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Two female workers in hard hats consult in front of a large nuclear turbine undergoing refurbishment.

Our nuclear operating licences

In Canada, nuclear power is highly regulated to ensure it’s used safely and responsibly. A licence is required to construct and operate a nuclear power plant in Canada. For Ontario Power Generation to maintain our licences, we must demonstrate that we continue to meet and exceed national safety standards. It is a responsibility we take very seriously, and we continually work with the regulator and our host communities to demonstrate this.

CNSC licensing

All nuclear activities in Canada are strictly regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC); an independent federal regulator.

All OPG nuclear facilities, including the Darlington and Pickering power plants and our three waste management sites, must maintain an operating licence from the CNSC by demonstrating we continuously meet the requirements of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, applicable regulations and the licence.

How do you become licenced?

Obtaining a licence from the CNSC is a challenging process. A licence is only issued when an applicant:

  • Is deemed qualified, after an extensive review, to carry out the operations as set out in the licence application.
  • Has clearly demonstrated that they will protect the health and safety of the public and the environment.
  • Has clearly demonstrated that they will maintain national security.
  • Has confirmed that they will adhere to all international obligations which Canada has agreed to.

CNSC staff work onsite doing daily field inspections, attending OPG meetings and are embedded in station operations to monitor ongoing activities, and ensure we are meeting licence requirements. We maintain open and transparent communication with the CNSC in order to demonstrate our continued commitment to public safety.

Our licences

Learn more about our current operating licences across all of our facilities.

Status: Currently, Darlington Nuclear is undergoing a multi-year refurbishment to safely extend operations for another 30 years. Learn more about the Darlington Refurbishment here.

Licenced as of: Jan. 1, 2016
Licence Expiration: Nov. 30, 2025

To read more about our current Darlington licences, visit the OPG Document Archive.

Status: Pickering was granted an operating licence to 2028. This licence period includes operations to the end of 2024, followed by safe storage activities to the end of 2028 when OPG will begin the process of safe shutdown. Learn more about Pickering’s extended operations here.

Licenced as of: Sept. 1, 2018
Licence Expiration: Aug. 31, 2028

To read more about our current Pickering licences, visit the OPG Document Archive.

Status: The Western Waste Management Facility operating licence was renewed, extending it by 10 years from June 1, 2017, to May 31, 2027.

Licenced as of: June 1, 2017
Licence Expiration: May 31, 2027

To read more about our current Western Waste Management Facility licence, visit the OPG Document Archive.

Keeping the Public Informed