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Further extensions of 30 years a possibility, say authorities Ontario’s energy Todd Smith meets workers at the Darington nuclear power station after the provincial government backed plans for a lifetime extension. Courtesy OPG/Todd Smith. The Ontario government has announced its support for Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) continued operation of the Pickering nuclear power station for an additional year to 2026 – with the possibility of additional extensions of 30 years.

The province’s energy ministry said the plan to operate for a further year would cut carbon emissions by 2.1 megatonnes, or roughly 20% of the electricity sector's projected emissions. It would increase North America's supply of Cobalt-60, which Pickering has been supplying since 1971 and which has medical uses such as in cancer treatments, by 10%-20%.

At the Ontario government’s request, OPG reviewed its operational plans and concluded that the facility could continue to safely generate electricity, a statement said.

Under OPG’s new plan, electricity generation at Pickering would end in 2026 instead of 2025. Units 1 and 4 would operate as originally planned until 2024 and Units 5 to 8 would operate until September 2026 as major refurbishment of nuclear units at OPG’s Bruce and Darlington nuclear stations progresses. Units 2 and 3 are already shut down.

Date: Tuesday, 04 October 2022
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