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Ontario Power plans $9bn upgrade at Darlington nuclear station

EBR Staff Writer Published 12 January 2016

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has announced its plan upgrade the 3,512MW Darlington nuclear power station located in Clarington, with an investment of C$12.8bn ($9bn).

nuclear plant

The upgrade project at the Darlington power plant, which accounts to 20% of Ontario's total electricity generation, is planned to be completed by 2026.

Work on the project planned to commence in fourth quarter of 2016, and the project involves the replacement of major plant components which include the fuel channels, calandria tubes and feeders, steam generators, turbine generators, fuel handling systems and other ancillary plant equipment.

OPG president and CEO Jeffrey Lyash said: "Refurbishing Darlington is an investment in Ontario -- in clean air, in jobs, in innovation, and in lower energy prices."

In addition to generating $14.9bn in economic benefits to Ontario, the investment is expected to provide about 3,000 jobs.

Lyash added: "Having a clean, reliable electricity system with predictable, stable prices is not just an environmental achievement, it's essential to the province's long-term competitiveness."

The price of power generated from the upgraded nuclear station is expected to range between seven and eight cents per kilowatt hour.

As part of the upgrade project, a C$2.75bn ($1.94bn) contract has been awarded by provincial government-owned OPG to a 50/50 joint venture (JV) of Aecon Group and SNC-Lavalin.

Under the contract, the JV will be responsible for the execution phase of the Darlington re-tube and feeder replacement (RFR) scope of work.

Each of the four reactors of the Darlington station will be taken out of service to allow for the replacement of fuel channels, feeder pipes, calandria tubes and end fittings.

Separately, Ontario Power Generation also received approval from the Province to continue operations of the 3,100MW Pickering Nuclear Generating Station to 2024.

Lyash said: "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, avoid eight million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and protect 4,500 jobs across Durham Region."

The plan, however, is subject to approval by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

Image: The Darlington power plant located in Ontario, Canada. Photo: courtesy of Ontario Power Generation Inc.