OPG to ask for extension of Pickering waste management facility licence, to build new storage building
Ontario Power Generation is currently seeking the renewal of its Pickering Waste Management Facility’s licence until 2028, and applying to construct additional processing and storage buildings.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) hearing is expected to wrap up by April 12 in Ottawa.
Randy Lockwood, site vice president of Pickering Nuclear, gave a presentation at the latest Pickering executive committee meeting on the current status of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. It coincided with a staff report to council on the station, as staff provides updates when milestones take place.
The 11-year licence will allow OPG to continue its operation of putting used fuel into dry storage containers and storing them on site. OPG is also asking for an expansion of three dry storage buildings, and to construct a new dry storage building to be used until the end of commercial operation.
Staff also updated council that in August, OPG will ask the CNSC to renew the station’s current five-year operating licence, which expires on Aug. 31, 2018.
Lockwood said OPG is asking to run the Pickering station up to 2024, which was a request of the Province of Ontario.
Mayor Dave Ryan told Lockwood the biggest focus of council is safety.
Lockwood agreed, and said 2015 and 2016 were the best two years in site history in terms of reliability and human performance.
“In our industry, safety is first and foremost,” he said.
The staff report noted the CNSC initiated a community outreach and engagement program earlier this year, and it will continue into 2018.
The update also said OPG and industry safety partners are investigating improvements to the public alerting systems and are preparing for a regional nuclear emergency exercise to take place at the Pickering station in December.
OPG and federal partners are working to develop a cell broadcast system as a possible future replacement for the existing automated telephone dialing system in case of an emergency. Cellphones within or passing through the area would receive emergency messages. The Durham Emergency Management Office, along with regional municipal partners including Pickering Fire Services, have been involved in limited field testing. The cell broadcast system requires Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission approval.