Transcript: Duncan Hawthorne: Powering Up Ontario | May 01, 2013

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and spotted red tie. Behind him, a wall screen reads “The Agenda, with Steve Paikin.”

Steve says FOR THE FIRST TIME IN
ABOUT TWO DECADES, ALL EIGHT
UNITS AT BRUCE NUCLEAR ARE
Sending power to Ontario’s grid.
JOINING US NOW WITH MORE, DUNCAN
HAWTHORNE, PRESIDENT AND C.E.O.
Of Bruce Power.

Duncan is in his fifties, bald and clean-shaven. He’s wearing a gray suit, blue shirt, and yellow tie.

Steve continues WE WELCOME YOU BACK.
WHAT'S THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ALL
REACTORS BEING RUNNING?

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Duncan Hawthorne. Bruce Power."

With a broad Scottish accent, Duncan says
IT'S A MASSIVE CHANGE IN THE
FORTUNES OF THE UTILITY.
WE HAVE BEEN IN EXISTENCE NOW 12
YEARS.
WHEN WE CAME THERE WE HAD FOUR
UNITS ON.
THERE WEREN'T ANY PLANS TO
RESTART THE OTHER FOUR UNIT.
THE LAST DECADE OR SO HAS BEEN
EXCITING FOR US.
THE DIFFERENCE HERE IS WE'RE
PRODUCING ALMOST 40 percent OF THE
PROVINCE'S ENERGY.

The caption changes to "Powering up Ontario. Restarting the reactors."

Steve says You ARE PRODUCING 40 percent?

Duncan says THIS WEEK, MONDAY OF THIS
WEEK WE WERE 45 percent OF THE ONTARIO
DEMAND.

Steve says WHEN YOU SAY YOU HAVE
BEEN AROUND FOR 12 YEARS.
BRUCE POWER HAS BEEN AROUND
LONGER THAN THAT, BUT A
PRIVATELY OPERATED COMPANY.

Duncan says WE TOOK OVER THE SITE IN MAY 2001.
TODAY WE HAVE 6300.

Steve says WE USE 20, 25,000 ON A
DAILY BASIS?

Duncan says YEAH.
OUR WARMEST, COLDEST DAY.

Steve says HOW MANY HOMES ARE YOU POWERING?

Duncan says AS IAS I SAID, AROUND 35 percent OFE
PROVINCE'S DEMAND.
THAT'S OBVIOUSLY A SIGNIFICANT
CONTRIBUTION.

Steve says WHAT DID YOU SPEND TO
GET THE EIGHT REACTORS UP AND RUNNING?

Duncan says WE HAVE SPENT 7 BILLION.
FOR THE LAST FIVE OR SIX YEARS,
WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING ON OUR
SITE HAS BEEN NORTH AMERICA'S
LARGEST PRODUCT.

Steve says YOU DIDN'T HAVE
7 BILLION IN THE BANK, DID YOU?

Duncan says YOU HAVE TO LOOK TO
INVESTORS, STEVE.
I DON'T KNOW IF YOU KNOW THE
PARTNERSHIP.
IT'S AN INTERESTING PARTNERSHIP.
WE HAVE A PENSION PLAN.
PEOPLE RECOGNIZE IN ONTARIO.
WE HAVE TRANS-CANADA PIPELINES.
AND WE HAVE A CORPORATION OUT OF
SASKATCHEWAN.
WE HAVE SOME INVESTMENT FROM OUR
UNIONS.
IT'S A UNIQUE PUBLIC-PRIVATE
PARTNERSHIP IN ITS OWN RIGHT.

Steve says GOVERNMENT OF ONTARIO
HAVE ANY PIECE OF IT?

Duncan says THE GOVERNMENT OWNS THE
ASSET.
WE TOOK OVER THESE ASSETS UNDER
A LEASE ARRANGEMENT.
SO THE ASSETS ARE THE
PROVINCE'S.
IT'S A UNIQUE ARRANGEMENT.

