On 19 September, unit 1 of the Bruce nuclear power station in Ontario, Canada, was successfully synchronised to the grid, and began generating power for the first time in fifteen years. Unit 2 is expected to follow before the end of 2012, making the site the largest in the world in terms of number of operable units.

Bruce A unit 2 was laid up in 1995 owing to a maintenance accident in which the core became contaminated the lead. Unit 1 was laid up at the end of 1997. In 2005, Bruce Power launched a restart project, and the units have been undergoing refurbishment since mid-2006. Work has involved replacing their fuel channels and steam generators, which, together with upgrades to ancillary systems, should enable them to operate for a further 25 years.

“This is a significant achievement for Bruce Power and another tangible milestone that the restart project is nearing completion and we are close to securing eight units of operation,” said Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power president and CEO.

The Bruce revitalisation programme is an essential element of Ontario’s plan to phase out coal generation in 2014.