Nuclear Power

19 Oct 2023

Bruce Power Explores Technology Options for Nuclear Expansion

19 Oct 2023  by world-nuclear-news   
Bruce Power announced it is launching an Expression of Interest (EOI) process to "further understand nuclear technologies that could help meet growing demand for clean electricity and advance decarbonisation efforts in Ontario". In July, the provincial government said it was starting pre-development work to build up to 4800 MWe of new nuclear capacity at Bruce Power's existing site.

The Bruce site (Image: Bruce Power)

The company said the EOI process will provide an opportunity for nuclear technology suppliers to engage and express their interest in participation in the potential Bruce site expansion while enabling Bruce Power and industry partners to evaluate a variety of nuclear energy technologies, "which would leverage Canada's robust nuclear supply chain, ensure the best interests of the ratepayer, include Indigenous community considerations, and increase socioeconomic benefits for the Clean Energy Frontier region of Bruce, Grey and Huron counties".

"Ontario has one of the cleanest electricity grids in the world and as we look to meet increased demand from continued electrification and economic growth in the province, nuclear power will be essential to preserving this advantage," said Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Rencheck. "Bruce Power is uniquely positioned for potential expansion, with decades of experience, a well-studied site, significant space for expansion, strong community support and an experienced workforce.

"Canada's nuclear industry supports 76,000 well-paying, highly skilled jobs, generating billions in GDP annually while providing a vital supply of carbon-free electricity to advance our climate targets. As we assess potential expansion options, we will lean on the knowledge and skills of our industry, built through more than a half century of operational experience."

With support from the Ontario government - as outlined in its Powering Ontario's Growth Plan, launched in early July - Bruce Power is in the pre-planning stages of the federally-regulated Impact Assessment (IA) process, which will look at nuclear expansion options on the site. The company noted the IA process includes Indigenous and public engagement and will formally commence with the submission of an Initial Project Description to the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada in the coming months.

Bruce Power is located in the traditional and treaty territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation and the harvesting territories of the Métis Nation of Ontario and the Historic Saugeen Métis.

It said it is working with Indigenous-owned Makwa Development on the IA and will look for further procurement opportunities for Indigenous companies through its Indigenous Procurement Policy and Indigenous Relations Supplier Network.

Bruce Power is also collaborating with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to develop a feasibility study for potential future nuclear generation in Ontario, which may leverage information from the EOI.

"As Bruce Power evaluates clean technology opportunities, it will engage with independent, non-profit energy R&D institute EPRI and the Nuclear Innovation Institute, an independent, not-for-profit organisation that provides a platform for accelerating the pace of innovation in the nuclear industry," Bruce Power said.

The Ontarian government has already implemented a plan to meet rising electricity demand in the current decade, but in 2022 IESO issued a report forecasting that the province could need to more than double its electricity generation capacity from today's 42,000 MWe to 88,000 MWe by 2050.

Bruce Power's eight existing Candu reactors already produce about 30% of Ontario's electricity, and the company has said the site has space for "incremental infrastructure development".


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