Clarington, ON – The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has announced its decision to renew Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG’s) existing Site Preparation Licence for the Darlington New Nuclear Project.
This 10-year licence renewal allows OPG to do work aimed at preparing the site for construction of a potential future Small Modular Reactor (SMR), including:
- Excavation and grading,
- Installation of services and utilities for future buildings, and
- Construction of service buildings.
Last November, OPG announced resumption of planning activities for additional nuclear power generation – via an SMR – at its Darlington site.
The Darlington New Nuclear site is the only site in Canada currently licensed for new nuclear with a completed and accepted Environmental Assessment.
Additional generation at Darlington would ensure that reliable, zero-emission nuclear energy will continue to play an important part of Ontario’s energy mix, offering a significant solution to secure Ontario’s clean energy future, and enabling SMR deployment to provide clean, economical electricity elsewhere in Canada and the world.
To construct and operate a new reactor, further approvals, including additional CNSC licences, are required. These licences must be obtained through an extensive regulatory process, which would include the opportunity for input from the general public and Indigenous communities, as well as a public hearing.
- An SMR at Darlington will provide a new source of carbon-free, nuclear energy for Ontario’s future projected energy demand – a demand widely expected to ramp up as transportation and other sectors electrify to use Ontario’s clean power to help decarbonize the broader economy.
- Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Alberta have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, to collaborate on the advancement of SMRs as a clean energy option to address climate change and regional energy demands, while supporting economic growth and innovation.
- A Conference Board of Canada study says a 300-megawatt grid-scale SMR built in Ontario and operated for 60 years would have a positive impact on Gross Domestic Product of over $2.5 billion and create direct and related employment on an average annual basis, including:
- Close to 700 jobs during project development
- More than 1,600 jobs during manufacturing and construction
- Over 200 jobs during operations, and
- About 160 jobs during decommissioning
“Nuclear energy will play a key role in meeting net-zero goals, and SMRs are the flexible, scalable answer to some of today’s most complex energy questions,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG’s President and CEO. “OPG has the experience and expertise to lead the way on this next generation of clean energy, and we look forward to having an SMR in place in time to help meet future energy demands. We are pleased to receive CNSC approval to take the next steps in this direction.”
As a global climate change leader and the largest, most diverse electricity generator in the province, OPG and its family of companies are helping lead the charge to a post-carbon economy.