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Pickering B refurbishment will support Ontario’s climate, economy, and energy security

January 30, 2024

Ontario Minister of Energy Todd Smith announced today that the Government of Ontario is supporting Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) plan to refurbish the Pickering nuclear generating facility, giving the plant an additional 30 years of life. The Pickering B units, which were set to go offline in the coming years, generate over 3000 MW of clean power or 14% of Ontario’s typical electricity needs. This an amount comparable to OPG’s hydro facilities at Niagara Falls – a massive amount of electricity that would otherwise need to be replaced.

“We are thrilled that Pickering, a workhorse of the Canadian energy system, will be refurbished and given the opportunity to provide us with another 30 years of affordable, sustainable, clean energy,” said John Gorman, President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association. “This project ensures that we are maintaining and growing the skills and expertise that we have invested in over the past decade with the refurbishment and major component replacement projects at Darlington and Bruce.”

“With global business looking to expand in jurisdictions with reliable, affordable and clean electricity, a refurbished Pickering Nuclear Generating Station would help Ontario compete for and land more game-changing investments,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “The refurbishment of Pickering would create thousands of new jobs and help produce at least another 30 years of safe, reliable and clean electricity to power the next major international investment, the new homes we are building and industries as they grow and electrify.”

The Government estimates that the refurbishment will take 11 years, create about 11,000 jobs per year and increase Ontario’s GDP by $19.4 billion.

While no budget has yet been released for the project, international data shows that the lifetime extension of existing nuclear facilities is the cheapest form of low-carbon power. The Canadian nuclear industry has proven its ability to deliver similar projects on time and on budget, and we look forward to the Pickering refurbishment project being yet another made in Canada success story.

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Christopher Gully
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