Bruce Power corporate offices (CNW Group/Bruce Power)Bruce Power corporate offices (CNW Group/Bruce Power)

Bruce B undergoing complete temporary shutdown

According to Bruce Power, the latest record performance from Unit 7 is evidence that extending the lives of its nuclear generating units makes sense.

Unit 7 was taken off-line April 18 for a planned outage, after marking a historical record run of 646 consecutive days. That's an improvement on the unit's previous best of 487 days, achieved in 2016.

“The excellent performance of Unit 7 after nearly 40 years of operation shows us that investing in our units to extend their lives is the right thing to do for the people, businesses and hospitals in Ontario, and it’s the right thing to do as the need for clean energy increases,” said Chris Mudrick, Bruce Power’s Chief Nuclear Officer and Executive Vice-President. “Operational performance like this is a testament to our people and demonstrates how well our teams are maintaining and operating these assets.”

Unit 7 has had the second longest run of Bruce Power's 8 units, behind Unit 1’s post-refurbishment run of 694 days in 2020.

The two-month Unit 7 planned outage represents an investment of $121.2 million into maintenance and inspection work. Cobalt-60 harvested toward the end of the outage will be processed and distributed worldwide by Ottawa-based Nordion to sterilize billions of single-use medical devices, such as syringes, surgical masks, gowns and gloves, as well as in the specialized treatment of breast cancer and brain tumours.

In 2022, Unit 7 became the first commercial reactor to produce lutetium-177 along with partners Isogen (a Kinectrics and Framatome company), ITM, and Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON). Lutetium-177 is produced with the unit online and regular shipments are made to ITM’s manufacturing facility in Germany for processing.

Meantime, the other Bruce B operating units will also be removed from service for a Vacuum Building Outage (VBO). A VBO must be performed approximately each decade to test the vital safety system, requiring all of the station’s units to be shut down simultaneously for 20 days to allow for maintenance and inspection.

“The Unit 7 outage and the VBO are huge undertakings,” said Adrian London, Vice- President, Bruce B. “Years of preparation and planning has gone into this and we have a dedicated team to carry out this work safely and successfully to bring the units back online to serve the people of Ontario as the demand for electricity ramps up for the summer months.”

Unit 7 came online in 1986, and continued to operate reliably despite a shut down scheduled for 2015. The current maintenance and inspection outage will ensure it’s able to do so until its Major Component Replacement (MCR) outage in 2028.

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