The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) on 8 August announced that it was renewing the operating licence for the six-unit Ontario Power Generation's (OPG’s) Pickering NPP for 10 years from 1 September 2018 until 31 August 2028. The plant is scheduled to operate until the end of 2024. OPG applied for the renewed licence in August 2017 after the Ontario government in January 2016 approved of the plant's continued operation to 2024 to ensure a reliable source of low-carbon electricity while major refurbishment work is under way at the Darlington NPP.
Units 1 and 4 at Pickering are planned to close in 2020, followed by units 5-8 in 2024. Pickering 2 and 3 have been in safe shutdown since 1997. OPG said it planned to cease commercial operations at Pickering in December 2024 and to undertake post-shutdown activities and stabilisation work until 2028. OPG President and CEO Jeff Lyash said the CNSC decision would save Ontario's electricity customers up to CAD600 million ($460m) and save 7500 jobs.
Ontario has 18 nuclear units in operation - eight at Bruce NPP, four at Darlington and six at Pickering (all Candu pressurised heavy water reactors), which provide over 60% of its electricity. The four Darlington units and six of the Bruce units are undergoing refurbishment. Two Bruce units have already been refurbished.