Pickering nuclear project to create ‘thousands’ of new jobs

Ontario Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, and Pickering Mayor Kevin Ashe, yesterday said the Pickering nuclear station age extension project is expected to create thousands of new jobs.

Yesterday, the minister announced that Ontario government is supporting Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) plan to refurbish Pickering Nuclear Generating Station’s ‘B’ units (units 5-8).

“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,” said Minister Smith.

“This transformative project is anticipated to create thousands of new jobs in Pickering and across Ontario, and generate at least 30 more years of safe, reliable, and clean electricity,” said Mayor Ashe.

He pointed out that the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station is the largest employer in the community, and has long been the backbone of the local economy. The station powers the equivalent of more than 1.5 million Ontario homes annually, and a projected 500,000 additional homes post-refurbishment, the mayor said.

Once refurbished, Pickering would produce a total of 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity, equivalent to powering two million homes.

Based on OPG’s preliminary schedule, the refurbishment is anticipated to be completed by the mid-2030s.

According to independent preliminary analysis by the Conference Board of Canada, the refurbishment of Pickering is expected to increase Ontario’s GDP by $19.4 billion over the 11-year project period. The project is also expected to create about 11,000 jobs per year. Post-refurbishment operation of the facility would also create and sustain about 6,410 Ontario jobs per year for decades to come.

$2bn next steps

OPG will now proceed with the Project Initiation Phase of refurbishment which will last through the end of 2024. The government is supporting OPG’s $2 billion budget for this phase which includes engineering and design work as well as securing long-lead components that can require years for manufacturing. By placing orders in advance with key suppliers, OPG will ensure materials are available when Ontario needs them and help keep costs down. OPG and its business partners will also identify potential indigenous engagement opportunities in contracting, employment and other economic benefits related to the project.

Ontario will follow a multi-phase approvals process to ensure the Pickering refurbishment project only proceeds if it is in the best interests of Ontario and its ratepayers.

The refurbishment of Pickering Nuclear Generating Station’s “B” units is also subject to regulatory approval by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), following a rigorous and transparent process. The CNSC is the federal nuclear regulator responsible for licensing nuclear power plants and overseeing their safe operation in Canada.

Nearby, in Clarington, the Darlington nuclear power station refurbishment, is a similar complex project.

The announcement

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