Ontario To Refurbish Four Reactors At Pickering Plant

Ontario is set to embark on a multibillion-dollar project to refurbish four aging nuclear reactors at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, located east of Toronto, according to a report from The Globe and Mail

The decision to proceed with this massive project was confirmed by provincial government sources and is part of Ontario’s ongoing efforts to preserve and expand its reactor fleet. Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith is expected to make a formal announcement at the Pickering facility.

The province has allocated a $2-billion budget to Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the owner of the plant, for essential engineering and design work and the procurement of crucial components. These components can take years to manufacture. 

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While the full project cost remains undisclosed, similar refurbishments at OPG’s Darlington nuclear plant and Bruce Power’s station have ranged between $2 billion and over $3 billion per reactor.

The decision to refurbish the four Pickering “B” units follows a feasibility study initiated in 2022. These units have been in service since the mid-1980s and were previously passed over for refurbishment 15 years ago. The refurbishment aims to extend the reactors’ operational lifespan by 30 years, with the goal of completing it by the mid-2030s, a compressed timeline that builds on previous refurbishment experience.

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The Pickering station, responsible for generating approximately 15% of Ontario’s power, plays a crucial role in the province’s energy infrastructure. This project focuses exclusively on the Pickering “B” reactors, with no plans for the refurbishment of the Pickering “A” reactors, two of which have been dormant for decades and the remaining two scheduled to shut down permanently this year.

Information for this story was found via The Globe and Mail, Reuters, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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