The biggest clean-energy news in nearly seven years broke late yesterday, when Bruce Power announced it is making steam again at Unit 2. The heat to make Unit 2’s steam comes from a 750-megawatt CANDU reactor. This machine “burns” tiny amounts of natural uranium fuel, and is one of the most efficient ways on the planet to make enormous amounts of electricity.
And if the previous performance of other machines with the CANDU brand is anything to go by, Bruce Unit 2 can run at its rated capacity—which, to repeat, is 750 MW—more than 80 percent over its thirty-year lifetime. Wind generators, which are woefully inefficient by comparison, rarely run at their rated capacity for even a day. That’s why wind needs a parallel fleet of fossil-fired generators running in tandem.
The return of Bruce Unit 2 is huge good news for everybody in Ontario. And because it will put zero grams of carbon into our air over its lifetime, it’s huge good news for the planet as well.