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Over 3,000 turn out for Darlington Refurb Open House and Student Day

 Over 3,000 turn out for Darlington Refurb Open House and Student Day

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More than 3,000 people, including Greg Rickford, Ontario Minister of Energy, Mines, Northern Development and Indigenous Affairs, and Durham MPP Lindsey Park, took the opportunity to learn more about Canada's largest clean energy project, the Darlington Refurbishment, during the annual Student Day and Open House on Oct. 26 and 27.

​OPG is currently refurbishing the first of its four reactors at the world-leading Darlington Nuclear Generating Station (GS). A team of experts from across Ontario are working to deliver the mega-project safely, on time, on budget and with quality. This team includes project partners from more than 200 companies in the province, with the project creating 14,200 jobs between 2017 and 2055.

Thousands attended the Darlington Refurbishment Open House.
Thousands attended the Darlington Refurbishment Open House.

Over two days, members of the community had an opportunity to see and hear more about the refurbishment, including the economic and employment benefits that come with it.

The Minister, local MPP and Deputy Minister of Energy Stephen Rhodes not only visited the Open House event but also toured Darlington Nuclear GS, even going inside the Unit 2 reactor vault where refurbishment work is currently taking place.

“Our government supports nuclear as a source of low-cost energy with nearly zero greenhouse gas emissions,” remarked Minister Rickford. “It was a great opportunity to visit Darlington Station and meet the staff who keep our lights on. Darlington and the nuclear sector support and create thousands of jobs in every corner of our province.”

Also taking part in the Saturday Open House were approximately 2,800 guests and volunteers. Participants were able to take a virtual reality tour of a nuclear facility; explore some of the technological innovations being made by the more than 60 Ontario companies involved in this massive project; meet the highly skilled professionals tasked with doing the work; learn about the innovative methods of training being used; and take a bus tour around the station.

Student Day, which was held on the Friday and included Indigenous Opportunities in Nuclear, involved a tour of the Darlington Refurbishment Mock-up and Training Centre, where young people were able to engage in "Trade Talks" with some of the highly skilled workers who are refurbishing Darlington's nuclear reactors. Approximately 400 students and volunteers took part.

Kayna Henderson, a Grade 10 student at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Pickering, said the day left her “definitely” contemplating a career in the skilled trades.

“I learned that these careers offer great opportunities for future jobs,” she said.

The annual events help inform residents about the continued safe operations of Darlington and the refurbishment efforts that will ensure 30 more years of safe, reliable, and affordable power.

“We know this project is of interest to the community — it's a massive investment in Ontario's future,” said Dietmar Reiner, Senior Vice President, Nuclear Projects with OPG. “And we are very proud to showcase the work we and our project partners are doing to ensure this world-class facility continues to produce power for the next several decades. Thanks to all involved — our project partners, OPG staff and the thousands of community members who took the opportunity to get an inside look at and meet the team involved in our project.”