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Bruce shuts down unit;

The Owen Sound Sun Times: MARIA CANTON - July 17, 2009

Bruce Power has shut down a reactor at the request of the Independent Electricity Market Operator due to a surplus of baseload generation in Ontario as the province experiences both a cooler than normal summer and the fallout of a manufacturing industry hard hit by the recession.

Unit 8 at the Bruce B power generating station, a 795- megawatt reactor, was taken offline earlier this week for what is expected to be a brief outage of a few days, spokesman Steve Cannon said yesterday, marking only the second time in the history of the company such a step has been taken. The first time was in June of this year for similar reasons.

"The issue for us is that nuclear plants are designed to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week and we don't want to stress the reactors by constantly manoeuvring them up and down It's not an ideal situation for us, but we're into a period of low demand and we're doing our part," said Cannon.

There are no layoffs associated with the shutdown.

Ontario recorded job loss numbers of almost 60,000 in May, the bulk of which were in the manufacturing and auto sectors. The loss of jobs and closure of plants means there is less demand for power.

Meanwhile, summer temperatures throughout the province have been as much as 7C cooler than normal this month, meaning fewer people are running air conditioning systems or electric fans, although Environment Canada climatologists are expecting a rebound in temperatures for later this month until mid-August.

"There are several factors at work here, but if you look at the number of manufacturing and car plants in Ontario that have shut down, big industrial users of electricity, it means demand is not what it was a few years ago and we're seeing the effects of that," said Cannon.

All of the other active units at Bruce Power remain online and available for service.

Currently, Units 1 and 2 at Bruce A are undergoing refurbishment and the company plans to restart both reactors either late this year or early in 2010 with an estimated cost of more than $3 billion.