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[cdn-nucl-l] Time to Celebrate at Nuclear Station
Time to Celebrate at Nuclear StationTime to Celebrate at Nuclear Station
Metroland - Durham Division
Fri 25 Nov 2005
Ajax-Pickering News Advertiser
By Keith GilliganStaff Writer
PICKERING -- Refurbishing a unit at the Pickering nuclear station, on time
and within budget, could be a catalyst to more reactors in Ontario.
Provincial Energy Minister Donna Cansfield said nuclear power has been and
will continue to be part of the supply mix. "Nuclear was always part of our
generation supply," she said at the plant Friday morning.
She wouldn't commit to saying more stations will be built, as the government
is waiting for a report from the Ontario Power Authority. The report is to
be released in December and will outline how the government should go
forward in the creation of more generation.
The municipality of Clarington is on record supporting more reactors being
built at the Darlington site.
Ms. Cansfield was in Pickering for a celebration of the return to service of
Unit 1. Following an extensive refurbishment, the reactor was hooked to the
grid and supplying electricity earlier this month.
Speaking to about 75 people, including senior management with Ontario Power
Generation, local dignitaries and company employees, Ms. Cansfield praised
the company for getting the reactor refurbished "on time and within budget".
"We handed Ontario Power Generation a challenge. The old way wouldn't cut it
anymore. Do the job right, do the job safely, do the job on time and within
budget. You met the challenges. You did the job well and without the huge
cost overruns that have plagued the industry in the past."
When operating at full power, the reactor can produce 515 megawatts of
electricity, which is enough to supply 350,000 homes, or "a city the size of
London," Ms. Cansfield noted.
Unit 1 had been in a laid-up state since late 1997 and is the second of two
'A'-side reactors to be refurbished. Unit 4 came back into service in 2003,
although the project wasn't completed on time and was well over- budget.
When OPG first announced it wanted to refurbish the four 'A' reactors, the
company pegged the cost at $800 million for all four. By the time Unit 4 was
completed, it alone had a price tag of $1.5 billion.
Rebuilding Unit 1 cost $1 billion and took just over a year to complete.
"Major work began in July of last year and 12 months later" the reactor was
removed from the guaranteed shutdown state and "earlier this month it was
officially declared ready for service," said Bill Robinson, senior
vice-president for the Pickering 'A' return to service.
OPG president and chief executive officer Jim Hankinson concurred.
"When we began this project 14 months ago, there was skepticism about our
ability to do the work," he said. "We did the work we said we'd do in a very
open, transparent and verifiable way. We have demonstrated we can complete a
project that's complex and challenging."
OPG employee Allan Holt said the work was a "tremendous achievement. It's
another 500 megawatts of good, extremely reliable and acceptable power.
"I've worked in nuclear all my life and I'm glad to see it going."
The work on Unit 4 "left a lot of room for improvement. We showed it on Unit
1. We learned all the things not to do."
Ken Gilbert was the outage manager and helped plan work. "We did a lot
better job this time than on Unit 4," he stated.
He also hopes more reactors are built at Darlington "or down here, close to
where people work."