Bruce Power launched a new energy initiative in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, which includes a feasibility study for the construction of province's first nuclear power plant.
The Saskatchewan 2020 initiative was launched by Duncan Hawthorne, president and CEO of Bruce Power, in Saskatoon. He was joined by the Saskatchewan minister of enterprise and innovation, Lyle Stewart, and the provincial minister of crown corporations, Ken Cheveldayoff.
Bruce Power said the initiative is intended to give provincial leaders detailed information and options as they consider Saskatchewan's future electricity supply needs. The company plans to liaise with SaskPower, the principal electricity supplier, to evaluate electricity demand projections for the province and examine what transmission upgrades or enhancements would be required to accommodate new nuclear reactors.
As part of its Saskatchewan 2020 program, Bruce Power will consider how best to integrate nuclear energy into the province's energy mix by 2020. It will also consider the economic impacts, public attitudes and level of support for adding nuclear energy. In additional, the study will identify potential locations for a nuclear power plant and the transmission requirements needed for it.
Bruce Power intends to begin its analysis this summer and issue a report by the end of the year.
"The reality of climate change is upon us and the government clearly understands the need to consider all options if we are to tackle one of society's most pressing issues," Hawthorne said. "I believe nuclear energy, when properly integrated with technologies such as hydrogen, would be a worthy addition to Saskatchewan's energy mix and look forward to exploring the potential further."
Stewart said, "Saskatchewan needs clean, affordable and reliable power to meet the future needs of a growing province. We would like to welcome Bruce Power to our province and look forward to the results of the Saskatchewan 2020 feasibility study, which we hope will lead to the creation of a nuclear option for our province."
"Our government is establishing a climate so companies like Bruce Power can come to our province and compete to provide the next generation of clean electricity," Cheveldayoff commented.
Bruce Power is already considering the construction of a plant at Peace River, Alberta. However, Bruce said earlier this year that Saskatchewan may be a more suitable site for western Canada's first nuclear power plant. Cheveldayoff has said that Saskatchewan has no plans to build its own nuclear power plant, but is open to discussions with the private sector about nuclear power.
Bruce Power owns and operates the Bruce nuclear power plant in Ontario and is owned by a group of partners, including TransCanada and Cameco. The site houses the Bruce A and B generating stations, which each hold four Candu reactors. Six of those units are currently operational and Bruce Power is in the process of restarting the remaining two units at Bruce A.
On 16 June the government of the province of Ontario reaffirmed the importance of the Bruce plant to Ontario's overall electricity plan. It said that Bruce will continue to supply some 6300 MWe of baseload electricity through either the refurbishment of the Bruce B units (Bruce units 4 to 8) or the construction of new units at the proposed Bruce C. A joint evaluation will be undertaken to assess the best option.