23,000 jobs at Bruce Power should mean an increase for UOIT enrolment

A Bruce Power announcement about the creation of 23,000 jobs should be good news for UOIT’s nuclear program.

This according to John Froats, an associate professor and nuclear engineer at UOIT.

“I’d imagine if young ladies and gentlemen see the prospects look good…we will see an increase in enrolment,” says Froats.

UOIT is currently the only school that offers a Bachelor in Nuclear Engineering in Canada.

He says the current enrolment is around 70 to 100 students a year but he could see it rising to the 100-200 levels if more jobs are available.

Froats says the school can handle larger enrolment levels, but there are limitations put in place to keep numbers climbing too high.

Bruce Power announced Dec. 2 that thousands of jobs will be created through a multi-year investment program, which will allow the company to extend the life of several reactors over the next four years, beginning in 2016.

The reactors in the Lake Huron location have been operating since the 1970s and were supposed to be refurbished next year, but the life extensions will make the refurbishment process not necessary until 2020.

Bruce Power says this will allow the company to continue to prepare for its first refurbishment and continue to provide energy for Ontarians in the process.

While Bruce is preparing life-extensions to hold off its refurbishment, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is hoping to begin its refurbishment on its Darlington plant soon.

The plant asked for a 13-year licence renewal to complete the Darlington refurbishment process.

A hearing was held Nov. 2-5 by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to let the public to speak about the renewal. CNSC will release its decision at the start of the new year.

Bruce’s full refurbishment will start in 2020, which will allow the reactors to run for another 30 to 35 years.

In the same year, the oldest nuclear plant in Canada, Pickering OPG, is slated to close its doors.

Bruce estimates the agreement will create 18,000 jobs directly but add another 3,000 to 5,000 jobs annually during the investment process.

The company currently provides 30 per cent of all electricity in Ontario and about half of the nuclear power.



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Tabitha Reddekop is a second-year journalism student at Durham College. When it comes to writing and reporting, she enjoys covering stories that really pull at the heartstrings. She likes to spend her spare time reading, watching documentaries and taking pictures of her cats. Tabitha hopes to become a reporter for a small community newspaper following graduation.