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An authorized nuclear operator examines control room panels at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station.

Nuclear safety systems

Maintaining the safety of the public and our employees is our number one priority. At Ontario Power Generation, our Nuclear Safety Systems provide layers of protection, including rapid shut-down capabilities and multiple redundancies.

Explore OPG’s Safety Systems to see how Ontarians are protected.

Canadian reactor safety

The Canadian approach to reactor safety is “Defense in Depth.”

This means reactors use both technological and operational safety measures to lessen the chance of an accident and, should an accident occur, reduce the possibility of impact on employees and the public.

  • Every OPG station features rapid shutdown systems to stop a chain reaction in seconds.
  • OPG’s safety systems are independent from the rest of the plant.
  • Each key safety component has three backups.
  • Containment systems are designed to lock harmful radiation within the facility.

OPG’s commitment to safety is also a commitment to the future of Ontario and the communities around our projects.

Defense in depth: Pickering Plant

Explore the safety plan in place at OPG’s Pickering Plant.

Safety for your family

See how OPG builds layers of safety into each step of our nuclear energy production.

A nuclear reactor’s containment system prevents the release of radioactive material in the unlikely event of an accident.

OPG’s containment system features an airtight building with over a metre-thick, reinforced concrete walls for each reactor.

Additionally, both Pickering and Darlington stations have Vacuum Buildings which are unique safety features for multi-unit CANDU® stations.

Ontario’s CANDU® reactors use multiple redundancies in power supplies, including:

  • A mix of standby generators.
  • Emergency power generators (EPG).
  • Auxiliary generators with varying degrees of seismic qualifications (backup to the backup).

Protection from earthquakes or other natural disaster scenarios are included in OPG’s designs, with power allocated to nuclear safety-related systems that support the capability to control reactor power, cool the fuel and contain radioactive fission products.

As well, all OPG’s nuclear sites are equipped with emergency power generators and standby generators, and all are seismically qualified and have a sufficient supply of fuel to enable restoration of an alternate source of power to the site.

Darlington features four standby generators, while only one is required to support the site.

At Pickering, there are three standby generators for each unit pair, only one of which is required for each unit pair.

OPG has heavily invested in upgrades to these systems and our fire suppression systems over the last several years.