Pickering NPP Given Regional Nod For Extended Life

Ontario Power Generation (OPG), which announced its $9 billion plan for the refurbishment of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station this week, has secured regional approval from the Ontario Energy Board to continue operating its 4124 MW (capacity net) Pickering Nuclear Generating Station until 2024.

Pickering NPPThe plan, according to media reports, is to keep the six operating units at the plant running until 2022, but then shut down two units. The remaining four will continue to operate until 2024. (It is an eight-unit plant, but two of the units have already been shut down.)

It was expected that Pickering would run until 2020, when it would be closed for decommissioning. Its four-year extension is tied in with the refurbishing project at the Darlington plant, given the reactor rebuilds there will require taking four units offline. That project is expected to give the Darlington reactors an additional 30 years of operating life.

“Our technical work shows that Pickering can be safely operated to 2024 and that doing so would save Ontario electricity customers up to $600 million (Canadian), avoid eight million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and protect 4,500 jobs across Durham Region,” said OPG Chief Executive Officer Jeff Lyash.

Units 2 and 3 at the eight-unit facility have already been retired.

Final approval of the plant's licensing is issued by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. OPG has begun the process of applying for CNSC licensing.

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