Darlington Nuclear Plant Overhaul Gets Environmental Approval

Following a public hearing held December 3 to 6, 2012 in Courtice, Ontario, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced on Thursday, March 14, that it has accepted the environmental assessment for the proposed refurbishment of Darlington’s four nuclear reactors. The Commission concluded that it will have no significant damaging effect on the environment. The news means Ontario Power Generation can move ahead with a number of activities in support of Darlington refurbishment project.

“OPG is very pleased with the (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s) decision,” said Wayne Robbins, OPG’s Chief Nuclear Officer. “We were confident in our conclusions that Darlington refurbishment and continued operation of the station will not result in any significant, adverse environmental effects, given the mitigation measures identified.”

The federal panel held a public hearing in December 2012 looking into the plant’s continued operation and the environmental impact of a refurbishment. The panel took several months to review the comments made at the public hearing, write and deliver the report to the federal government.

Refurbishment of the four Darlington reactors requires the replacement of a number of major components. The reactor is shut down for the work to be done. After the refurbishment, each reactor will be refueled, tested and returned to full power.

A refurbished Darlington station will provide 3,500 megawatts of clean, reliable, cost effective electricity for the people of Ontario for an additional 25 to 30 years. It will be one of the largest capital infrastructure projects in Canada, creating significant benefits for 10 to 15 years including employment, business and supplier opportunities and increased municipal revenue. For more information on the project, visit www.opg.com.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment; and to implement Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Transcripts of the hearing are available on the CNSC Web site at nuclearsafety.gc.ca.