Bruce Power fined $110K for worker injury at Lake Huron nuclear plant

Failed as an employer to acquaint the worker with the hazards related to trapped hydrogen.

TIVERTON, Ont. — Bruce Power has been fined $110,000 in an Owen Sound, Ont. court as a result of an accident involving a worker who suffered critical injuries while performing maintenance on a generator at the Lake Huron B nuclear power plant.

The injury occurred on Feb. 1, 2016 while workers were removing a bore plug on a rotor. During drilling, flames shot out the first hole, injuring the worker.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found the flames were caused by a release of hydrogen (used as a cooling medium) combining with the air and coming into contact with ignition sources such as the drill motor or a work light.

GE, the manufacturer of the generator, had prepared and made available technical information that discussed potential hazards associated with trapped hydrogen gas. It recommended the rotor core be tested and purged of hydrogen, not pressurized before plug removal, and the removal of potential sources of ignition.

The team was not aware of this information, including the injured worker.

The court found Bruce Power failed as an employer to acquaint the worker with the hazards, contrary to section 25(2)(d) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

In addition to the fine, the court also imposed a 25% victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act, which goes to a fund that assists victims of crime.

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