Bruce Power Officially Scraps Alberta Nuclear Option

Toronto-based Bruce Power on Monday officially abandoned plans to build a new nuclear power plant in Alberta that has been under consideration by the company since 2007, saying it would instead focus investments on increasing reliability and safety at its existing Bruce Power nuclear generating station in Ontario.

Bruce Power had explored a number of “potential business development opportunities,” Bruce Power President and CEO Duncan Hawthorne said in a statement, but the company decided that the new nuclear option in Alberta is not something that will be progressing further. “We’ve made a business decision to continue to put our full focus on the safe, reliable operations and ambitious investment program on our Bruce site,” he said.

The Alberta government agreed to a new nuclear plant under some conditions, following a public consultation process throughout the province. After extensive analysis and environmental studies, Bruce Power also identified an ideal site. Hawthorne thanked the people of Peace Country who supported Bruce Power’s investigation of the option to build a new nuclear plant in Alberta. “I have no doubt there will come a day when nuclear will have a place in a balanced supply mix in Alberta,” he said.

“There is no question, the option for a new nuclear facility in Peace Country and in Alberta is a strong one and will be an important consideration moving forward,” Hawthorne said. “Over the last several years, we’ve had strong support from a number of elected officials and citizens in the community and that support continued to grow as the facts about nuclear power became known both in this community and throughout Alberta.”

In a statement, Bruce Power said that when Units 1 and 2 return to service in 2012, Bruce Power—which operates Canada’s only private nuclear power generating station—will operate the largest nuclear facility in the world, its eight units producing a quarter of Ontario’s electricity and half of the nuclear power in Ontario.

The company now plans to work with investors and the Ontario Power Authority on the feasibility of securing 6,300 MW from the Bruce site following the successful restart of Units 1 and 2 in 2012—plans that seek to add another 1,500 MW of baseload generation to the Ontario market.

Sources: POWERnews, Bruce Power

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