Bruce Power advances nuclear carbon offset project

November 21, 2022, 3:04PMNuclear News
The Bruce Power A and B nuclear power plants. (Photo: CNSC)

Canada’s Bruce Power, operator of the eight-unit Bruce nuclear plant in Kincardine, Ontario, has announced a “made-in-Ontario solution” to the net-zero challenges faced by industries: allowing new incremental nuclear output to be accredited for an avoided emissions benefit.

Under its Project 2030 initiative, launched in October of last year, Bruce Power has invested in a series of incremental power recovery projects aimed at increasing annual power output from the Bruce plant’s current level of 6,550 MW to 7,000 MW through the 2030s. According to the company’s November 15 announcement, the avoided emissions from the initial phase of Project 2030 should grow site output to 6,750 MW and remove almost 450,000 metric tons of CO2e annually—the equivalent of taking approximately 100,000 cars off the road.

As part of the pilot project, Bruce Power has been collaborating with GHD, a global professional services firm specializing in energy and resources, to demonstrate the role the energy sector and nuclear power can play in the transition to a zero-carbon Ontario economy. A GHD report commissioned by Bruce Power, Incremental Clean Energy Production and Avoided Emissions: The Case for New and Refurbished Nuclear Power, calls for the establishment of a clear accreditation pathway for nuclear and other clean energy resources in Ontario.

The pathway: With support from GHD, Bruce Power is developing a nuclear carbon offset protocol, with plans to register the project on the Canadian Standards Association’s GHG CleanProjects Registry, which is based on ISO 14064 standards for greenhouse gas inventory and reporting. The company is also looking to form strategic partnerships with Ontario-based industrial operations in difficult-to-decarbonize sectors of the economy that have committed publicly to net-zero targets and are supportive of the development of the registry and of carbon offsets generated from new, incremental nuclear power.

In pursuit of that goal, the company is launching expressions of interest for its clean energy credits and nuclear carbon offset protocol project, in hopes of bringing together key energy sector partners to create what it calls “the necessary validation pathway that will allow new, incremental/additional, and possibly refurbished nuclear to be accredited for avoided emissions.”

What they’re saying: “Ontario has already led one of the largest and most successful greenhouse-gas and pollution-reduction programs with the phase-out of coal in 2014, and we’re poised to be on the cutting edge once again by establishing a protocol for new incremental nuclear power, which will be generated from the existing units, to further decarbonize the province’s energy supply mix,” said Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power’s president and chief executive officer. “Nuclear power already provides 60 percent of Ontario’s supply, and we’re optimizing our plants to provide even more clean energy to support a low-carbon-intensity electricity grid for decades to come.”

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