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Proposed use of slightly enriched uranium (SEU) fuel at the Bruce B nuclear generating station

Start date: December 12, 2003
Type: Screening
CEAR reference number: 04-01-591
Proponent: Bruce Power
Location: Bruce B Nuclear Generating Station, Tiverton, Ontario

Latest Update

  • June 17, 2005 - Environmental Assessment Decision by a Designated Officer concerning the proposed use of Slightly Enriched Uranium (SEU) Fuel at the Bruce B Nuclear Generating Station - Having considered the screening report and comments filed from the public, the Designated Officer accepted that the project, taking into account the mitigation measures, will not cause significant adverse environmental effects and that public concerns do not warrant a reference to a mediator or review panel. The Designated Officer then rendered his decision in accordance with section 20(1)(a) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and directed Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) staff to proceed with the licensing process related to the project.
  • December 1, 2004 - Request for Public Comment - Comment period closed
  • October 27, 2004 - Request for Public Comment - Draft Screening Report

Project Description

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has received notice of intent from Bruce Power applying for approval, pursuant to condition 4.3 of Bruce Power's operating licence for the Bruce B NGS. The approval is for the implementation of a new low void fuel design (New Fuel Project) for the Bruce B reactors.

The proposal is to implement a new low void fuel design for the Bruce B reactors, replacing the current 37 element natural uranium design with the CANFLEX -LVRF ( New Fuel). The New Fuel would contain a neutron absorber and slightly enriched uranium (SEU) containing approximately 1.0 % U235 compared to natural uranium which contains 0.7 % U235. The SEU pellets would be contained within a 43 element CANFLEX fuel bundle which differs in design from the bundle presently in use. The use of this new fuel will result in improved safety margins and may allow Bruce Power to operate the reactors at Bruce “B” at full power, instead of the current 90% power output.

Should CNSC approve the proposed fuel design, Bruce Power will have to further obtain an amendment of its current Bruce B operating licence before it is authorized to load fuel in the reactors. These decisions, to be made by a CNSC Designated Officer pursuant to subsection 37(2) of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, may only be made following the completion of an environmental assessment, carried out in compliance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The purpose of an environmental assessment is to identify the possible environmental effects of a proposed project, and determine whether these effects can be mitigated before the project is allowed to proceed.

Steps ahead:

  • Development of EA guidelines (scope document)
  • Review of EA study report
  • Preparation of screening report
  • Public consultation on screening report
  • EA decision by Designated Officer

Further Information

For questions or information related to the environmental assessment of this project, please contact:

For questions or information directly related to the environmental assessment of this project, contact the CNSC.

CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment and to respect Canada's international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

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