Bruce (Canada)

Map of Bruce

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8 reactor units of CANDU -type constructed by AECL, Bruce's units started operation in the years from 1976 to 1987. The capacity of each unit is 900 MW.
The older Bruce A with 4 units has some differences in design compared with the younger Bruce B units.
Two units (1 and 2 of Bruce-A) have been shut down.
Units 3 and 4 of Bruce-A have been put out of service from 1998 to 2003.

Facilities in Bruce

plantreactor typconstruction startoperation startshut down
Bruce-1CANDU 850 (PHWR)19711977
Bruce-2CANDU 850 (PHWR)19701976
Bruce-3CANDU 850 (PHWR)19721977
Bruce-4CANDU 850 (PHWR)19721978
Bruce-5CANDU 870 (PHWR)19781984
Bruce-6CANDU 870 (PHWR)19781984
Bruce-7CANDU 870 (PHWR)19791986
Bruce-8CANDU 870 (PHWR)19791987

Bruce-2 restarts after long-term shutdown since 1997


Bruce-1 restarts after long-term shutdown since 1997

Reactor Bruce-1 has been restarted after a long-term shutdown since 1997.
In the time of the shutdown units 1 and 2 underwent a refurbishment.

Reason for the long-term shutdown:
"The Pickering A – Bruce A saga is a cautionary tale (and classic industry case study) regarding what is now called knowledge management (KM). By the mid-1990s there was a divergence between drawings and modifications which had progressively been made, and also the company had not shared operating experience with the designer. Maintenance standards fell and costs rose. A detailed audit 1997-98 showed that the design basis was not being maintained and that 4000 additional staff would be required to correct the situation at all Ontario Hydro plants, so the two A plants (8 units) were shut down so that staff could focus on the 12 units not needing so much attention. From 2003, six of the eight A units were returned to service with design basis corrected, having been shut down for several years – a significant loss of asset base for the owners."
(source:, July 2013)


The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has granted Bruce Power a five-year operational licence for the Bruce A and Bruce B generating stations. The CNSC decision follows three public hearings held in 2003 and 2004.
Earlier this year Bruce Power announced its plans to study the feasibility of restarting Units 1 and 2 at the Bruce A generating station.


Canada´s Atomic Energy Council Board (AECB) has renewed Ontario Hydro´s operating license for the mothballed Bruce A station for two years effective.
The AECB issued the license after being assured by its staff and by the station´s host municipally that they are satisfied fuel from the four mothballed reactors can be safely stored on site. Bruce-1 and -2 are defuled and the other two Bruce A units will be by the end of September, the AECB staff said. "Ontario Hydro has not changed its plans to maintain Bruce A in a shutdown state for at least the (two-year) duration of the license period," the staff said.


The 1997 annual report records (Cdn)$9,1-billion in corporate write-offs during the past two years, all but about $680-million related to Hydro´s nuclear plants. In 1997 Hydro wrote off $4,6-billion, plus $400-million in 1996, as the cost of the nuclear recovery program. Future expenditures for nuclear plant recovery and staff reductions charged to the 1997 balance sheet were $1,7-billion.
Despite the intent to restore Bruce-A units in the 2003-09 period, Hydro wrote off $170-million last year and $277-million in 1996 in regard to Bruce-A station. Other write-offs directly related to the nuclear recovery program amounted to $82-million last year, and $ 1,2-billion on the closure of the Bruce heavy water plant in 1996.
Ontario Hydro Nuclear is accruing about $1,5-billion a year to cover ultimate decommissioning and removal of the radioactive fuel channels. About $1,2-billion a year is being accrued for eventual disposal of nuclear fuel. The current schedule for removal and replacement of fuel channels will cover Bruce-3 and -4 in the 2005-08 period; all four Pickering-B units in 2013 to 2017; the four Bruce-B units in 2015 to 2018, and the four Darlington units from 2022 to 2024.
Annual report figures show that the operation, maintenance, and administration costs for Hydro´s nuclear plants has grown from $973-million in 1993 to $1,5-billion last year. In the same period, the introduction of lower-cost uranium, mainly from Saskatchewan, has reduced the annual nuclear fuel bill from $541-million to $277-million. Finance and debt charges have increased from $3,9-billion to $4,5-billion in that period.


