On April 30, the Unit 1 nuclear reactor marked 624 consecutive days of steady operation, setting a new record for its post-2012 return to operation production life. It bested Unit 8 by one day.
Unit 1 surpasses Unit 8’s run of 623 consecutive days between May 2016 and February 2018. Unit 1 was put into service in 1977, and in 1981 it was the top-ranked reactor in the world with a 97 percent capacity factor, something it has replicated in its record run over the past two years. Unit 1 was shut down and mothballed by the former Ontario Hydro in 1997, and was refurbished and returned to service in 2012 by Bruce Power.
Bruce Power’s Units 3 and 4 were restarted in 2003 and 2004, and have performed at the highest levels since. Units 3 and 4 are part of Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program and will undergo their own Major Component Replacement Projects from 2023-28, adding about 30 years of life to the reactors. The refurbishment, or Major Component Replacement, of Bruce Power’s Unit 6 has begun and will be followed by Unit 3 which is scheduled to begin in 2023.
In addition to its record of reliability, Bruce Power has made investments in all eight units on-site to offer additional flexibility to Ontario’s electricity market. Of the 6,400 megawatts (MW) of capacity from its site, there are 2,400 MW of flexible capability which has been utilized many times. The company achieved this flexibility through enhancements on the non-nuclear side of the plant.
Nuclear power accounts for more than 60 percent of Ontario’s supply, with Bruce Power providing more than 30 percent of the province’s electricity at 30 percent less than the average cost to generate residential power.
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