17 January 2008 -- Bruce Power and Canadian Manufacturers & Exports (CME) are preparing for up to C$40 billion of new nuclear investment in Ontario over the next 15 years. Nuclear energy plays a large role in Ontario's energy plan announced last year.
CME and Bruce Power, which operates the Bruce A and B nuclear power plants in Ontario, are reported to be establishing a working group of Canadian companies that could be affected by nuclear new build and further refurbishment of existing plants. The group will consider strategies to deal with potential supply chain issues presented by a resurgent nuclear industry.
Bruce Power is also considering a possible Bruce C plant, which could host four new 1,000 MWe reactors. An application for a license to prepare the site for a new plant was submitted to regulators in August 2006. The reactors could start up in 2014.
At present, Ontario has 16 operating nuclear power plants, which provide up to 12,595 MWe. They are all AECL Candu units, which require refurbishment after about 25 years of operation. Two units at Pickering A have undergone that work already and now expect lives extended out to 2018 and 2022. Two units at Bruce A are being refurbished now.
An energy plan announced in August 2007 for Ontario would see nuclear power plants providing the bulk of baseload electricity after maximum use of conservation and renewables. Some C$26 billion would be spent on nuclear generation by 2027.
The integrated proposal, put together over two years by Ontario Power Authority (OPA), is the first such "comprehensive electricity supply plan" for the province in 15 years. It addresses the government's intention to phase out 6,434 MWe of coal-fired generation "in the earliest practicable timeframe" and the complication that nuclear plants are growing older and most could shut down by 2030.
Nuclear's role would be to provide up to 14,000 MWe of baseload capacity. OPA's plan foresees 10,249 MWe coming from a combination of new plants and refurbishments of existing units to extend their operating lives. OPA said that 2018 could see the start of operation of 1, 400 MWe to 3,400 MWe of new nuclear capacity, depending on the mix of new build to refurbishment.