Cameco signs 10-year extension with Bruce Power
PORT HOPE - Jobs retained, communities enriched, power costs held down — good news on many fronts seems in store, following Thursday’s announcement that the contract Cameco holds to supply Bruce Power with nuclear fuel will be extended by 10 years through 2030.
The announcement was made at Cameco’s Port Hope plant that the exclusive fuel-supply arrangement will be extended — and that a new arrangement has been made for Cameco to provide reactor components for all six of Bruce Power’s Major Component Replacement projects starting in 2020.
The total value of these arrangements is estimated at about $2-billion.
Fuel-cost savings realized by Bruce will go directly to reducing the cost of electricity to ratepayers, Bruce president and chief executive officer Mike Rencheck stated.
“By entering into a long-term arrangement for fuel now while the market conditions are favourable, we are in a position to deliver an estimated $200-million in ratepayer savings over the next decade, based on current forecasts, while also giving Cameco business certainty — which is important to both Ontario and Port Hope,” Rencheck said.
For Cameco, the company president and chief executive officer Tim Gitzel commented, the deal provides a bright future for the 600-plus Port Hope employees and the 150 at their Blind River facility.
“It’s not every day you can stand in front of people and say, ‘You are going to have a job through 2030, a good-paying job you can raise your family on,’” Rencheck said.
“It’s good news for those who benefit from clean, safe, reliable nuclear power that Bruce Power generates every day,” Gitzel added.
“Bruce is our largest customer, producing 30% of Ontario’s electricity, making Ontario a leading jurisdiction for nuclear-power deployment that is recognized around the world.”
The benefits of this agreement extend beyond Ontario, Gitzel stated — the uranium they require is mined in Saskatchewan by a work force that is more than 50% Indigenous workers, “making this the largest employer of Indigenous people in Canada.”
Rencheck pointed out that nuclear power comes at the most favourable kilowatt-hour rate around. At 6.6 cents per KWH, it even beats out solar power (48 cents), wind power (14 cents). And the uses of nuclear energy go beyond power into such areas as cancer treatment.
He gave Cameco a lot of credit for the role played in Bruce recently becoming the first Canadian company to receive a Top Innovative Practice Award. The applicable processes were built around using Cobalt 60 in their absorber rods, which are manufactured by Cameco.
Northumberland-Peterborough South MP Kim Rudd congratulated Cameco and added her thanks for the company’s contributions to the community in terms of sponsorships, donations and other avenues of support.
“Someone recently said to me, ‘No matter what event we go to in this riding, there’s always a Cameco presence,’” Rudd said.
Northumberland-Quinte West MPP Lou Rinaldi said the province values the environmentally friendly quality of nuclear power. In spite of having perhaps the hottest summer ever last year, he said, Toronto did not have a single smog day.