The company said that the business decision to move forward with an investment in Darlington comes after positive outcomes of initial studies on the plant’s condition and continued strong operating performance. The next phase of the process will include an environmental assessment, an integrated safety review and an integrated improvement plan that will define the scope, cost and schedule of the refurbishment project.

OPG will also invest $300m to ensure the continued reliable performance of its Pickering B station for approximately 10 years. Following this, the company will begin the longer term decommissioning process as refurbishment for Pickering B station will not be pursued.

The first step in this process is to layup the reactors and place them into safe storage. Pickering staff will have future opportunities placing the Pickering units in a safe storage state, at the Darlington refurbishment and operations, or at the potential new build at Darlington, the company said.

OPG has indicated to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission that later this year it will file a Continued Operation Plan that takes Pickering B to its end of life.

In planning the Darlington refurbishment, OPG said that it will build on the accomplishments and lessons learned during the Pickering A restart and the Pickering safe storage project. The restart of Pickering Unit 1 was completed on time and on budget, and the safe storage project for units 2 and 3 is currently tracking on budget and on time for completion this year.

This phase of the Darlington refurbishment will also reflect the same thorough process undertaken for the Pickering B environmental assessment and integrated safety review.

OPG continues to proceed with work that supports the construction and operation of a new nuclear station located at the Darlington site. The environmental assessment and site license work for a potential new build will continue in parallel with the investment activities.