Ontario Power Generation (OPG), along with its project partners, has completed the refurbishment works at Darlington Nuclear Generating Station Unit 2 reactor and reconnected it to Ontario’s electricity grid at full power.

The nuclear power station is located in Clarington, within the Regional Municipality of Durham, in the Province of Ontario.

OPG said that it is one unit closer to extending the operating life of the station, with the completion of Darlington’s Unit 2 refurbishment,

The four-unit refurbishment project started with Unit 2 in 2016, following a decade of planning and preparation.

OPG president and CEO Ken Hartwick said: “This is a truly historic moment for Ontario. I want to thank our refurbishment team, project partners, vendors and construction building trades workers for more than 24 million hours worked safely and for returning Darlington’s Unit 2 reactor to the grid at a time of unprecedented circumstances.

“This world-class project performance demonstrates the team’s expertise and their commitment to completing the four-unit refurbishment safely, with quality and on budget by end of 2026 as planned.”

Darlington refurbishment project would generate approximately $90bn in economic benefits

According to OPG, the refurbished Unit 2 at Darlington is currently operating at full capacity.

The 10-year refurbishment project is expected to generate a total of approximately $90bn in economic benefits for Ontario and create an average of 14,200 jobs per annum.

The project is aimed at extending the operating life of the station and provide clean, low-cost and reliable energy for another 30 years.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, OPG has postponed the initiation of Unit 3 refurbishment from its scheduled start in May 2020, and allowed it to continue delivering electricity to the grid.

The 3.5GW Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, which is owned and operated by OPG, consists of four units that were commissioned between 1990 and 1993.

Canadian Minister of Indigenous Affairs Greg Rickford said: “Congratulations to OPG on this incredible milestone. The Darlington Nuclear refurbishment project is one of the world’s largest nuclear infrastructure projects and the timely completion of the Unit 2 reactor showcases Ontario’s position as a global leader in nuclear generation.

“OPG’s Darlington Nuclear Station is a critical part of our electricity system, producing affordable, reliable and GHG-emissions-free electricity to over two million homes each day.”