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Ontario embarks on largest nuclear expansion in Canada

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Feb5,2024

L&rsquo ;Ontario embarks on largest nuclear expansion in Canada

Refurbishment of four reactors should produce electricity for 30 years.


Voice synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith confirms the refurbishment of four reactors at the Pickering nuclear power plant, east of Toronto. The project is valued at billions of dollars.

Minister Smith maintains that the refurbishment will produce 2,000 megawatts of electricity safe, reliable and clean for 30 more years.

Ontario has already announced its intention to build a third nuclear power plant on the land of the Bruce Power plant. The province also wants to build three new small reactors on the grounds of the Darlington power station.

The province's nuclear expansion plan ;Ontario is the largest in the country.

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Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith says refurbished reactors at the Pickering nuclear power plant will be able to produce 2,000 megawatts of electricity.

Minister Smith says the province needs to renovate the Pickering Generating Station to meet growing demand for electricity, whether for new electric vehicle (EV) battery plants or for electricity. electrification of transport.

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Electricity demand in Ontario is increasing for the first time in 18 years.

A quote from Todd Smith, Minister of Energy Ontario

For him, the expansion of wind energy will not be enough. He also maintains that Ontario will continue to need natural gas.

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The Pickering nuclear power station began producing electricity in 1971. (File photo)

Doug Ford's government is currently refusing to quantify the total cost of the renovation project in Pickering.

For comparison, state-owned Ontario Power Generation (OPG) will spend nearly $13 billion to renovate four reactors at the Darlington plant.

Minister Smith specifies that OPG will carry out a first phase of design and engineering in Pickering by 2024, which alone will cost $2 billion.

It would be irresponsible at this point to give you a number [for the total cost of the project].

A quote from Todd Smith, Minister of Energy

OPG estimates it will be able to complete the refurbishment work in the mid-to-late 2030.

Refurbishing the reactors is necessary if the province wants to operate the plant beyond September 2026.

The project in Pickering is subject to revision. approval of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy is, however, “confident” that it will be approved.

This is very important for Ontario's economy and the green economy.

A quote from Peter Bethlenfalvy, Ontario Minister of Finance

Environmentalist Keith Stewart of the Greenpeace group counters that the Ford government's decision is “based on ideology, not economics.”

According to him, Ontario should instead focus on solar and wind energy.

Since abandoning the idea of ​​rebuilding Pickering in 2010 due to high costs, the price of wind and solar power with battery storage has fallen precipitously.

A quote from Keith Stewart, Senior Energy Strategist, Greenpeace Canada (written statement)

This project makes “no sense,” adds Jack Gibbons, of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance group, who decries the very high cost of nuclear power.

For his part, MP Peter Tabuns, NDP energy critic, urges the government to demonstrate “transparency” and reveal any feasibility study for this project . We cannot evaluate this project without these details, he said.

The Pickering Generating Station has six CANDU reactors in operation providing approximately 14% of the province’s electricity.

Reactors 1 and 4 will cease operating at the end of 2024. As for reactors 5 to 8, Ontario has asked the CCSN to be able to keep in operation until September 2026, before their future complete renovation.

The CNSC has not yet approved the extension of operations until 2026. This request requires the holding of a public hearing, the date of which has not yet been established by the federal agency.

The request for approval of the reactor refurbishment project from the commission is different from that for the extension of operations.

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Ontario also wants to expand the Bruce Power nuclear power plant.

Nuclear provided about 54% of the electricity used in Ontario in 2022, according to data from the Independent System Operator #x27;electricity. This is a decrease of about 6 percentage points from 2020.

The other most important sources of electricity in Ontario are hydroelectricity as well as wind energy and natural gas.

With information provided by Mathieu Simard and Mike Crawley ofCBCNews

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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