Ontario Newsroom

Ontario Moving Forward with Nuclear Refurbishment at Darlington and Pursuing Continued Operations at Pickering to 2024

Archived News Release

Ontario Moving Forward with Nuclear Refurbishment at Darlington and Pursuing Continued Operations at Pickering to 2024

Projects will Boost Economic Activity, Create Jobs and Help Fight Climate Change

Ontario is moving forward with nuclear refurbishment at Darlington Generating Station, securing 3,500 megawatts of affordable, reliable, and emission free power.

Nuclear refurbishment at Darlington will contribute $15 billion to Ontario’s gross domestic product (GDP) throughout the project and create up to 11,800 jobs annually. The refurbishment of all four units is expected to involve about 30 million hours of work over 10 years and will support Ontario’s globally recognized CANDU nuclear supply chain, with more than 180 companies employing thousands of highly skilled workers.

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is on track to begin refurbishment of the first unit at Darlington in October 2016. To best protect Ontario ratepayers and ensure OPG delivers refurbishment on-time and on-budget, the government has established off-ramps that require OPG to obtain government approval prior to proceeding with each of the remaining unit refurbishments. The budget for the project is $12.8 billion, about $1.2 billion less than originally projected by OPG, and all four units are scheduled for completion by 2026.

The Province has also approved OPG’s plan to pursue continued operation of the Pickering Generating Station beyond 2020 up to 2024, which would protect 4,500 jobs across the Durham region, avoid 8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, and save Ontario electricity consumers up to $600 million. OPG will engage with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the Ontario Energy Board to seek approvals required for the continued operation of Pickering Generating Station.

Securing clean, reliable power for decades to come is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • Nuclear energy plays a fundamental role in Ontario’s electricity system. Ontario’s nuclear fleet currently supplies enough power to meet about 60 per cent of Ontario’s daily electricity needs, and is our largest source of reliable, affordable power.
  • OPG electricity rates are regulated by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). All costs for the Darlington refurbishment will be subject to review and approval by the OEB through a public and transparent process to ensure they are prudently incurred. The average cost of power from Darlington nuclear units post-refurbishment is estimated to range between $72/MWh and $81 MWh, or 7 and 8 cents per kilowatt hour.
  • The average cost of power from Darlington after refurbishment is within the range assumed in the 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan for refurbished nuclear energy and lower than the average price of electricity generation in Ontario, which in 2015 was $92/MWh.
  • The Pickering Generating Station employs about 4,500 people and is the largest employer in Durham Region.
  • Continuing operations at Pickering Generating Station will avoid 8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, which is the equivalent to taking 490,000 cars off Ontario roads.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Proceeding with the refurbishment at Darlington will ensure that nuclear continues to be Ontario’s single largest source of power. The Darlington refurbishment project will create up to 11,800 jobs annually and contribute $15 billion to Ontario’s GDP. Continuing operations at Pickering will protect 4,500 jobs across the Durham region, provide emissions-free electricity, and save Ontario electricity consumers up to $600 million.”

Bob Chiarelli

Minister of Energy

“Refurbishing Darlington is an investment in Ontario. It’s good for the customers, it’s good for the economy and it’s good for the environment. We’re confident we have done the work and have the people in place to deliver this project safely, on schedule and on budget.”

Jeffrey Lyash

President and CEO, Ontario Power Generation

“With these investments, nuclear will continue its role in ensuring Ontarians have enough power when and where they need it. The plan to refurbish the Darlington nuclear units and to keep Pickering in operation longer during the refurbishment period is a cost effective way to meet our future power needs.”

Bruce Campbell

President and CEO, Independent Electricity System Operator

Media Contacts



Environment and Energy Home and Community Jobs and Employment