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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Nuclear Learning Centre Planned For Southampton

Southampton | by John Divinski  

Bruce Power and Bruce County announce plans to develop Ontario Nuclear Innovation Institute

Bruce Power and the County of Bruce, have joined forces to create the Ontario Nuclear Innovation Institute as an international centre of excellence for applied research and training.

The announcement was made today at a ceremony at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre in Southampton.

President & CEO of Bruce Power Mike Rencheck says the centre would allow them to take advantage of the dozens of companies that have already located in the region, to create an environment to look at some of the "breaking technologies" to support a strong, sustainable regional lavour force.

He says, "This would involve training in the skilled trades to become an ironworker, millwright and boilerworker, not only through this program but in conjunction with the building trades," and will be open to everyone including the Indigenous communities.

The idea is to give young people an opportunity to acquire experience before they go off to higher levels of education or before beginning a career in the trades.

Rencheck says the Institute will focus on areas such as:  artificial intelligence and cyber security; medical and industrial isotopes; operational excellence for nuclear sector and Indigenous economic development.

There was no cost announced for the investment but officials hope to break ground on the project by 2020 and will work hand in hand with a training centre already under construction in Kincardine.

Rencheck says, as it stands now, the preferred location of the facility would be adjacent to the museum in Southampton, possibly on land recently purchased by the county, just south of the museum.

However Rencheck points out there will be more discussion with the community before any location is locked in.

County Warden Paul Eagleson says he welcomes the initiative, calling it "Fantastic news."

Eagleson points out though, the property being looked at for the centre, was not purchased for the centre, but was bought to let the museum expand its archives.

Time will tell if there is sufficient room for both entities.

At the same meeting, Bruce Power and Bruce County extended their joint Economic Development & Innovation Initiative partnership to 2021.

It was initially slated to run from 2016-18.

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