Canadian companies join forces for Ontario economic recovery

10 September 2020

A newly announced CAD55 million (USD42 million) contract for fuel channel maintenance to extend operations at Bruce 3 is one of several joint projects between Bruce Power and BWXT the companies say will advance Ontario's post-COVID economic recovery programme. The companies also announced the shipment of the first "made-in-Ontario" steam generator for Major Component Replacement (MCR) project at Bruce unit 6.

The first steam generator for the Bruce 6 MCR has been shipped to the Bruce site (Image: Bruce Power)

The Bruce 3 life extension project is known as Extended West Shift Plus and is scheduled to be executed in 2021. It will enable the Candu unit to continue operations to 2023, when it is scheduled to undergo MCR - a major refurbishment that will give the unit a further 30-35 years of operational life. Extended West Shift Plus is the fourth major project of its kind to have been executed by BWXT in the past 12 years.

Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Rencheck said the work being done through the company's Life-Extension Program was creating jobs and providing direct and indirect spending to support getting the economy back on track in the face of the COVID-19 health crisis. "BWXT's ability to execute on critical projects like Extended West Shift Plus extends the life of our reactors, which Ontarians count on to deliver affordable and reliable electricity," he said.

The Life-Extension Program, which began in 2016, is a long-term investment programme to update all eight Bruce reactors and secure the site's operation until 2064. Six of them - units 3-8 - will undergo MCR as part of the programme (units 1 and 2 have already been refurbished), with each MCR taking 46 months to complete. The MCR of Bruce 6 began in January.

First Ontario steam generator shipped


The two companies have also announced the shipment of the first steam generator for the Bruce 6 MCR. BWXT will manufacture a total of 32 steam generators for the Bruce Power MCR projects under a 2016 contract, the largest and longest-standing contract ever signed by BWXT Canada in the company's 175-year history. The 160-tonne component was manufactured at BWXT's Cambridge, Ontario facility and shipped to the plant site by rail and road.

BWXT has already been working on the Bruce steam generator project for around three and half years, and the project will see the company manufacturing and delivering steam generators for Bruce Power for the next decade, said John MacQuarrie, president of BWXT Canada Ltd.

"Contracts like Extended West Shift Plus and design and supply of steam generators for MCR allow BWXT to create and sustain many high-skilled jobs and invest in our communities," he said. "These contracts also sustain a lot of jobs for BWXT's supply chain that is largely based in Ontario."

Associate Minister of Energy for Ontario Bill Walker said Bruce Power and BWXT were working together to create hundreds of skilled jobs while showcasing "made-in-Ontario" technology. "The partnership between these two companies will support our vital nuclear refurbishment programme and ensure that medical professionals around the world can continue to rely on necessary medical isotopes produced right here in Ontario," he said. Bruce Power and BWXT in July signed a memorandum of understanding with Isogen, a joint venture of Kinectrics and Framatome, to advance the production of medical radioisotopes in the province.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News