Bruce Power, operator of Ontario’s eight-unit Bruce nuclear plant, has notified Canadian regulators of its intent to launch an impact assessment (IA) for Bruce C—the company’s name for potential new nuclear generation at the site.
In an October 20 letter of intent to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC), Bruce Power said it was “advancing this process in a proactive, open, and transparent manner in order to engage indigenous peoples, local communities, stakeholders, and the public early in the process as a planning tool to meet Ontario’s long-term energy needs.” The company added that it would incorporate feedback from these engagement activities into an initial project description, to be submitted to the CNSC and the IAAC in early 2024.
In addition, Bruce Power has announced the release of an expression of interest (EOI) process “to further understand nuclear technologies that could help meet growing demand for clean electricity and advance decarbonization efforts in Ontario.” According to the October 19 announcement, the EOI process will provide an opportunity for nuclear technology suppliers to participate in the potential Bruce site expansion while enabling Bruce Power and industry partners to evaluate a variety of technologies. Further, the process will “leverage Canada’s robust nuclear supply chain, ensure the best interests of the ratepayer, include indigenous community considerations, and increase socioeconomic benefits for the Clean Energy Frontier region of Bruce, Grey, and Huron counties,” the company said.
In case you missed it: In July, the government of Ontario announced it was starting predevelopment work with Bruce Power toward building up to 4,800 megawatts of new nuclear generation at the Bruce site.
According to that announcement, Ontario’s electricity demand is rising for the first time since 2005. In the December 2022 report Pathways to Decarbonization, Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator recommended the province begin planning, siting, and environmental assessment work for long-lead assets, including nuclear power, to meet increasing electricity demand in the 2030s and beyond, driven by strong economic growth, electrification, and population growth. The report forecast that in less than 30 years, Ontario may need to more than double its electricity generation capacity from 42,000 megawatts today to 88,000 megawatts in 2050. The report also projected that an additional 17,800 megawatts of nuclear power could be required to meet that increased demand.