An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts said Canada’s Bruce B Nuclear Generating Station has made significant progress in implementing safety-improvement plans while areas for further enhancement remain.
The Bruce Power Generating Station, the largest world’s largest operating nuclear power plant as measured by output, generates about 30 percent of electricity in the eastern
province of Ontario. The site boasts two generating stations: Bruce A and Bruce B, each with four CANDU reactors that combined produce up to 6,400 MW of electricity. The site is a key part of Ontario’s long-term energy plan, with management currently implementing a multi-year programme to extend the working life of the reactors, which were commissioned in the 1980s.
The Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) concluded a five-day follow-up mission on June 2, 2017, to Bruce B, located on the eastern shore of Lake Huron, to review efforts to address recommendations made by an OSART mission in December 2015.
OSART missions aim to improve operational safety by objectively reviewing safety performance using the IAEA’s Safety Standards and proposing recommendations and suggestions for improvement where appropriate. The follow-up missions are standard components of the OSART programme and are typically conducted within two years of the initial mission.
“Bruce B is clearly committed to safety and operational excellence and is implementing comprehensive programmes to deliver safety and effective long-term operation,” said Team Leader Vesselina Ranguelova, OSART Programme Manager at the IAEA.
“The IAEA recommendations and suggestions for safety improvements, as defined by the OSART mission in 2015, were duly taken into account and, once fully implemented, will contribute to strengthening plant operational safety.”
The four-member team comprised experts from Sweden, the United States of America and the IAEA. The team noted strong leadership and a commitment to safety on the part of management and staff as well as a transparent approach with employees and the public, including effective communications of long-term plans and areas for improvement.
Several recommendations and suggestions from the 2015 review have been fully implemented with measures that include periodic safety reviews; enhancement of emergency procedures; improved materials and equipment conditions; and strict documentation modification control.
The team also noted that while progress has been made on several other recommendations and suggestions, areas for enhancement remain. These include the assessment of plant aging management programmes; operational experience evaluation; and maintenance activities.
The team has provided a draft of its report to plant management, which along with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission will have an opportunity to comment on it. The final report will be submitted to the Canadian Government within about three months.
“We are proud to be a part of a strong international nuclear community that is committed to safety and operational excellence,” said Paul Clark, Bruce B Vice President. “Bruce Power is honoured to have been part of a review of Bruce B that will allow us to continue to enhance what we do based on best practice, to share our successes and to position our site for long-term operation.”