Approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to remove “reactor shutdown guarantees” on unit 2 allows the company to start up the reactor for final checks.
Bruce Power spokesman John Peevers said the next step is to synchronize unit 2 to Ontario’s electricity grid.
“We’re not putting a specific timeframe on it . . . but it’s something we would consider as imminent,” he said.
The reactor, which can produce 750 megawatts of power, was shut down nearly 20 years ago before the refurbishment project began in 2006.
“A project of this magnitude has never been done before on a CANDU reactor and that cannot be overlooked,” Bruce Power president and CEO Duncan Hawthorne said in a statement.
Unit 1, which is also expected to produce 750 megawatts of power, is expected to be returned to service in the third quarter of 2012, Peevers said.
Once the two Bruce A units are back online, Bruce Power will be capable of providing more than 6,000 megawatts of power to Ontario’s energy grid.
That would make the complex near Tiverton, Ont., the largest nuclear power site in the world.
When the unit 1 and 2 restart project was originally announced in 2005, the cost of the program was estimated at $2.75 billion, with electricity production to begin by late 2009 or early 2010.
The cost has risen to $4.8 billion.
Nuclear reactor nearly a go | Ontario | News | Toronto Sun