Ontario Power Generation (OPG) says it’s too early yet to say how they will proceed to solicit the services of engineering companies to help them develop new nuclear power generation in the province.
In an effort to meet a projected demand of up to 3,000 MW of new electrical power, the Ontario government announced on June 13 that it wants Ontario Power Generation to do feasibility studies on refurbishing existing reactors at Pickering and Darlington. It is also directing OPG to begin environmental assessments for the construction of new nuclear reactors, which would be on an as yet undetermined existing site.
John Earl at OPG says they are waiting more details from the provincial government on the policy direction. He says the corporation carries some in-house expertise to carry out design work and studies, but typically they also need to hire outside consulting firms to help.
The province is following a 20-year plan to augment its electricity supply, based on the advice of the Ontario Power Authority. Besides the nuclear power components, the plan is to double the amount of renewable energy in the province to a total of 15,700 MW by 2025. It also proposes doubling energy conservation efforts.
A report in the Globe and Mail said that the government would likely favour Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL) to build new nuclear reactors, but it would want the federal government to assume responsibility for any cost overruns.
The refurbishment of the Unit 4 nuclear reactor at Pickering A generating station had huge cost overruns and delays.
Currently, Ontario Power Generation has a total capacity of 22,173 megawatts. This consists of three operating nuclear stations with a capacity of 6,606 MW; five fossil-fueled stations with a capacity of 8,578 MW; 35 hydroelectric stations with a capacity of 6,855 MW; and 29 green power hydroelectric stations with a capacity of 127 MW, and three wind power stations with a capacity of 7 MW. In 2005, OPG generated 108.5 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity