Ontario to defer new Darlington nuclear reactors


Ontario will defer construction of two new nuclear power reactors at Ontario Power Generation's Darlington site; back away from plans to refurbish operating units at Darlington and Bruce Power's Bruce A site; and may order the shutdown of OPG's six-unit Pickering plant prior to the units' scheduled 2020 closing date, the provincial government said in a long-term energy plan.

The province, which owns OPG, said the 2010 long-term energy plan needed to be updated after advances in energy conservation, enhanced efficiency and a slowdown in electricity demand growth,  calling for two new reactors at Darlington, as well as refurbishment of 10 units at that station and at Bruce A.

In late June, Candu Energy and Westinghouse submitted competing bids to OPG to build two reactors at Darlington, a year after the utility requested these companies bid on the project.

The plan stated that the bids represented up to $15 billion in capital investments.

No decision on when the refurbishment of three other Darlington units and four Bruce A units would be made in the plan. The plan expects Ontario’s nuclear electricity production to decline from about 60 percent this year to about 40 percent in 2032. The plan also noted that electricity production by wind, solar and bioenergy would increase from 5 percent to 13 percent and that electricity conservation measures would equate to 5 percent of electricity production this year and 16 percent in 2032.

Refurbishments for Darlington 2 and Bruce A unit 4 are expected to begin in 2016.

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