Canadian Consulting Engineer

OPG refurbishes Unit 2 nuclear reactor

March 27, 2020

Nuclear reactor turbine

Photo credit: OPG.

SNC-Lavalin and its project partners have completed construction on the Unit 2 reactor at Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG’s) Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, marking a significant milestone in a major refurbishment project intended to extend the life of the station by an additional 30 years.

The unit, which originally entered service in 1990, will now begin a restart process before being connected to the overall electricity grid, subject to regulatory approvals from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and the capability of OPG to do so safely, given the current COVID-19 crisis.

“On behalf of all our employees, partners and vendors, I want to thank our refurbishment team for completing the final steps of construction on Unit 2 under unprecedented and extraordinary circumstances,” says OPG president and CEO Ken Hartwick. “The team continued to work safely and diligently, while managing changes required as a result of the pandemic.”

Such changes have included physical distancing at worksites, prioritizing tasks to limit the number of people at the station, deploying hygiene protocols and supplies, securing control rooms with restricted access and activating an infectious disease incident response team.


Another is a temporary delay of refurbishment for the Unit 3 reactor, which was scheduled to begin in May. The overall retube and feeder replacement (RFR) project is expected to run until 2026.


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