's President and Chief Executive Officer
Bruce Power has been given the go-ahead from its regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, to begin loading fuel bundles into Unit 2 at the Bruce A generating station and the work is now underway, marking the final commissioning phase of the Bruce A Restart project.
"This is a major milestone for our restart program," said Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power's President and Chief Executive Officer. "For the first time in history, we've entirely rebuilt a CANDU reactor core and are now fuelling up."
Over the next few weeks operators will manually install 5,760 fuel bundles into 480 fuel channels on the reactor face. A fuel bundle is an assembly of pencil-like tubes, two-feet long containing uranium dioxide pellets. Roughly the size of a fire log, each 22-kilogram bundle can produce enough energy to power 100 homes for a year.
Pending further regulatory approvals, Unit 2 is expected to synchronize with the province's electrical grid by the end of the year, followed by Unit 1 early next year. Once restarted, Units 1 and 2 at Bruce A will produce 1,500 megawatts of cost-effective, safe and reliable nuclear power. The reactors have been undergoing a first-of-a-kind refurbishment and the project has represented the largest investment in CANDU technology in a generation by Bruce Power.
"This is the culmination of a lot of hard work and the quality of workmanship is a credit to the many people who worked on the program," said Hawthorne.
The Government of Ontario's Long-Term Energy Plan, released last year, calls for the refurbishment of its nuclear fleet including units at the Bruce Power site. With all eight units operating, the Bruce Power site has the capacity to produce 6,300 megawatts or roughly a quarter of the province's electricity.
"We've come a long way and we've developed a robust approach to safely completing this work," said John Soini, Vice President of Restart Projects and Construction. "While loading fuel is another major milestone met on the project, we remain focused on the task at hand which is completing the remaining work and returning these units to service."
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