OPG in the Community – June, 2019

        Fred Kuntz

Questions answered:  Ontario Power Generation (OPG) completed a round of delegations to six Bruce-area municipal councils in June, with updates on its operations at the Western Waste Management Facility.  As reported by media in Kincardine and Saugeen Shores,questions asked at councils included: What are the prospects for  Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) to provide new sources of energy? (Answer: OPG has applied for a licence to build an SMR at Chalk River; small reactors are an exciting innovation for future development of clean energy). And what is the timeline for a decision on OPG’s proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for low- and intermediate-level waste? (Answer: OPG awaits the outcome of the community process of Saugeen Ojibway Nation, which has said it aims to have a vote on OPG’s DGR later this year, following which OPG would still require federal approval of the Environmental Assessment; OPG also continues to engage with Métis communities on the DGR.)

Making headlines: Nuclear power as a source of clean energy is a growing focus of hope for Canadians concerned about mitigating the impact of climate change. This past weekend, two articles in the Globe and Mail highlighted the key issues: A feature-length article described one journalist’s journey to the realization that nuclear power could help to save the planet; her research included a visit to OPG’s well-run station and waste facilities at Darlington. And a sidebar column by author Dan Gardner, an expert on risk, implored Canadians to embrace nuclear energy as a means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Performance report: Every three months, OPG issues a public report on the performance on Nuclear Waste Management (NWM), as well as on other divisions. You’ll find these online at the OPG website, under Regulatory Reporting. The NWM report for January through March (2019 Q1) was recently posted there, with news and statistics on our waste operations at Darlington, Pickering and the Western Waste Management Facility.

Around Ontario and beyond:

  • Strategic growth: OPG has entered an agreement to acquire Cube Hydro, an operator of 19 small and medium-sized hydropower facilities in the United States. “OPG has significant hydroelectric expertise in Ontario and in the U.S., so acquiring this portfolio of diversified, high-quality, long-life assets represents a natural fit for us,” said OPG’s Ken Hartwick, President and CEO. “This is also an opportunity to grow our revenue base over the long term and provide increased returns to our shareholder, the Province of Ontario.”
  • What’s the buzz: OPG’s Niagara facilities are home to one of the largest bee colonies in Canada. Five locations now host an impressive 2,400 bee hives, a number that could double by the end of 2019 – and each hive houses 20,000 to 50,000 honey bees, adding up to more than 48 million bees in total.  It’s all part of OPG’s commitment to biodiversity and conservation at its operations across Ontario.
  • On the move:  OPG is establishing a new corporate headquarters in the Municipality of Clarington, within Durham Region. The new campus, to be completed by 2024,  will include the existing Darlington Energy Complex south of Highway 401 and a new building on adjacent land owned by OPG. Non-station-based staff from Toronto and other locations will work at the new campus; staff of the Western Waste Management Facility will continue to work at the Bruce site.

Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful Canada Day – please enjoy a safe and happy holiday long weekend!