Ontario Construction News staff writer
Bruce Power reached a major milestone last week with substantial completion of the construction phase of its Unit 6 MCR project on-time and on-budget – a segment of Ontario’s largest clean-energy infrastructure project.
The construction phase of the Unit 6 MCR, completed with execution partner Shoreline Power Group and a multitude of talented and dedicated tradespeople from the Ontario Building Trades, included the removal and replacement of 960 feeder tubes, 480 fuel channels, and 480 calandria tubes. Steam generator work was completed earlier this year by SGRT a 50/50 joint venture between Aecon and SGT (a partnership between Framatome and United Engineers & Constructors).
“The Unit 6 MCR outage wasn’t without its challenges for Bruce Power and our construction and supply chain partners,” said Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power’s President and CEO. “I am proud of how we all worked together, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, to finish construction building activities, and set ourselves up for success in our subsequent MCRs. We learned a lot, and new innovations will be implemented on future MCRs making them faster and less expensive.”
Shoreline Power Group, a joint venture between Aecon, SNC-Lavalin and United Engineers & Constructors, executed the fuel channel and feeder replacement work on Unit 6 and will continue with the remaining MCR units.
“Shoreline brings considerable nuclear technical knowledge and years of experience and expertise,” said Jean-Louis Servranckx, President and CEO, Aecon Group Inc., on behalf of Shoreline. “We’re proud of the entire team’s work partnering with Bruce Power to substantially complete the Unit 6 project and we look forward to working alongside Bruce Power in the remaining MCR outages over the next decade.”
Unit 6 is the first of six units Bruce Power and its partners plans to refurbish between 2020 and 2033, a privately funded investment into Units 3-8 that will extend the life of the site through 2064.
“Nuclear energy is crucial to powering our growing province and thriving economy and the completion of construction on Bruce Power’s Unit 6 major component replacement project is a critical step as we ensure the province can meet the demand for clean, low-cost electricity,” said Todd Smith, minster of energy. “Our strong nuclear industry has enabled one of the cleanest electricity systems in the world and, as a leader in nuclear refurbishment, we’re ensuring this carries forward for the people, businesses and hospitals in Ontario.”
Unit 6 was removed from service in January 2020 and Bruce Power and its construction partners including Aecon, United Engineers & Constructors, SNC-Lavalin, BWXT, ES Fox, ATS, Black and MacDonald, Makwa Cahill, Highland Nuclear, SGT, Framatome and Kinectrics overcame a major hurdle as it wrestled with the impacts and uncertainty of the COVID-19.
The second unit to undergo major component replacement will be Unit 3 which was taken offline March 1 for defueling, with bulkhead installation and the Primary Heat Transport system ‘drain and dry’ as the next steps in the project prior to starting construction activity, which begins with major component disassembly later this quarter. Each successive outage over the next decade will build off the successes and innovations of the Unit 6 MCR.
As the world’s largest operating nuclear facility and a key strategic asset for the province, Bruce Power is investing in securing our future through our Life-Extension Program that enables operation to 2064 and beyond, in support of climate change targets and future clean energy needs.
A 2022 independent report by GHD Limited found that Bruce Power’s MCR Project will help prevent the predicted increase in the greenhouse gas emission intensity of the electricity grid as the demand for electricity grows.
“The refurbishment of Unit 6 is a demonstration of Bruce Power’s dedication to being a leader in Ontario’s nuclear energy sector. Because of this commitment, Bruce Power is able to generate significant economic impacts by way of clean, reliable and afford energy, in addition to creating good jobs, community support and medical advancements through the production cancer fighting isotopes,” said Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce.