Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)  announced up to $50 million in funding in support of Ontario’s plan to support pre-development work to study the feasibility of the option for a new nuclear build on the Bruce Power site.

The funding, announced at the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) annual conference, aligns with the Federal government’s Powering Canada Forward plan to build a net-zero economy, as well as the province’s Powering Ontario’s Growth plan, which lays out investment options to electrify the economy and meet growing clean energy demand.

“The federal government is acting on our commitment to build a net-zero economy that provides clean electricity, economic growth, and good jobs for all Canadians. To help us get there, we are working with the Government of Ontario to ensure Ontario is positioned to achieve a clean, reliable and affordable electricity grid with the expectation that it will comply with the forthcoming federal clean electricity regulations,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources. “Bruce Power has experienced years of success with nuclear energy in Ontario, and this announcement will enable that success to continue, and grow, in the future. This means more reliable and affordable electricity for Canadians, and good jobs and economic opportunities for communities across Ontario.”

At the province’s request, Bruce Power currently is going through a federal Impact Assessment (IA) process as a planning tool to evaluate the potential for an additional 4,800 MW at the Bruce Power site in a project referred to as Bruce C. This multi-year process includes Indigenous and public engagement, environmental and socioeconomic studies, and permitting activities.

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Although no decision has been made to advance a new build, this “no-regret” action is an important step to support future electricity planning and allow faster execution if a decision is made to proceed.

“With global business looking to expand in jurisdictions with reliable, affordable and clean electricity, Ontario’s world-class clean electricity grid is helping us land historic investments,” said Todd Smith, Ontario’s Minister of Energy. “New nuclear generation, like the first large-scale nuclear build in a generation at Bruce Power, supported by this investment by the federal government, will ensure we have the reliable, affordable and clean electricity we need to support the next major international investment, the new homes we are building, and industries – like our steel producers – as they grow and electrify.”

Bruce Power continues to safely operate its existing eight-unit fleet while progressing the on-time and on-budget completion of its Life-Extension Program and Major Component Replacement (MCR) projects to renew Units 3-8 at its Bruce A and B stations. The renewed units will continue to supply clean, reliable energy to Ontario for decades to come.

“Ontario has one of the cleanest electricity grids in the world and the nuclear industry is leading the way,” said Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power’s president and CEO. “This pre-development funding for new nuclear at the Bruce site is a great example of how the federal and provincial governments are working together with the private sector, supporting early Indigenous and community engagement, planning and support for pre-development activities for clean-energy projects that will allow us to meet climate goals to benefit Ontario and all Canadians for the long term.”

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Featured image: Ontario Minister of Energy Todd Smith, centre, and Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Rencheck, right, applaud as Jonathan Wilkinson, Federal Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announces funding to support pre-development work to study the feasibility of the option for a new nuclear build on the Bruce Power site. (Bruce Power)

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