On the Eastern shore of Lake Huron, between Kincardine and Port Elgin, about three hours North, West of Toronto, Canada sits the Bruce Nuclear Power Development. The Bruce Nuclear Power Development is named after the township in which it’s located. Within its boundaries are two Nuclear Generating Stations, a Bulk Steam system, low and medium level Radioactive Waste Storage Facilities, a Nuclear Training Centre, an information Centre and various administration and service buildings. Also on the site is the older Douglas Point Generating Station that is retired from service.
The Bruce Generating stations are capable of producing more than 6,900 MW of electricity, enough to meet the heaviest demands of Metropolitan Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Hamilton, London and Thunder Bay.
Construction of the 200 MW Generation Station began in 1960 with the unit coming into service in 1968. In May of 1984, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, the plat’s owner, announced the closing of the station after 17 years of service. In its role as the first large-scale CANDU (Canada Deuterium Uranium) nuclear station, Douglas Point proved that the commercial development of nuclear power would be reliable and economical.
Bruce 1-4 (formerly Bruce “A”)
Construction of the 3,300 MW Bruce generation station “A”, one of the largest nuclear power plants in the world, began in 1969. Since its four 825 MW reactors were completed in the late 1970s, Bruce “A” has proven to be one of the world’s most successful nuclear generating stations. It’s reactors have consistently been placed in the top 10 in lifetime operating performance when compared to other large reactors around the world.
Bruce 5-8 (formerly Bruce “B”)
Although essentially a duplicate of Bruce “A”, the steam generators and turbines at Bruce “B” are of a different design. This gives its four reactors a higher capacity of 915 MW each. Construction of Bruce “B began in 1976, and the station’s four reactors began operation between 1984 and 1987.
Heavy Water Plants
Heavy water is a clear, colorless liquid that looks and tastes like ordinary tap water. It occurs naturally in water in small quantities, about one part heavy water to 7,000 parts ordinary water. It is used as a moderator and coolant in the CANDU reactor.
The Bruce Heavy Water Plant (BHWP) “A” produced its first heavy water in 1973. The Heavy Water Plant “B”, which has the same capacity, went into production in 1981. The Heavy Water Plant “C” was cancelled in 1976 and construction was stopped on the “D” plant in 1979, in anticipation of a slowdown in nuclear plant construction. This decreased demand for heavy water also let to a decision to close down Bruce Heavy Water Plant “A” in 1984. In August of 1997 the decision was made to close the Heavy Water plants and all operation ceased in March of 1998. The fall of 2005 saw the last of the Heavy Water Towers laid to rest as this portion of the site was demolished and turned into scrap.
Bulk Steam System
At one time, steam from Bruce “A” would be diverted to BNPD’s bulk steam supply system to provide energy for the production of Heavy Water, to heat buildings within the development, or to provide energy for industries at the Bruce Energy Centre at the boundary of the site. One of the largest bulk steam systems inn the world this system was capable of producing 5,350 MW of medium-pressure process steam by using high-pressure stream from the nuclear stations. The Bulk Steam Plant has been decommissioned and will be completely demolished by the end of 2006.