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Darlington Refurb Project News

Darlington Unit 2 powers on

Refurbishment now complete on first unit

After more than a decade of planning followed by more than three years of safe, quality work, Unit 2 at Darlington Nuclear Generating Station is now reconnected to Ontario’s electricity grid and ready to provide 30 more years of reliable, clean, low-cost power to Ontario.

A fish eye view of Darlington's refurbished Unit 2.
A fish-eye view of Darlington's refurbished Unit 2.

“Unit 2 refurbishment is now complete,” announced Dietmar Reiner, Chief Project Officer and Senior Vice President, Enterprise Projects. “As one team, OPG, with the dedicated support of our project partners, suppliers and contract workers, accomplished something truly incredible for the nuclear industry and the province. Through a focus on project excellence, innovation and a spirit of collaboration, we were able to get the job done safely and with quality.”

This historic milestone brings OPG one unit closer to delivering on its commitment to completing the four-unit Darlington Refurbishment Project on time and on budget.

“This is a truly historic moment for Ontario,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG’s President and CEO. “I want to thank our refurbishment team, project partners, vendors and construction building trades workers for more than 24 million hours worked safely and for returning Darlington’s Unit 2 reactor to the grid at a time of unprecedented circumstances. This world-class project performance demonstrates the team’s expertise and their commitment to completing the four-unit refurbishment safely, with quality and on budget by the end of 2026 as planned.”

Work on Unit 2, the first of four reactors to be refurbished, began in October 2016 when the unit was disconnected from Ontario’s electricity grid. After successfully defuelling the reactor, work got underway to dismantle and reassemble the reactor. This complex work was practised at OPG’s Mock-up and Training Facility at the Darlington Energy Complex, where more than 750,000 hours of robust training were completed. This in-depth training enabled the team to practise complex tasks before performing them in the field, resulting in improved efficiencies. The project’s success was also aided by innovative technology and precision tooling delivered by hundreds of Ontario manufacturers.

Darlington Nuclear Generating Station
Darlington Nuclear Generating Station

Reconnecting Unit 2 to the grid signals another era in its world-class commercial service for the province.

“At the best of times, this would have been a daunting task,” said Reiner. “To have completed the final steps amid the challenges, distractions and restrictions related to COVID-19 is a true testament to the team of nuclear professionals who played a role in this project. Their commitment to the safe, quality completion of this job amidst a global situation unlike any we’ve ever experienced has not gone unnoticed.”

“This is an incredible accomplishment, made all the more challenging by undertaking the work while safely operating a world-class multi-unit station,” added Steve Gregoris, Senior Vice President, Darlington. “Our team’s commitment to safety and dedication to doing the job with quality – regardless of conditions – has been nothing short of extraordinary.”