As OPG and its project partners work toward restarting the Unit 2 reactor at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, preparations have also been underway for the start of Unit 3’s refurbishment, which has been rescheduled for this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The successful completion of the Darlington Refurbishment project remains one of OPG’s top priorities,” said Jeff Richardson, Senior Vice President of Nuclear Projects. “Like many organizations around the world, we’re adjusting to these unprecedented, changing conditions and are taking the necessary actions to keep employees safe and ensure the reliable production of electricity.”

One of those actions was the decision to postpone Unit 3 refurbishment and keep the reactor in operation until the revised start date, which allows OPG to accommodate public health guidelines on site and help provide essential electricity for the province at a time when it’s needed more than ever.

“Given the continued uncertainty about COVID-19, it’s safe to say the pandemic will determine our timeline, so we’re monitoring the situation and are planning accordingly,” said Bill Owens, Senior Vice President of Unit 3 Refurbishment. “But, based on what we know right now, we stand ready to start the refurbishment of Unit 3 this fall.”

OPG originally scheduled Unit 3 refurbishment for early spring.

The decision to delay the start of Unit 3 refurbishment came after considering several factors, including technical constraints on equipment, coordination with other facility outages, financial impacts, supply chain, access to skilled tradespeople and professionals, and regulatory approvals.

The revised timeline will maintain the project’s overall schedule, with refurbishment of all four Darlington units still expected to be completed by 2026.

“As OPG joins the world in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re working with our project partners to continue delivering on our commitment of completing the Darlington Refurbishment safely and with quality,” said Richardson. “We’re looking at this extended timeline as an opportunity. As we prepare for Unit 3 refurbishment, we’re working closely with our project partners, vendors, suppliers and unions to ensure we hit the ground running, when the time comes.”

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