OPG launches centre to support sustainable decommissioning

23 July 2020

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has launched the Centre for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability to support preparations for the decommissioning of the Pickering nuclear power plant. The regional hub will integrate collaboration and research to strengthen Ontario's supply chain for nuclear decommissioning.

The new centre will work to identify innovative solutions in the nuclear sector, according to Carla Carmichael, OPG's vice president of nuclear decommissioning strategies. With participation from the wider industry, it will operate as a hub to leverage and coordinate Ontario's "vast talents and competencies to make Canada a world leader in nuclear decommissioning," the company said.

It will work to advance solutions for nuclear materials, with an emphasis on minimising its environmental footprint. The centre aims to form partnerships with industry, community, local businesses, academia, Indigenous communities and global entities to discover research, development and export opportunities for innovative nuclear energy solutions, OPG added.

Ontario Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford said the centre would support Pickering's decommissioning process and create immediate opportunities for regional economic development. "OPG's Pickering Nuclear Generating Station has been providing Ontario with safe and reliable nuclear power for decades. We're fortunate to be home to world-class facilities like this in Ontario," he said.

Pickering's six Candu units are slated to close by 2024 as OPG progresses with its refurbishment of four units at the Darlington site which will enable those units to operate for a further 30 years. The first of the Darlington units to undergo refurbishment, unit 2, was reconnected to Ontario's grid earlier this year. While Pickering remains in active service, OPG says upfront preparatory work for the end of commercial operations will ensure the station is ready for eventual shutdown.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News