Bruce Power, L.P. is a large private employer in Ontario, Canada. Bruce Power currently operates a total of eight nuclear reactors on a 2,300-acre site (see, Figure 1), and is currently the largest operating nuclear power facility in the world (“Explore”; Hylko, 2013). It is Canada’s first privately-owned nuclear energy company and, according to the CEO of the company, just realized “one of the most successful years in the company’s history” (Hylko, 2013). This makes Bruce Power an attractive prospective employer in the region.
Bruce Power began operating in Tiverton, Ontario in May 2001 (Hylko, 2013). According to the company’s website, “Bruce Power is a partnership among Cameco Corp., TransCanada Corp., Borealis Infrastructure (a trust established by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System), The Power Workers’ Union and The Society of Energy Professionals” (“About Us”). The company is currently led by Duncan Hawthorne, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bruce Power since its formation (“Duncan Hawthorne”, 2012).
Although Bruce Power reportedly employs more than 4,000 individuals (and 234 new employees were hired in 2012 alone), there are only two advertised positions on the company’s website; both in the Maintenance Department (“Current Opportunities”, 2010; Hylko, 2013). However, the company also provides job seekers with a document titled, “Realistic Job Previews” regarding various other positions with the company, including one regarding a career as a Nuclear Operator (“Current Opportunities”, 2010).
In the position description, Bruce Power advertises that it is “looking for skilled, energetic people who want to work in a dynamic and innovative company” (“Current Opportunities”, 2010). In addition to these basic qualifications, prospective employees must have completed the equivalent of a high school diploma, including classes in college prep mathematics, physics and chemistry (“Current Opportunities”, 2010). Applicants may substitute a College Technician/Technologist two-year degree (in fields such as Power Engineering) for the requisite course work (“Current Opportunities”, 2010). All applicants must also pass a skills/aptitude test and an in-person interview before being “short-listed” for further consideration (“Current Opportunities”, 2010). Short-listed applicants must then pass a detailed security background check, including evaluation by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and both the Royal Canadian Mounted and Ontario Provincial Police Departments (“Current Opportunities”, 2010). Finally, applicants must pass a medical clearance before they may be hired by Bruce Power (“Current Opportunities”, 2010). The employment process at Bruce Power is both involved and lengthy.
In addition to any qualifications listed by a particular job description, it is important to note that Bruce Power operates the company by adhering to a strong set of corporate values. On its own website, the company clearly states that it is dedicated to conducting its business “ethically, respectfully, safely, and with professionalism” (“Our Values”). This adherence makes Bruce Power even more appealing as a prospective employer.
Employees also have room to grow professionally at Bruce Power. According to the website, operators may be promoted into supervisory positions, such as Supervising Nuclear Operator and Field Shift-Operating Supervisor (“Current Opportunities”, 2010). Employees looking for work in other areas, but not necessarily a vertical move, may choose to change fields and work in the control room as an Authorized Nuclear Operator or Control Room Operator (“Current Opportunities”, 2010). This is encouraging for employees who wish to stay with Bruce Power for their entire professional careers.
Employees of Brown Power are unionized and members of the Power Workers’ Union. Because of this, both their pay and benefits are part of a collective bargaining agreement (“Current Opportunities”, 2010). Employees receive their regular salaries, as well as “gain sharing payments” based on the company meeting pre-defined objectives (“Current Opportunities”, 2010). According to the Brown Power website, employees also receive health and dental benefits, group life insurance, vacation and short term and long term disability coverage (“Current Opportunities”, 2010). The extensive list of employee benefits is further indication of what may make Brown Power a great place to work.
New employees are classified as a “Nuclear Operator in Training,” and required to attend a three month-long orientation/training program called “Nuclear Power School” (“Current Opportunities”, 2010). Employees may not work independently without completing this training (“Current Opportunities”, 2010). The program includes a mix of classroom and computer-based courses, along with on-the-job-training under the close supervision of another (more experienced) operator (“Current Opportunities”, 2010). All Nuclear Operators in Training are on probation for the first six months of their employment, although they may receive regular employee benefits during this time (“Current Opportunities”, 2010). The training program and probationary period are certainly something to keep in mind when pursuing an employment opportunity at Bruce Power.
Another area for special consideration Bruce Power’s “succession plan” where age may play a factor in their hiring program. According to Hylko (2013), the company is focused on preserving the knowledge base of its employees, and ensuring that the knowledge is “transferred to the next generation of nuclear workers.” When the company was formed in 2001, only 10% of its employees were age 35 or under (Hylko, 2013). However, as of 2012, that number climbed to 32% (Hylko, 2013). It seems as though being a young job seeker may be beneficial to those looking to work at Bruce Power.
The Bruce Power website lists testimonials from its employees regarding their experiences while working at the company. Jessica Marin, a Nuclear Operator in Training, is quoted as saying that the company “offers an enthusiastic and positive work environment. It offers professional enhancement opportunities and provides a safe workplace to work and learn” (“Current Opportunities”, 2010). There were numerous other positive quotes included regarding Bruce Power’s commitment to safety and family.
Overall, Bruce Power is an appealing place to work. The company is committed to its employees and provides good salary and benefits, while equally concerned with ethical principles and its’ employees’ safety overall. As a large private company in Tiverton, Ontario, job seekers looking to work in nuclear power-related fields, such as those utilizing liquid fluoride thorium reactors, should explore this company as a viable option.
About Us. (n.d.). Bruce Power. Retrieved November 12, 2013, from http://www.brucepower.com/about-us/
Current Opportunities. (2010, September 7). Bruce Power. Retrieved November 12, 2013, from http://www.brucepower.com/careers/current-opportunities/
Explore the World of Bruce Power. (n.d.). Bruce Power. Retrieved November 12, 2013, from http://www.brucepower.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/10964_VC_School_Program_Booklet.pdf
Duncan Hawthorne. (2012, October 9). Bruce Power. Retrieved November 12, 2013, from http://www.brucepower.com/1868/executive-team/duncan-hawthorne/
Hylko, J. (2013, November 6). Top Plant: Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, Kincardine, Ontario, Canada. Power Magazine. Retrieved November 12, 2013, from http://www.powermag.com/bruce-nuclear-generating-station-kincardine-ontario-canada/?pagenum=3
Our Values. (n.d.). Bruce Power. Retrieved November 12, 2013, from http://www.brucepower.com/about-us/our-values/
Search for Jobs. (n.d.). Bruce Power. Retrieved November 12, 2013, from https://ecruit.brucepower.com/sap(bD1lbiZjPTEwMA==)/bc/bsp/sap/hrrcf_unrg_srch/application.do?BspClient=100&BspLanguage=EN&rcfContext=2