ENSURING SAFETY AND RELIABILITY AT PICKERING NUCLEAR GENERATING STATION
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
OPG continues to invest in its Pickering Nuclear Generating Station to ensure the clean power workhorse reliably and safely produces 14 per cent of Ontario’s electricity for another six years.
The six-unit, 3,100-megawatt station supplies enough electricity to power a total of 1.5 million homes every day. To strengthen this source of low-cost, baseload power, three major planned maintenance outages will be conducted on three different units at the station this year.
In January, Unit 6 was taken offline for maintenance, a process that will wrap up in May. Units 4 and 8 are also scheduled for planned outages later in the year.
It’s a necessary process to make sure Pickering Nuclear runs optimally as OPG plans to continue operations at the plant until 2024, pending all necessary approvals.
“The station is performing as well as it’s ever been,” said Chris Johnston, Director of Work Management at Pickering Nuclear. “This work ensures we’re maintaining the asset so that it continues to be viable and productive.”
In 2017, work was successfully and safely completed during planned outages at Units 4, 5 and 1. Before its outage, Unit 1 had the longest run in its history at 622 days straight online. Meanwhile, Unit 5 ran an impressive 632 days straight since it was previously taken offline.
Each year, there are three major planned outages on three different units at the plant. The planning for each outage starts two years in advance.
A typical outage at Pickering lasts around 100 days and includes ramping up with about 200 temporary staff plus additional contractors. The work involves inspecting fuel channels in the reactor, equipment reliability upgrades such as replacing pumps, motors and heat exchangers, and preventive maintenance.
Running Pickering Nuclear to 2024 would save Ontario electricity customers up to $600 million, contribute over 4,500 jobs and add $1.2 billion a year in GDP to the province’s economy, all while avoiding a minimum of 17 million tonnes of carbon emissions.