The Toronto Star
May 18, 2012
John Spears

Bruce Power generator start-up delayed 

Just an hour before it was supposed to start producing power, unforseen problems have prevented a long-idle Bruce Power generator from returning to service.

The company disclosed Friday that the problem had occurred last week at Bruce Unit 2, which has been out of service since 1995.

Bruce Power said the nuclear generator, which has undergone a major overhaul, had re-started and was producing steam to drive the unit’s generator.

But an hour before it was due to start feeding power into the grid for the first time, the company discovered a problem with the generator on the non-nuclear side of the plant.

“It is clear repairs will need to be made to this generator,” the company said in a release.

The generator had been overhauled by Siemens Canada, which is now working to fix the problem.

The problem “can clearly be seen as a setback,” vice president Mike Burke said in the release.

The company didn’t say how long repairs will take. Major shareholder TransCanada Corp. had said earlier this month that it expected the unit to be in commercial operation by June 30.

Bruce Power said repairs to the generator will not materially change the cost of the project, but didn’t put a dollar figure on the cost.

Electricity ratepayers will not be on the hook for the extra cost, the company said. Under an agreement with the Ontario Power Authority, Bruce Power agreed to accept any risk over a ceiling of $3.4 billion, which has now been reached.

Bruce Power does receive an above-market price for output from its Bruce A station, which includes Unit 2.

The company was paid 6.6 cents a kilowatt hour for power from the two currently operating units in the Bruce A station in the first quarter, under an agreement with the power authority. The market price for power in April averaged 1.7 cents a kilowatt hour.