Steve says DID YOU HAVE TO
INTEGRATE ANY STATE OF THE ART
NEW TECHNOLOGY TO GET THE FOUR
REACTORS THAT WEREN'T UP AND
RUNNING UP AND RUNNING?

Duncan says YEAH.
NECESSARILY BE POSSIBLE TO
REFURBISH THE UNITS IN A WAY WE DID.
PARTICULARLY UNITS ONE AND TWO
SHUT DOWN FOR MAYBE 15, 17 YEARS.
A LOT OF THE EQUIPMENT.
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT TAKING
REACTORS APART.
WE HAD TO USE LASERS, ROBOTICS.
A LOT OF NEW TECHNOLOGY.
INTERESTING STUFF.

Steve says THAT WOULDN'T HAVE
BEEN AROUND 10, 15 YEARS AGO.

Duncan says TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE
TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS.
HIGH POSITION LASER ALIGNMENT.
YOU COULDN'T HAVE DONE THAT A
DECADE AGO.

Steve says How does it compare to the rest of the world?

Duncan says PEOPLE HAVEN'T TYPICALLY
NEEDED TO DO THIS.
ONE THING ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY,
IT'S POSSIBLE TO DO THIS.
OTHER REACTOR PLANTS, OBVIOUSLY
EQUIVALENT WOULD BE BUILDING NEW.
IF YOU GO TO CHINA, INDIA,
MASSIVE EXPANSION, YOU'RE GOING
TO SEE MEGA PROJECTS.
NORTH AMERICA THIS STANDS OUT.

Steve says ANYTHING COMPARED TO
WESTINGHOUSE ON THIS SCALE
THEY'RE DOING?

Duncan says AS I SAY, THERE ARE PARTS OF
THE WORLD.
IF YOU WENT TO UNITED ARAB
EMIRATES RIGHT NOW, THE KOREANS
ARE BUILDING A FOUR UNIT SITE.
IT WOULD BE A BIG SITE.
IT WILL LOOK LIKE HALF OF THE
BRUCE SITE.
THEY'RE STARTING FROM SAND.
FROM A POINT OF VIEW OF THE
CHALLENGE IT'S A BIG JOB.

Steve says WOULDN'T YOU LOVE TO
RUN THAT ONE?

Duncan says I HAVE BEEN OVER.
IT'S TEMPTING.
BUT THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF PEOPLE
FOR THE FIRST TIME STEPPING INTO
A NUCLEAR WORLD.
IT'S A BIG DEAL FOR THEM.

Steve says HOW HAVE THE LOCAL
RESIDENTS IN THAT PART OF
ONTARIO, BRUCE COUNTY, RESPONDED
TO THE FACT YOU'RE UP AND
RUNNING AGAIN?

Duncan says WHEN YOU THINK OF THE AREA.
IT'S A SMALL COMMUNITY.
EITHER YOU WORK ON THE SITE OR A
FAMILY MEMBER WORKS ON A SITE.
REALITY IS WHEN THE PLANT WAS
LAID UP, IT HAD A DEVASTATING
EFFECT ON THE LOCAL ECONOMY.
BRINGING ALL THESE UNITS BACK,
WE'RE A BIG PART OF THE ECONOMIC
FABRIC.
THERE'S NOTHING THAT PEOPLE WANT
MORE THAN JOB SECURITY THAT'S
COME FROM THAT.
IT'S BEEN A BIG NEWS STORY.

Steve says WE'RE GOING TO BRING
UP A GRAPHIC WHICH SHOWS THE
ENERGY MIX IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.
CURRENT ENERGY SUPPLY.
THESE NUMBERS FROM THE ONTARIO
ENERGY BOARD.

A slate appears on screen, with the title “Ontario’s Electricity Supply Mix.”
It displays a pie chart that shows that nuclear energy represents 56.9 percent, water power 22.2 percent, and natural gas 14.7 percent.

