Nuclear, O&M, Reactors

Restart of Bruce nuclear unit to be delayed

TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP) said that the in-service date of the Bruce A Unit 2 nuclear reactor in Ontario will be delayed.

The Unit 2 reactor was producing steam and operating as per plan in the lead-up to connecting it to the electrical grid. However, an hour prior to synchronization, an incident with the electrical generator on the non-nuclear side of the plant caused some damage.

An analysis of the situation is underway and Bruce Power enlisted Siemens Canada to assess the situation and then complete the repairs as soon as possible. This likely means that Unit 2 will not be connected to the grid in 2Q 2012 as originally planned.

“While this is clearly seen as a setback, with this repair isolated to one non-nuclear system on Unit 2, we can continue to advance the Unit 1 work program,” said Mike Burke, Vice-President Bruce A Operations. “We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that, in parallel, Unit 4 continues its record run, which is approaching 500 days of continuous operation, and Unit 3 is coming back from a major investment outage that will extend its life by up to 10 years. This strong performance, combined with our Bruce B units, will ensure continued system reliability in the province.”

Refurbishment of the Unit 1 reactor at Bruce Power is progressing as planned and it is expected to begin commercial operations in mid-third quarter 2012 as previously disclosed. Bruce Power received authorization from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission on March 16 to power up the Unit 2 reactor, effectively ending the construction and commissioning phases of the project.

TransCanada’s share of the total net capital cost for the refurbishment is expected to be approximately C$2.4 billion ($2.35 billion).

Bruce Power consists of two generating stations, Bruce A and Bruce B with each station housing four nuclear reactors. Six of those reactors are currently operational, producing more than 4,700 MW of power. TransCanada owns 49 percent of Bruce A and 32 percent of Bruce B.

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