Start-up of Ontario Bruce Power nuke unit delayed

Fri May 18, 2012 11:44am EDT
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(Reuters) - One of the reactors at the Bruce Power nuclear power facility in Ontario, North America's largest, will miss its planned second-quarter in-service date after a generator fault damaged the facility, the partnership that owns the plant said on Friday.

The incident at Bruce A Unit 2 occurred in the non-nuclear part of the operation as the unit produced steam for the first time in 17 years in the lead-up to synchronizing with the electrical grid, the partnership said.

The generator had been upgraded as part of the Bruce A refurbishment project.

"An analysis of the situation is underway and will be followed by a plan that details a repair schedule and updated timelines for an in-service date," TransCanada Corp, one of the Bruce partners, said. "This will likely mean Unit 2 will not be synchronized to the Ontario electrical grid as previously stated in Q2 2012."

Meanwhile, TransCanada said the refurbished Unit 1 reactor at Bruce, located on the eastern shore of Lake Huron, is slated to begin operations in the third quarter as planned.

Also, Unit 3 will return to operations following an outage that began last November to enable the partners to make C$300 million ($295 million) of upgrades aimed at extending the unit's life by a decade, Bruce said.

The delay in bringing Unit 2 into operation is not expected to threaten the reliability of the Ontario power grid due partly to strong performance from the Bruce units that are operating, the partnership said.

TransCanada said its share of costs for the refurbishment is C$2.4 billion, and that the Unit 2 incident is not expected to increase the overall capital cost.

Bruce Power consists of A and B generating stations, each comprising four reactors. Six of those are operating, generating 4,700 megawatts. When the refurbishment is completed, Bruce Power will be capable of generating 6,200 MW, or 25 percent of Ontario's power.   Continued...