The Ontario government has backed plans to renovate Pickering’s nuclear plant. As a result of these renovations, the plant will continue to operate for another 30 years, they say.
Energy Minister Todd Smith made the announcement in the early hours of January 30. He said renovations to the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station will create thousands of new jobs. Along with that, 2000 megawatts will be helpful in power generation.
Officials say this electricity is enough to light two million homes.
According to Ontario Power Generation, Pickering’s nuclear plant is one of the largest in the world. About 14 percent of Ontario’s electricity is generated here.
The plant was scheduled to close in 2025. But the province has applied to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to keep it operational until September 2026. A hearing on the extension has yet to be set.
The government says the province should use Pickering’s capacity to meet the massive increase in demand and shortfall in power supply. As part of this they are looking at refurbishing the plant.
According to the Independent Electricity System Operator’s 2023 projections, Ontario’s electricity demand could double by mid-century. To meet this demand, the province is looking at new renewable energy based power plants. Despite this, it will not be possible to return from natural gas, they said.
Last July, the government said it would add three more small modular reactors at the Darlington nuclear plant. As a result of this addition, it will be possible to generate another 1,200 MW of electricity by the mid-2030s.
The government has said that repairs to the Pickering nuclear plant will be completed by the mid-2030s if the CNSC approves it.