Steve continues YOU'LL SEE NUCLEAR ENERGY.
ALMOST 60 percent OF THE POWER IN THIS
PROVINCE COMES FROM NUKES.
14 PLUS FROM NATURAL GAS.
ALMOST ONE-QUARTER FROM WATER
POWER.
COAL AND OIL ALMOST NON
EXISTENT.
WE WERE HEAVILY RELIANT ON IT A
WHILE AGO.
SHOULD WE WORRY THAT WE RELY ON
YOU TOO MUCH TO KEEP THE LIGHTS ON?

A panel pops up that reads “Duncan Hawthorne. President and CEO Bruce Power. Degree in control engineering and an MBA from Strathclyde University in Scotland. Over 30 years experience in the power generation business.”

Duncan says IT'S AN INTERESTING QUESTION.
REALITY IS ONTARIO HAS BEEN
RETOOLING ITS SUPPLY MIX.
OBVIOUS COMMITMENT TO EXIT COAL.
COAL, DESPITE ITS ENVIRONMENTAL
ISSUES IS A FLEXIBLE SUPPLY SOURCE.
WE CAN'T DO WHAT COAL CAN DO.
WE HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO PROVIDE
SOME DYNAMIC RESPONSE.
WE HAVE DONE THAT FROM OUR
UNITS.
ONE THING WE DO IS PROVIDE
RELIABLE POWER 24-7.
WHEN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT
FLEXIBILITY FOR THE INTERIOR
MARKET NEEDS, YOU NEED OTHER
THINGS.
AND SO THERE CAN BE AN
OVERDEPENDENCY.
I HAVE BEEN A NUCLEAR MAN ALL MY
YEARS.
I SAY THERE'S ONLY SO MUCH YOU
CAN EXPECT.
BALANCE.
CAPACITY.
BECAUSE WE PROVIDE A LOT OF
ENERGY.
WE'RE 60 percent OF THE ENERGY MIX.
I WOULDN'T REALLY ADVOCATE GOING
MORE THAN THAT.
AS I SAY, THE ELEPHANT CANCEL CT
DANCE.
PEOPLE ARE LOOKING TO DO
DIFFERENT THINGS WITH THE SUPPLY
GRID.
WE INTRODUCED FLEXIBILITY WITH
OUR UNITS.

The caption changes to "The energy mix."

Duncan continues WE CAN MOVE AROUND ABOUT 2,000,
PLUS MEGAWATTS WHICH IS GOOD FOR
THIS MARKET.
BUT WE'RE NOT AS FLEXIBLE AS
ANYONE ELSE.
WIND IS UNPREDICTABLE.
YOU HAVE TO RECOGNIZE EVERY
TECHNOLOGY HAS SOME ATTRIBUTE.
AND GETTING A BALANCE IS IMPORTANT.

Steve says THERE, OF NUCLEAR POWER, BRUCE
REPRESENTS WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THAT?

Duncan says RIGHT NOW WE'RE PROBABLY HALF
OF THAT WITH ONTARIO POWER
GENERATION.
THEY CURRENTLY HAVE THE
DARLINGTON AND PICKERING UNIT.
THEY'RE EXPECTED TO END SERVICE
IN 2020 OR SUCH.
THAT WOULD MEAN EITHER THEY'RE
REPLACED BY SOMETHING ELSE, OR
OTHER SUPPLY SOURCES TAKE THAT GAP.

Steve says THAT'S A HUGE QUESTION.
IN 2020 IS NOT THAT FAR AWAY IN
YOUR GAME.
WHAT ARE THE PROSPECTS?

Duncan says OF COURSE THE INTERESTING
THING IS NOT JUST THAT.
THE UNITS CURRENTLY IN THE
NUCLEAR WORLD NEED TO BE
REFURBISHED TOO.
OVER THE NEXT DECADE, DARLINGTON
UNITS WILLING NEED TO BE
REFURBISHED.
THAT'S A MASSIVE ENGINEERING
PROJECT.
THAT WILL TAKE PLACE OVER THE
NEXT DECADE.

