Open thread: nuclear refurbishment in Canada


in Canada, Economics, Politics, The environment

About 16% of Canada’s electricity generation comes from the 19 nuclear reactors at Pickering, Darlington, Bruce, and Point Lepreau.

For years, politicians, regulators, environmentalists, and the public have been contemplating whether it makes sense to refurbish some reactors to extend their lives, particularly as climate change has become a greater concern.

Today, World Nuclear News reports that Bruce Power signed an agreement with SNC-Lavalin for up to C$400 million of work “for Bruce Power’s engineering needs including field services and an incremental program to refurbish six Candu units. The company will be responsible for the tooling to remove pressure and calandria tubes, the installation of new components and the deployment and maintenance of a number of reactor inspection tools.”

WNN also reports that Intrinsik Environmental Sciences have estimated that refurbishing the reactors at Darlington could avoid almost 300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions between 2024 and 2055.

All the familiar issues with nuclear are at work here: what sort of power would be used in the alternative? Could energy storage and demand management do the same job? Is it technically and financially feasible to extend the operation of existing nuclear facilities?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

. October 12, 2016 at 3:07 pm


Canada’s mixed nuclear policy experiences:

Climate change and nuclear power in Ontario:

Climate Change, Energy Security, and Nuclear Power:

. October 14, 2016 at 5:20 pm

CLARINGTON — At 3 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, unit 2 at the Darlington nuclear station will be taken off-line for the start of a 40-month refurbishment.

The $12.8-billion refurbishment will take almost a decade to complete and will allow the four reactors to continue operating for another 30 years.

Work on unit 2 will run until February, 2020, when refurbishment will shift to unit 3, which will also take 40 months to complete.

Unit 1 is next and work on it will begin in July 2021 and run to September 2024. Work on unit 4 will run from January 2023 to February 2026.

The entire project will run 112 months.

Work on the project began in 2008 and included the construction of the Darlington Energy Centre on Osbourne Road. Part of the centre is mock-up of a reactor so workers can practise every move before moving on to an actual reactor.

Darlington provides 20 per cent of the electricity in Ontario, Lyash noted.

Refurbishing Darlington will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 297 megatonnes, he added.

. October 23, 2016 at 11:26 am

Nuclear Refurbishment

$12.8 billion over 10 years for 4 reactors

. October 23, 2016 at 11:32 am

Our Nuclear Future
The Agenda with Steve Paikin

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