Bruce Power unveils net zero by 2050 strategy

October 19, 2020, 3:04PMNuclear News

The Bruce nuclear power plant. Photo: Bruce Power

Speaking last week at a virtual event of the Empire Club of Canada, Bruce Power president and chief executive officer Mike Rencheck announced “NZ-2050”—the company’s strategy for helping Canada achieve its stated goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Canada’s only private sector nuclear generator, Bruce Power operates the Bruce Nuclear Generation Station, located in Kincardine, Ontario. The plant houses eight units, all CANDU pressurized heavy-water reactors, with a total output of 6,288 MWe.

The strategy: Bruce Power’s NZ-2050 plan consists of five pillars:

■ Optimize and leverage existing investments in Canada’s largest private-sector infrastructure project—the ongoing refurbishment of the Bruce plant—to drive further decarbonization.

■ Foster innovation in new energy technologies, including new nuclear and fusion energy.

■ Utilize nuclear power generation to produce clean fuels and electrify industrial processes and transportation with an opportunity to contribute to a national hydrogen and clean fuels strategy.

■ Create an ecosystem of “green collar” jobs, including the nuclear, manufacturing, and energy development sectors, with a focus on diversity and more representation from women, visible minorities, and indigenous peoples.

■ Inspire innovation by supporting strong social responsibility and sustainability and providing contributions to global health, such as life-saving medical isotopes as the world battles COVID-19.

Other plans: In addition to NZ-2050, Bruce Power has announced a series of initiatives for 2021 to be undertaken in conjunction with Canada’s Nuclear Innovation Institute and the Bruce Power Centre for Next Generation Nuclear, including the following:

■ A study of the next 50 years of the Bruce Power site. “As the world’s largest operating nuclear facility, with assets that can be optimized, enhanced, leveraged, and life-extended, Bruce Power can have a profound impact on Canada’s clean energy future,” the company said.

■ An exploration by the Nuclear Innovation Institute of the role of new nuclear and fusion energy technology as part of Canada’s clean energy future, alongside existing nuclear.

■ A “hydrogen unity project,” in which the Bruce Power Centre for Next Generation Nuclear will evaluate the opportunity for mass production of hydrogen using nuclear technology and opportunities for alignment with the oil and gas, transportation, and electricity generation sectors. The center will explore economic benefits, regional opportunities, and greenhouse gas reductions.

■ A panel review by the Bruce Power Retooling and Economic Recovery Council to determine opportunities for enhancing global health through medical isotopes, leveraging the nuclear supply chain to be self-sufficient with personal protective equipment, and further opportunities to expand sterilization using cobalt-60.

Quote: “The COVID-19 pandemic we are fighting has demonstrated the importance of tackling big challenges together and doing everything we can to make a difference,” Rencheck said. “This is what our NZ-2050 strategy is all about. We will only be successful by immediately leveraging our best assets and fostering innovation, which will lead to economic prosperity across Canada.”

Rencheck added, “Our NZ-2050 strategy builds on a proven foundation we have established through Canada’s largest private infrastructure and clean energy project. It also recognizes the reality that clean energy solutions need to be innovative and contribute to our quality of life in a meaningful way.”

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