Steve says I WANT TO ASK YOU
ABOUT HOW MUCH STIGMA YOU THINK
THERE IS AROUND NUCLEAR POWER?
THE REALITY IS, IF YOU ASK
PEOPLE WHAT THE BIG NUCLEAR
STORY OF THE PAST YEAR OR TWO
WAS, I SUSPECT THEY WILL SAY
JAPAN, FUKUSHIMA, CHERNOBYL,
THREE MILE ISLAND, WHAT
PRECAUTIONS DO YOU HAVE IN PLACE
AT BRUCE TO MAKE SURE NONE OF
THAT HAPPENS HERE?

The caption changes to "Nuclear Stigma."

Duncan says YOU'RE RIGHT.
CHERNOBYL WAS A LONG TIME AGO.
THREE MILE ISLAND LONGER THAN THAT.
PEOPLE OBVIOUSLY UNDERSTAND
TSUNAMIS AND EARTHQUAKES ARE NOT
AN EVERY DAY OCCURRENCE HERE.
NONETHELESS IT WOULD BE FLIPPANT
TO SAY THERE AREN'T LESSONS.
WE HAVE DONE UPGRADES.
LARGELY TO DEFEND AGAINST THINGS
LIKE TORNADOES OR ICE STORM
WHICH WOULD HAVE THE EFFECT OF
DISCONNECTING US FROM THE SUPPLY
GRID.
AND REQUIRE US TO SUPPORT
OURSELVES.
WE HAVE BOUGHT NEW MOBILE
EQUIPMENT THAT CAN DO THINGS.
WE HAVE EVEN REHEARSED THAT IN
AN EXERCISE DONE IN THE FALL
LAST YEAR CALLED HURON
CHALLENGES.
WHERE EMERGENCY SERVICES WERE
BROUGHT IN.
REALITY IS I THINK CANADA CAN BE
COMMENDED.
WE HAVE BEEN PROACTIVE IN THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.
WE HAVE A STRONG REGULATED
ENVIRONMENT.
GOOD ACTIVE OPERATORS WHO LEARN
FROM THESE THINGS.
THE TRUTH IS NUCLEAR STILL POLLS
WELL.
YOU POLL ONTARIANS.
THE EXISTING NUCLEAR WILL BE 65,
70 percent.

Steve says APPROVAL?

Duncan says YEAH.
OBVIOUSLY THE PEOPLE WHO OPPOSE
CAN BE VOCAL AND GIVE THE
IMPRESSION OF BEING A HIGHER
PERCENTAGE.
BUT IF YOU POLL ON EXISTING
NUCLEAR, IT POLLS WELL.
AS A POLITICIAN, YOU GO TO THE
POLLS EVERY DAY WITH THOSE
NUMBERS.
CHERNOBYL WAS NOT AN ATOMIC
ENERGY OF CANADA REACTOR.
IT WAS DIFFERENT.
FUKUSHIMA WE MAY NOT BE AS UP ON.

Steve says ARE THERE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN
THE REACTORS YOU HAVE AND THEY HAVE?

Duncan says GETTING TECHNICAL IS TO SAY BOIL
WATERS REACTOR IS WHAT FUKUSHIMA.
A LITTLE BIT OF REACTOR N. OUR
CASE WE HAVE NATURAL URANIUM.
WE HAVE VERY LITTLE FUEL.
REACTOR IS LESS ENERGY.
THE DESIGNS ARE DIFFERENT.
BOILING WATER IS THE WATER BOILS
IN THE REACTOR.
IF YOU RUN SHORT AS THEY DID, IT
DOESN'T TAKE LONG FOR THE
TEMPERATURE TO GET TO A
DANGEROUS LEVEL.
WE SAW WHAT THAT DOES TO THE
REACTOR.

