Media Releases
November 13, 2020
4 min read

OPG resumes planning activities for Darlington New Nuclear

Clarington site expected to be future home to a grid-size Small Modular Reactor

Clarington – Today, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) announced resumption of planning activities for future nuclear power generation at its Darlington site, to host a Small Modular Reactor (SMR).

“OPG is paving the way on the development and deployment of the next generation of nuclear power in Canada,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG President and CEO. “A new SMR development on this site as early as 2028 would benefit all Ontarians while further cementing Durham Region and Ontario as the clean energy capital of the world.”

“Our government is proud to support OPG’s efforts to develop cutting-edge SMR technology right here in Durham at the Darlington Nuclear Station by the end of this decade,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines; Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “Ontario and our provincial partners in Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Alberta are leading the charge on SMR deployment in Canada and showcasing our nuclear expertise and made-in-Ontario technology to the world.”

“OPG is paving the way on the development and deployment of the next generation of nuclear power in Canada."
Ken Hartwick, OPG President and CEO

A study undertaken by the Conference Board of Canada shows strong economic benefit to Ontario from construction and 60 years of operation of a single unit in the province. According to the report, direct, indirect and spin-off related employment would result in an annual average of approximately: 700 jobs during project development; 1,600 jobs during manufacturing and construction; 200 jobs during operations; and 160 jobs during decommissioning. It would have a positive impact on direct, indirect and induced Gross Domestic Product of more than $2.5 billion and result in an increase of provincial revenues of more than $870 million.

OPG owns Canada’s largest fleet of nuclear reactors including the existing Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, one of the world’s top performing nuclear plants. Darlington is the only site in Canada currently licensed for new nuclear. In 2012, following the acceptance of a thorough environmental assessment which included extensive public involvement, OPG was granted a licence from the CNSC to allow site preparation activities to support future nuclear generation.

OPG has applied to the Commission to renew the licence, which would be one step in a series of licences and regulatory approvals required prior to the construction and operation of a new reactor.

For more information, see these Questions & Answers and visit OPG's SMR page.

Additional quotes

“Ontario already has an existing reliable and proven nuclear supply chain in place,” said Bill Walker, Associate Minister of Energy. “SMR technology allows us to capitalize on this advantage, to ensure good jobs, clean and affordable energy, and economic prosperity.”

‘’I was pleased, earlier this year, to move a motion in Ontario’s legislature calling for the Province to include development of SMRs as a clean energy option in our environment, climate change and clean energy planning and policies,” said Lindsey Park, MPP, Durham. “I am excited about the potential for this new technology, and the jobs that go with it, in Durham.”

“Durham is the nuclear capital of Ontario, and OPG has spent five decades building strong community support here through its clean energy production, safe operations, local involvement and environmental stewardship,” said Durham Regional Chairman John Henry. “We welcome this announcement.”

“Clarington and OPG have enjoyed a long and successful relationship,” said Adrian Foster, Mayor of Clarington. “We were thrilled to learn OPG will bring its corporate headquarters to the municipality in coming years, and are even happier to learn OPG will move forward with planning this next evolution of nuclear power here in Clarington, which is growing quickly as Ontario’s energy hub.”

“The Clarington Board of Trade and Office of Economic Development were actively involved in the environmental assessment and initial licensing process and continue to support OPG as they lead the way on the next generation of nuclear technology here at Darlington,” said Sheila Hall, Executive Director, Clarington Board of Trade and Office of Economic Development. “We welcome the positive economic spin-off, not only here in Clarington, but in towns and cities across Ontario.”

“Durham has had a long and successful relationship with nuclear power production and innovation,” said Erin O’Toole, MP, Durham, and Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. “I’m pleased to see OPG leading the way in my home riding of Durham, Canada’s clean energy capital, with technology that could play a role here at home and across the nation.”

About OPG

OPG is a climate change leader and the largest electricity generator in the province, providing almost half of the power Ontarians rely on every day. It is also one of the most diverse generators in North America, with expertise in nuclear, hydroelectric, biomass, solar and natural gas technologies.

Read more about how 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 at

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For further information, please contact:

OPG Media Relations
416-592-4008 or 1-877-592-4008
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