Pickering Nuclear has been given the highest possible safety rating for the last two years in a row by federal regulators. The Pickering site supplies power for 1.5 million homes daily.
The 47-year-old Pickering facility is the oldest in the province, first starting commercial operation in the 1970s, and expanding in the years since then. The plant was taken out of service in 2016 for maintenance that cost $75 million.
“Today’s decision reflects our continued investment in Pickering to improve its already strong performance, and the dedication of our staff to nuclear safety and ensuring safe and reliable operations to 2024,” Jeff Lyash, OPG president and CEO, said in a statement.
The decision comes after an April report, sponsored by the OPG and released by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis, found that extending the site’s licence until 2024 would make economic sense for the province. The site has cost at least $200 million over the past eight years.
Another report done by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance in March mapped out the effect that a potential Fukushima-scale meltdown of the Pickering site would have upon the surrounding area, concluding that 154,000 homes would have to be evacuated.