The Independent Assessment of Nuclear Developments in the World

Home > News > Essential News > The End of New Build in Canada?

The End of New Build in Canada?

Friday 11 October 2013

The Liberal government of Ontario, Canada, is reported to have ruled out the funding for two new reactors at the Darlington station in the province. The expected decision follows the indefinite deferring of a decision in 2009 to build two reactors at the Bruce station also in Ontario, and cancellation of a new reactor project in New Brunswick. The decision is both a blow to Candu Energy/SNC-Lavalin and Westinghouse/Toshiba as the planned new reactor option was between the Enhanced Candu-6 or the Westinghouse AP1000.

In September 2006, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) applied for a licence to prepare its Darlington site for construction of up to four new nuclear power units. A licence to prepare the site was issued by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) in August 2012.

In June 2012 OPG signed agreements with SNC-Lavalin/Candu Energy Inc.and Westinghouse to prepare detailed construction plans, schedules and cost estimates for Darlington. These were received in June 2013. The original operational date—unrealistic from the start—for the first two units was 2018.

The only option remaining for OPG appears to be to proceed with upgrades of the existing reactors at Darlington, but there remain major unresolved safety issues as well as uncertainties over costs. The current cost estimate ranges from C$6-10 billion. The upgrade at the Pickering A plant which was supposed to cost $1.3 billion, ended up costing twice that amount, with two of the four reactors mothballed instead of being overhauled. Major uncertainties in the costs for upgrading the reactors at Darlington, and the overall economic consequences of proceeding with upgrades have led to estimates ranging from a benefit as high as C$1.3 billion to a loss of C$760 million. A final decision is expected to be announced with the publication of Ontario’s its long-term energy plan later this year.

What They Say…

“The Report sets forth in painstaking detail the actual experience and achievements of nuclear energy around the world.”

Peter A. Bradford

Former commissioner
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
(in his foreword to the 2013 report)
“A vital public service... Uniquely independent, thorough, and timely assessment."

Amory B. Lovins

Chairman, Rocky Mountain Institute
USA
“This annual publication has over 20 years evolved into the most reliable, strikingly original, comprehensive and penetrating assessment of the global nuclear industry.”

Praful Bidwai

Financial Chronicle
Delhi, India
"Amid the hype and PR, the smoke and mirrors, of the 'nuclear renaissance', the Status Report offers a hard-edged reality check."

Walt Patterson

Associate Fellow Chatham House
London, UK
“Fantastic piece of work. Must reading for any observer of nuclear energy."

Henri Sokolski

Executive Director Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
Washington DC, USA
“Reliable research based on cold, hard facts, unlike the hype and amnesia of industry sources.”

Scott Ludlam

Senator
Australia
“Félicitations pour la dernière édition du WNISR. Formidable comme d'habitude!”

Fulcieri Maltini

International Consultant Former Director of the Nuclear Safety Account, EBRD
Italy/France
“Thought-provoking as usual.”

Will Dalrymple

Editor Nuclear Engineering International
UK
"The authoritative report on the status of nuclear power plants worldwide is the World Nuclear Industry Status Report."

USAID

Bangkok, Thailand
“Such an illuminating report.”

Sam Geall

Deputy Editor China Dialogue
London, UK
"An astounding collection of facts and figures, a myth-busting international overview… An eye-opening piece of work!"

R. Andreas Krämer

Chairman Ecologic Institute
Berlin, Germany
“I really appreciate you letting us excerpt your report! It’s incredibly well researched and comprehensive, so thank you!”

Stuart Luman

Associate Editor Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
USA