Bruce Power – Unique public-private-trade union partnership to enhance and restore assets

>

Bruce Power has successfully restored the four units at Bruce A with the cooperation of private industry, trade unions and the provincial government. The relatively compact site now houses 8 large nuclear units with a total generating capacity of 6,300 MW of emission free electricity.

The successful project was driven by creative people applying their problem solving skills to a challenging but rewarding task. The Bruce A refurbishment project shows that aging issues can be addressed, that there is no reason to assume that nuclear energy requires the public to assume risks without any rewards, and that a cooperative approach can result in shared prosperity with benefits for workers, investors and governments.

The restoration process involved an innovative alteration that gives each of the eight units on the site the ability to change its output by 300 MW. The result is a total site power maneuvering capability of 2,400 MW. That variable output is valuable to the grid operators; it provides them with enhanced options for maintaining the second by second balance between supply and demand that is required on an electrical power grid.

People opposed to nuclear energy often assert that “Wall Street” investors are not terribly interested in supporting new nuclear power projects, but maybe that is not such a bad criticism. It indicates that people who are richly rewarded for focusing on quick financial returns have difficulty devising strategies that allow them to walk away with the largest slice of the pie on a nuclear deal.

As Bruce Power’s skillfully produced video shows, nuclear energy projects often pay dividends for decades. Those dividends are then distributed among large groups of people who have each invested their skills and intellectual capital to make the project a success. Nuclear energy benefits are also shared by customers who receive a clean, reliable project for a moderate, predictable cost. Those are not the kind of project payoffs that provide lucrative bonuses to Wall Street deal makers.

In related news, the UK government and EDF have agreed to a deal that will result in the construction of two 1,600 MWe EPR units at the Hinkley Point site. Many nuclear critics continue to repeat the talking point that the strike price is double the current wholesale market price. That talking point fails to acknowledge the value of protecting the UK against unpredictable price volatility associated with reducing the country’s dependence on natural gas. Increased supply options substantially reduces the upward pricing pressure associated with constrained supplies of a limited resource.

Ontario’s CANDUs can be more flexible than natural gas and hydro

By: Donald Jones, P.Eng. There is a widely held belief that commercial nuclear-electric plants are only capable of baseload operation when in fact they can be more flexible than a natural gas-fired generating station. This belief has led the Ontario government to restrict nuclear generation to 50 percent of total demand, in its Long-Term Energy […]

Read more »

The Atomic Show #087 – Ben Kenney of theWatt Podcast discusses power in Canada

Ben Kenney is the host of theWatt Podcast a well established and popular discussion show about all things energy. We talked about power decisions in Canada, CANDU technology, and New Brunswick’s electricity export plans. Ben Kenney is studying for his PhD in chemical engineering, with a focus on solid oxide fuel cells. He expects to […]

Read more »

PHWR Historical Problem Areas: Sources of Incidents

The pressure tubes of a CANDU® are in a hostile environment that includes a high neutron flux, hot, high temperature water, and a certain amount of hydrogen and oxygen released by the decomposition of water by radiation.Though the CANDU® has proven itself to be a reliable, cost effective and safe power generation system, there are […]

Read more »

Isotope Production: Dual Use Power Plants

Canada now produces approximately 85 percent of the world’s supply of Co-60 and more than 50 percent of the Co-60 medical therapy devices and medical device sterilizers.Nuclear reactors are not just a source of heat for power production. They are also an abundant source of neutrons, which allows the plants to be in a process […]

Read more »

Pressurized Heavy Water: Using Available Resources

For a time, it appeared that the goal of an independent nuclear industry might not be possible and construction was begun on a reactor plant that used an imported pressure vessel.In many ways a CANDU® nuclear plant is conceptually related to a standard pressurized water reactor plant system. It has two separate heat transfer loops […]

Read more »

Letter from the Editor: Reactors With a Can-Do Attitude

Canada decided that it would be prudent to develop a reactor design that could operate on natural uranium. This decision was consciously aimed at making the Canadian nuclear industry independent of American political decision making.One of the highest compliments that you can pay to a submariner is to describe him as someone with a “can-do” […]

Read more »

Some Reactors CANDU®: What Others Cannot

CANDU® reactors are designed to operate with fuel that is composed of natural uranium dioxide formed into cylindrical pellets and inserted into zirconium alloy tubes. No enrichment is necessary. An understanding of some of the features of the CANDU® reactor design makes it obvious that many of the negative perceptions about nuclear power are, in […]

Read more »