Bruce Power completes Saskatchewan nuclear study

Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:42pm EST
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CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Bruce Power LP said on Thursday the western Canadian province of Saskatchewan could support a nuclear plant producing up to 1,000 megawatts of electricity, as it completed a feasibility study for a facility and narrowed down potential sites for a reactor.

The company, which operates the 4,700-megawatt Bruce nuclear complex in Ontario, said it's looking to site Saskatchewan's first commercial reactor somewhere within a broad swath in the west central region of the province.

"We think it is feasible for Saskatchewan to host a reactor," said Steve Cannon, a spokesman for Bruce Power. "Something up to 1,000 megawatts of nuclear generation probably would fit nicely, but this is just a start."

The area the company is mulling runs from Lloydminster on the Alberta border to the Prince Albert in the heart of the prairie province.

Bruce Power has yet to finalize a site, or pick a reactor design, Cannon said. It plans to pick a site and then begin looking for environmental approvals, a process that could take up to three years.

A nuclear plant could be operating there by 2020 if Bruce receives needed clearances and goes ahead with construction.

The company, which has also proposed to build new reactors in Alberta and Ontario, said a Saskatchewan facility would create 2,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs after its complete.

Bruce plans to talk to SaskPower, the provincially owned utility, about project power demand and improving Saskatchewan's power grid.

Bruce Power is a partnership owned by pipeline and power firm TransCanada Corp, uranium producer Cameco Corp and BPC Power Generation Infrastructure Trust.

(Reporting by Scott Haggett)