Waste facility decommissioning
As part of Ontario Power Generation’s commitment to safe power generation, planning for the full lifecycle of our facilities, including their eventual decommissioning is extremely important.
Learn about long-term nuclear waste storage and eventual decommissioning of our waste facilities, which is done in consultation with Ontario’s communities and regulatory bodies.
Decommissioning is the process of dismantling and decontaminating nuclear facilities, at the end of their operational lives.
Following international best-practices, OPG places decommissioned facilities into 30-years of safe storage. The dismantling and decommissioning process involves:
- Removing fuel and heavy water from reactors and placing equipment in a safe, caretaking state.
- Monitoring the facility for approximately 30 years as radiation levels decline.
- Moving used fuel from the wet storage bays to Dry Storage Containers (DSCs).
- Monitoring of used fuel in temporary storage, by OPG and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), until it’s safely transferred to a long-term repository.
- After the safe storage period, specialists remove all radioactive material and dismantle the facility.
- Remaining structures are then demolished, and the site is made available for OPG's reuse.
OPG Fair Value of Used Fuel Segregated Fund (Dec. 2018)
OPG Fair Value of Decommissioning Segregated Fund
Of OPG’s proposed financial guarantee
$10 BillionOPG Fair Value of Used Fuel Segregated Fund (Dec. 2018)
$7.5 BillionOPG Fair Value of Decommissioning Segregated Fund
2018-2022 YearsOf OPG’s proposed financial guarantee
Dedicated funds for waste management
OPG is responsible for the management of used nuclear fuel, low and intermediate level nuclear waste, and eventual decommissioning of its nuclear facilities including the stations on lease to Bruce Power, as required by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).
We firmly believe the cost of decommissioning should not fall to future generations, so that’s why we created the “Nuclear Funds” which include:
- A Used Fuel Segregated Fund, covering costs associated with the management of highly radioactive used nuclear fuel bundles.
- A Decommissioning Segregated Fund, to cover costs for nuclear fixed asset removal and the disposal of low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste materials.
These funds remain in third party custodial accounts, segregated from the rest of OPG’s assets.
Nuclear waste decommissioning plans
Explore our Preliminary Decommissioning Plans to learn more about each waste facility’s safe retirement.
Darlington Waste Management Facility
Pickering Waste Management Facility
Western Waste Management Facility
Radioactive Waste Operations Site 1 (central maintenance, spent solvents)
Research and international cooperation
Scientists around the world are engaged in the search for safe management techniques and disposal of nuclear waste and have committed billions of dollars in research.
OPG belongs to several international organizations concerned with nuclear waste, and has cooperative agreements with many countries that are at the forefront of nuclear waste research and development.
These international links facilitate the exchange of technical information, joint research and development activities, and in some instances the exchange of technical staff.
Benefits of nuclear
Canada leads the world in supplying medical isotopes
30x less CO2
Nuclear has 30 times less CO2 emissions than natural gas
62x less CO2
Nuclear has over 60 times less emissions than coal
The nuclear industry keeps 60,000 Canadians working