Steve says I PROBABLY SHOULDN'T
ASK YOU TO COMMENT ON THE
COMPETITION.
I'M GOING TO ANYWAY.
YOU KICKED THE TIRES ON THIS.
I'M WONDERING WHERE YOU THINK
THINGS ARE.
ATOMIC ENERGY OF CANADA A COUPLE
OF YEARS AGO SOLD OFF PART OF
ITS BUSINESS.
SNC LAVALIN BOUGHT IT.
WHY DOES ALL THAT STAND TODAY?

Duncan says YOU'RE RIGHT.
SNC LAVALIN IS A SERVICE PROVIDER.
THEIR ABILITY TO SELL THE
TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONALLY WON'T
BE THE SAME WITHOUT THE
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA THERE.
FRANCE, RUSSIA, KOREA.
IT'S ABOUT TRYING TO CREATE A
SERVICES BUSINESS.
I THINK THEY CAN DO THAT TO
SUPPORT AS THE REFURBISHMENTS GO
FORWARD.
THERE WILL BE A NEED.
BUSINESS.
BUT I REALLY WOULD DOUBT THE
ABILITY TO SELL TECHNOLOGY.

The caption changes to "Theagenda.tvo.org"

Steve says GIVEN THE REFURBISHING
NECESSARY IN THIS PROVINCE, ANY
REGRETS YOU'RE NOT IN THAT?

Duncan says WELL, YOU KNOW, THE REALITY
IS I WAS KEEN TO DO IT.
BUT IT WAS A DEFENSIVE STRATEGY
MORE THAN A GROWTH STRATEGY.
HERE'S AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE PROVIDER.
THERE'S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO DO IT.
WE DON'T HAVE TO TAKE EQUITY.
WE CAN DO IT THROUGH
RELATIONSHIP.
END WITHOUT BEING PART OF THE
OWNERSHIP.

Steve says HAS THERE BEEN IN YOUR
VIEW, AS A RESULT OF THIS
PRIVATIZATION AT ACL.
YOU HAVE YOUR REACTORS ROLLING.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HOW WE
WERE DOING BUSINESS IN ON THE
PART OF THE VERSUS JAPAN, RUSSIA
OR WHATEVER, WHERE DO YOU THINK
NUKES ARE AT IN TERMS OF THE
PUBLIC'S CONSCIOUSNESS IN ONTARIO?

Duncan says I STILL THINK THERE'S A
PUBLIC AWARENESS GAP.
I DON'T THINK PEOPLE REALLY
UNDERSTAND WHERE THE POWER COMES
FROM EVERY DAY.
PEOPLE REFER TO IT AS THE HYDRO
BILL.
ONCE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND, THEY'RE
INFORMED, YOU SHOWED A GRAPHIC
HOW RELIANT WE ARE ON NUCLEAR.
THEY UNDERSTAND THE PRICE POINT
WHICH AGAIN PEOPLE DON'T REALLY
SEE.
7 BILLION, POWER MUST BE
EXPENSIVE.
IT ISN'T.
CONTRACTS THE ONTARIO POWER
AUTHORITY HAVE ON THEIR BOOKS.
THERE'S AN INFORMATION GAP
STILL.
BECAUSE OF THAT, THERE WILL BE
SOME PEOPLE THAT DON'T REALLY
UNDERSTAND THE TRUE VALUE.

Steve says IF WE SHOULDN'T CALL
IT HYDRO, WHAT SHOULD WE CALL IT?

Duncan says ELECTRICITY BILL.
THAT'S WHAT EVERYONE ELSE CALLS
IT ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.
THEY DON'T CALL IT HYDRO.
THAT'S THE LEGACY OF THE PAST.

Steve says DUNCAN HAWTHORNE, YOU
LEFT QUITE A LEGACY AT BRUCE.
WE THANK YOU FOR COMING INTO TVO.

Duncan says Thank you, Steve.

Steve says PRESIDENT AND C.E.O.
BRUCE POWER.

Watch: Duncan Hawthorne: Powering Up Ontario