Innovation driving Unit 3 Major Component Replacement project’s one-year success

As Bruce Power’s Unit 3 Major Component Replacement (MCR) project marks one year since it was removed from service, thousands of skilled workers are leveraging lessons learned in Unit 6 success and innovation to put the unit on track to return to service in 2026 to provide clean, reliable energy to Ontario for decades to come.

Unit 6 was returned to service ahead of schedule and under budget in September of 2023 and the three-year Unit 3 MCR outage is on track to improve upon that performance.

“We’re seeing strong performance in our Unit 3 MCR outage with our Bruce Power teams, our tradespeople and our partners hitting our stride as we work together to renew the unit to run safely for the next 30-plus years,” said Eric Chassard, Bruce Power’s Executive Vice-President, Projects and Engineering. “By applying learnings and developing innovative new tools, our team is committed to completing each MCR outage safely, with quality and with excellent cost and schedule performance.”

Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program and MCR Project is one of Canada’s largest infrastructure projects and is Ontario’s biggest clean-energy initiative, which will see Units 3-8 renewed, allowing the eight-unit site to continue to contribute to decarbonization goals and produce cancer-fighting medical isotopes through 2064 and beyond. The privately funded projects create $10 billion in economic activity annually and drive the local and provincial economies.

As part of Bruce Power’s agreement with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), the company is committed to bettering its performance in each successive MCR outage. This is already happening through lessons learned and innovation from Unit 6 being applied to Unit 3, and in planning for Unit 4, which is scheduled to begin in 2025.

This was seen early in the Unit 3 outage when the defuel campaign was safely completed 16 days ahead of schedule using lessons learned in Unit 6 and innovation. The 27-day defuel program, which saw 5,748 fuel bundles removed from Unit 3’s reactor core, was completed 31 days faster than the same program on the Unit 6 MCR.

Cutting-edge innovation is happening right here in our backyard. Bruce Power’s state-of-the-art facility in Kincardine is being used to train tradespeople on the use of new automated tools that will be used to improve safety and schedule performance in MCR outages.

Over the past three years, Bruce Power’s Tooling and Innovation team, Shoreline Power Group, ATS Industrial Automation, and MDA have been developing an ecosystem of first-of-a-kind tooling that will be deployed during the inspection and installation series this year, including an Inspection Series Automated Delivery Table and the Remotely Operated Calandria Tube Installation tooling.

The first has the potential to help trade operators clean and inspect 480 fuel channels on each reactor face. The second provides significant enhancements to data collection and error tracking to give skilled trades an unprecedented level of precision and consistency when operating the toolset.

This summer will mark the first time that skilled tradespeople will operate robotics on a nuclear reactor face to save dose while also driving efficiency through time and schedule savings.

Through execution, Millwrights, Boilermakers, Pipefitters and Electricians will be able to lean on the expertise of a team comprised of the same Programmers, Nuclear Technicians and Engineers from Bruce Power and our vendor partners who helped develop and integrate the tools. The trades, vendor community and Bruce Power have come together to make these breakthrough innovations successful.

Bruce Power tagline is Innovation at Work and we’re working every day to leverage technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced robotics to reduce dose, enhance safe operation and performance.

About Bruce Power:  Bruce Power is an electricity company based in Bruce County, Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territory, Ontario. We are powered by our people. Our 4,200 employees are the foundation of our accomplishments and are proud of the role they play in safely delivering clean, reliable nuclear power to families and businesses across the province and cancer-fighting medical isotopes around the world. Bruce Power has worked hard to build strong roots in Ontario and is committed to protecting the environment and supporting the communities in which we live. Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is a Canadian-owned partnership of TC Energy, OMERS, the Power Workers’ Union and The Society of United Professionals. Learn more at and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagramTikTok and YouTube.