Canada’s Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has completed refurbishment of unit 2 at its Darlington nuclear power plant.
“OPG has marked another major milestone in the Darlington Refurbishment project – the successful completion of construction at Darlington’s Unit 2 reactor,” it said 27 March.
OPG and its project partners started work to extend the operating life of the Darlingtion nuclear generating station "more than three years ago."
“Now, with Unit 2’s construction complete, we’re preparing to return the reconstructed reactor to service at a time when essential electricity is needed more than ever as the province fights through the COVID-19 pandemic,” OPG noted.
“Thanks to everyone’s efforts, talent and expertise, we were able to complete unit 2 construction during an unprecedented time for the province, country and, indeed, the world,” said Dietmar Reiner, senior vice president of enterprise projects.
Darlington 2 will begin the restart process “subject to regulatory approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and OPG’s ability to do this safely given the current COVID-19 crisis,” OPG said.
Darlington 2 is the first of the plant's four units to undergo refurbishment in a CAD12.8 billion ($9 billion) project that will enable the station to operate for an additional 30 years.
However, OPG said it will delay the planned start of the refurbishment of Darlington 3, scheduled to begin in May, in order to ensure stable electricity supplies during the COVID-19 crisis.
Refurbishment is scheduled to begin at of Darlington 1 in 2021 and Darlington 4 in 2023. The full four-unit refurbishment project at Darlington scheduled for completion in 2026.
Darlington nuclear power plant comprises four CANDU nuclear reactors with a total capacity of 3512MWe. It is Canada's second-largest nuclear power station, supplying about 20% of Ontario's electricity needs.
Photo: Aerial view of the Darlington nuclear generating station (Credit: OPG)