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Darlington Nuclear recognized with sustainability award

OPG’s Darlington Nuclear Generating Station was recently recognized for sustainable operations in the community.

An aerial view of Darlington Nuclear Generating Station.
An aerial view of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station.

The nuclear station, which meets about 20 per cent of the province’s electricity needs, received the 2019 Sustainability Award from the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce.

The award was announced in September at the Chamber’s annual business awards gala, with more than 490 community members and business owners from across Durham Region in attendance.

“Our commitment to the environment is key to maintaining the social licence we enjoy in the communities where we operate. More importantly, it’s the right thing to do,” said Zar Khansaheb, Director of Operations and Maintenance at Darlington Nuclear GS.

The Chamber considers a wide range of criteria for its sustainability award, including business uniqueness and environmental efforts. OPG and Via Rail were the two finalists for this year’s award.

Students helped open a new educational Atlantic salmon hatchery at Darlington.
Students helped open a new educational Atlantic salmon hatchery at Darlington.

The four-unit, 3,512-megawatt station produces carbon-free power and is one of the key reasons OPG’s diverse generation portfolio remains among the cleanest in the world. The station also has a world-class reputation, having achieved the highest possible safety rating from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for nine consecutive years.

The plant is currently undergoing a mid-life refurbishment that will provide the province with another 30 years of clean, reliable, low-cost power.

In addition, Darlington Nuclear has many community partnerships that help improve the local environment and biodiversity. Recently, the station opened its first educational salmon hatchery in support of the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration program. Local Grade 5 and 6 students tracked the progress of 100 eggs as they hatched and grew into small fry. This past spring, the students worked with the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority to clean up Cobourg Creek before releasing the little salmon fry.

Other recent sustainability efforts at the station include replacing fluorescent lights with LED and going entirely paperless to reduce waste.

“We want to continue to improve on and protect the environment,” said Steve Gregoris, Senior Vice-President of Darlington Nuclear. “One way we do that is by working with our local communities, including local Indigenous groups. We are constantly asking for their feedback to continue to push ourselves to be better.”