Ontario Hydro has mothballed its 904-MW Bruce-2 but is not writing it off, and a Hydro business team has invited 10 potential suppliers to express their interest in the possible restoration of the pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR) to service by the fall of 2000.
Put in service 1977, Bruce-2 sustained boiler (steam generator) damage in 1986 when a maintenance crew left a protective lead blanket inside the unit. The blanket subsequently dissolved, releasing lead which embrittled piping. It was estimated to cost up to $200-million to replace the boilers and some $300-million to replace the 480 fuel-carrying pressure tubes. Given that price tag, Bruce-2 was declared surplus along with four fossil-fired plants when Hydro directors decided to reduce generating capacity by 2.700 megawatts in the face of declining demand.
The team is asking proposals to remove and replace the 480 fuel channels and all eight boilers at Bruce-2.


Three tons of heavy water moderator spilled during an outage to replace a valve in the heat transport system. The heavy water was contained in a confined area and recovered.


The Medical Health officer for the area around Ontario Hydro´s Bruce complex, said there is no need for concern about tritium in drinking water from Lake Huron near the plant. About four times the normal amount of tritium was released to the lake during routine maintenance of a Bruce A reactor November 8. Provincial Ministry of Labor samples found less than 100 Becquerels/liter, at the top end of the "normal" scale. Federal authorities say 7.000 Bq/l is a safe limit for drinking water. Hydro reported an instantaneous peak of 1.300 Bq/l that morning. Provincial testing confirmed that the total tritium released was 0,219% of the monthly derived emission limit.


LOCA as result of a liquid relief valve leading from the reactor cooling system to the bleed condenser sticking open while the reactor was running at 88% of full power. The reactor shut down automatically, despite efforts by the operators to reduce the reactor power levels slowly. Unexpectedly, the cooling system pressure increased, causing two bleed condenser relief valves to open, dumping heavy water coolant into the reactor building sump. 87 tonnes of heavy water were spilled and 68 tonnes were automatically recycled back into the cooling system during the accident. Most of the remaining 19 tonnes were recovered later by clean-up crews. About 20 staff were involved in the clean-up. Ontario Hydro downplayed the seriousness of the accident by noting the amount of heavy water that had to be manually cleaned up as if it were the total amount spilled, and by stating publicly that there had been no radiation releases from the station. However, 180 GBq of tritium were released to the air during May 14, 15 and 16.
Bruce-7 has been shut as a precaution, because there may be a problem with diaphragms of relief valves of a dmodified design which were installed in both units in November 1994.


200 hours outage to repair a generator hydrogen leak.


2.700 liters of irradiated heavy water spilled from an improper hose connection in a building of the station. more than 1900 liters had been recovered. The spill ocurred within the building housing the heavy water upgrading plant during filling of a tanker truck. About 760 liters went into a drain system that runs into Lake Huron.


The supporting bridge of a fueling machine dropped about 400 mm while attached to the reactor face. The drop produced a leak of primary heavy water from the reactor (peak 1060 liters per hour). The fueling machine was left tilted with 8 irradiated fuel bundles inside. Most of the heavy water was being contained in the vault. Small amounts of vapor containing tritium were released. The reactor was shut manually. The leak rate, was just a tenth of the leak rate that occurred when a fuel tube ruptured at Pickering-2 in 1983 and decreased considerably as the reactor was shut down (to 85 liters per hour). 10.000 liters leaked into the vault. The drop of the 40 t fueling machine damaged a fuel channel (cause was a software flaw in the machines' control).


Cracked SG feed pump line. A section of pipe that passes through two floors of the reactor building was replaced; Same line was replaced in unit 5, 7 and 8.


Shut down to locate a suspected pressure tube leak. The unit was losing 5 grams a day of heavy water.


Cracked weld on valve at high presssure feedwater line (boiler feed pump discharge).