So my wife and I toured this facility on Friday of last week. The tour was around 45 minutes, but electronic devices were not allowed unfortunately, so I don't have any fantastic pictures, just some outside ones that I've posted below.
Basic information about the plant:
- Bruce Nuclear commenced construction in 1970, following up the highly successful Pickering facility, and was completely operational in 1979. Two reactors were laid up in the 90's by Ontario Hydro due to some minor issues. By the time Bruce Power took over managing the facility, all of the "A" site was offline.
- Ontario CANDU facilities have, historically, been built in two phases with groups of 4 reactors. Bruce was the 2nd of such a build, with Pickering being the first. Bruce "A" was subsequently the first 4x reactor site, with "B" coming online later.
- The "A" site consists of 4x779MW units, which were originally 750MW units, but were upgraded by Bruce Power during the recommissioning of "A", which also included the refurbishment of units 1 & 2.
- The "B" site consists of 4x817MW units. These are 840MW gross (nameplate) units. Their later date of construction resulted in some improvements that increased their output. They have the same number of fuel channels as "A", which means that theoretically, A could b upgraded to match B's output.
- Total output of the facility, NET, is 6,384MW with an annual production of 48TWh, or enough power to run Denmark with significant excess. This makes Bruce Nuclear the largest operational nuke plant in the world, eclipsed only by a much newer 7-unit site in Japan, which is however, currently offline.
- With no cooling towers, water from Lake Huron is used as the third cooling channel loop, which means that almost 2 billion litres of lake water pass through the facility daily. There is a limit as to the differential between incoming and outgoing water temperature which is around 10C, but average actual temperatures range between 2C and 4C.
- Bruce Power, a private corporation, took over operation of the facility from Ontario Power Generation in the early 2000's. Bruce Power, out of pocket, had units 1 &2 refurbished, and brought units 3&4 back online. In 2012, all four reactors in "A" were online, resulting in the first time in decades that the entire Bruce plant was contributing in the grid. This set records for power generation in the province and allowed Ontario to phase out coal generation entirely. Bruce Power will be, starting in 2020, refurbishing the remaining 6 reactors, which guarantees operation of the plant until the 2060's, with the oldest units of the "A" plant being retired starting in 2043. At this time there is no plan for reactor replacement, however that may change.
- There are a number of "other" operations taking place on the site including a Medical Marijuana growing facility, an Ethanol plant as well as the production of various medically applicable products like Cobalt 60 and various isotopes, all of which are profit for Bruce Power.
- Bruce Nuclear is the 2nd cheapest mode of generation in the province at $0.066/kWh. This is a 30-year contract with the IESO, which allows for the $12 billion dollar cost of the impending refurbishment.
- The Bruce Nuclear facility generates 30% of Ontario's power.
Bruce "A" site:
Bruce "B" site: