Submissions in for Canadian plant

01 July 2013

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has received detailed construction plans, schedules and cost estimates for the two reactor designs under consideration for new build at its Darlington site.

Darlington (OPG)
OPG's operating units at Darlington (Image: OPG)

The designs under consideration for Darlington are Candu Energy's Enhanced Candu 6 (EC6) and Westinghouse's AP1000. The detailed submissions, commissioned by OPG twelve months ago, will now undergo a review by OPG and the Ontario ministries of energy, finance and infrastructure in a process OPG expects will take "a number of months" to complete.

In 2003, Ontario embarked on a long-term plan to phase out coal-fired power generation which has seen dramatic improvements to air quality in the province which is home to 40% of Canada's population and currently has 18 operating nuclear units. The province is now close to achieving its goal, with its last coal-fired power station expected to close in 2014. An increase in nuclear electricity has been instrumental in achieving that goal, alongside investment in renewables, gas and energy efficiency.

OPG has contributed to improving the province's nuclear performance by bringing two mothballed units at Pickering back into service. Life-extending refurbishments are planned for its four reactors at Darlington, as well as the construction of the two new reactors. The province's other nuclear operator, Bruce Power, has brought four mothballed units at the Bruce A plant back online but pulled back from plans for new units at Bruce in 2009.

Environmental approval and a site preparation permit for the new Darlington reactors were granted in 2012, and OPG commissioned the reactor vendors to prepare detailed submissions for their reactor designs, giving them a year to complete the task. OPG itself provided funding totalling around CAD26 million ($25 million) towards the preparation of the submissions.

All decisions on whether to move forward with the new build project will rest with the government of Ontario.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News