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Nuclear Refurbishment Begins At Darlington Generating Station

Archived News Release

Nuclear Refurbishment Begins At Darlington Generating Station

Refurbishment Will Boost Economic Activity, Create Jobs and Help Fight Climate Change

Ontario is beginning refurbishment of the first unit at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, helping to secure clean, affordable and reliable energy for decades to come.

Starting today, the first nuclear unit at the Darlington Generating Station will be taken offline so that Ontario Power Generation (OPG) can begin work to remove, replace and repair the critical components in each reactor.

The refurbishment of the four Darlington nuclear units will span 10 years and will secure 3,500 megawatts of affordable, reliable and emissions-free power. Refurbishment and continued operation of Darlington up to 2055 will contribute a total of $90 billion to Ontario’s GDP and increase employment by an average of 14,200 jobs annually, including over 2,600 jobs onsite at Darlington.

Investing in a steady supply of clean and affordable energy is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • 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. OPG has undertaken six years of rigorous planning and preparations in order to ensure project success and minimize risk.
  • Nuclear energy provides over half of Ontario’s annual electricity generation and is our largest source of clean, reliable and affordable power.
  • In service since the early 1990’s, the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station houses four nuclear reactors with a total capacity of 3,512 MW and supplies approximately 20 per cent of the province’s electricity needs.
  • The average cost of power from Darlington nuclear units post-refurbishment is estimated to range between $72/MWh and $81 MWh, lower than the average price of electricity generation in Ontario, which in 2015 was $92/MWh.
  • 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.
  • A report by an independent third party highlighted that the refurbishment will help reduce Ontario’s GHG emissions to the equivalent of taking two million cars off the road each year.
  • The Conference Board of Canada recently released a report on the economic benefits of the Darlington refurbishment over its lifetime, which are expected to be approximately $75 billion.

Additional Resources


“Refurbishment at Darlington will ensure that emissions-free nuclear continues to be Ontario’s single largest source of power. Refurbishment will continue to boost economic activity across Ontario, create jobs and secure a clean supply of reliable electricity for the future.”

Glenn Thibeault

Ontario Minister of Energy

“Darlington is an essential source of electricity in Ontario and plays a key role in our economy. The station has delivered clean, reliable, low-cost power since 1990, and we are ready to deliver on our commitment to complete this project on time and on budget. I want to thank the community and our many partners across the province for the hard work that's gone into the planning of this project.”

Jeff Lyash


Media Contacts



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