Preparing for tomorrow’s energy needs: Darlington New Nuclear
As more sectors of Ontario’s economy move toward electrification, there will be a growing demand for clean electricity.
That’s why OPG is exploring innovative energy options to power Ontario's future – including advancements in reliable, virtually carbon-free nuclear power, which can help meet Ontario’s changing energy needs while combating climate change.
OPG’s Darlington Nuclear station is already an important part of Ontario’s clean energy future – the station provides close to 20% of Ontario’s electricity, and the Darlington Refurbishment Project will ensure this world-class generator continues to provide reliable power for decades to come.
In parallel, as Canada’s only site licenced for new nuclear with a completed and accepted Environmental Assessment (EA), the Darlington Nuclear site offers a significant solution to secure Ontario’s clean energy future.
Chronology of Darlington New Nuclear
A chronology of Darlington New Nuclear key activities and milestones including relevant documents.
New! March 2020 - OPG seeks licence renewal for Darlington New Nuclear
Later this year, OPG will be applying for a licence renewal from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for the site preparation activities that would be required for new nuclear generation at OPG’s Darlington site.
OPG currently holds a Licence to Prepare Site for the Darlington Nuclear site, the first of a series of licences that would be required for additional nuclear generation capacity. The current 10-year licence was obtained following comprehensive environmental impact studies and an extensive public hearing conducted by a Joint Review Panel of the CNSC and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in 2012.
OPG has not yet undertaken any licensed activities on the site. However, the existing licence allows OPG to carry out activities to prepare the site for future construction, for example:
- Clearing and grubbing vegetation
- Excavation and grading of site
- Installing services and utilities required to service the future project facilities (e.g., domestic water, fire water, sewage, electrical, communications, natural gas)
- Constructing support buildings
As the licence expires in 2022, renewing the licence will help maintain the option for reliable, low carbon nuclear energy to remain a key part of Ontario’s low-emission energy mix.
The licence renewal application to the CNSC will be submitted this year, after which the CNSC will determine the timing and process for review. A decision by the commission members is expected in 2021. Relevant documents, including the application, will be publicly available for review on this website.
Oct. 2019 - OPG submits site preparation licence renewal plan
Sept. 2018 - OPG notifies CNSC of intent to apply for licence renewal
2013 to Today - OPG maintains site licence
- OPG continues to maintain the licence in accordance with the licence conditions.
Dec. 2013 - Ontario asks OPG to defer construction but maintain site licence
- Citing lower than planned power consumption growth combined with a strong supply situation, the Government of Ontario, through the 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan, requests that OPG defer the construction of new nuclear reactors but maintain the existing licence.
Aug. 2012 - CNSC issues licence to prepare site
May 2012 - Government of Canada accepts Joint Review Panel recommendation
Aug. 2011 - Joint Review Panel submits EA report
March 2011 - Joint Review Panel conducts public hearing
- A Joint Review Panel consisting of representatives from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, conducts a 17-day public hearing to consider OPG’s Environmental Impact Statement and licence application.
- Members of the public, Indigenous communities and various organizations and agencies present oral and written submissions.
Sept. 2009 - OPG submits Environmental Impact Statement
2006-2009 - OPG conducts Environmental Assessment
- As required by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (1992), an Environmental Assessment (EA) of the proposed project is conducted, including comprehensive studies undertaken by OPG and consultation with Indigenous communities, local community members and the broader public.
May 2006 - Ontario directs OPG to initiate the federal approvals
- The Government of Ontario, OPG’s shareholder, directs OPG to initiate the federal approvals process for new nuclear generating units in response to recommendations from the Ontario Power Authority’s Integrated Power System Plan.
- The Plan calls for investment in new nuclear generation capacity in order to maintain Ontario’s nuclear generating capacity at 14,000 MWe, consistent with nuclear energy’s share of the 2005 supply mix.
Darlington New Nuclear documents
Documents for review
- DNNP Site Preparation Licence Renewal Plan (October 2019)
- OPG Mid-Term Report on the DNNP Licence to Prepare Site (September 2018)
- OPG Commitment Reports; a status update on commitments made during public hearing and EA process (September 2018)
- OPG letter to CNSC re: Intention to apply for renewal of the Licence to Prepare Site (September 2018)
- Darlington Site Environmental Risk Assessment (November 2017)
- DNNP Licence to Prepare Site (August 2012)
- Darlington Station Probabilistic Safety Assessment Summary (July 2012)
- Government of Canada response to the Joint Review Panel Report (May 2012)
- Stage 4 Archaeological Mitigative Excavation of the Brady Site (ALGQ-83) – Darlington New Nuclear EA (February 2012)
- Joint Review Panel EA report submitted to the Federal Minister of Environment (EA Report Summary) (August 2011)
- Transcripts from the Joint Review Panel public hearing (March 2011)
- Darlington New Nuclear Environmental Assessment - Environmental Impact Statement (September 2009)
- OPG Application for Licence to Prepare Site (September 2009)
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s licensing process for nuclear power plants
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is mandated, under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA), to regulate all nuclear facilities and nuclear-related activities; including the possession, use, and transport or storing of nuclear substances in Canada.
The CNSC Information Guide “Licensing Process for New Nuclear Power Plants” provides an overview of the licences required for the various phases of a nuclear power plant lifecycle, including the many opportunities for Indigenous and public participation.