Energy & Power
765K training hours, mock-up reactor pay off; Darlington Unit 2 returns to service
By Anthony Capkun
June 8, 2020 – Ontario Power Generation has successfully completed the refurbishment of Darling-ton Nuclear Generating Station’s Unit 2 reactor, and has reconnected it to Ontario’s grid at 100% power.
“I want to thank our refurbishment team, project partners, vendors and construction building trades workers for more than 24 million hours worked safely, and for returning Darlington’s Unit 2 reactor to the grid at a time of unprecedented circumstances,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG’s president and CEO.
The 4-unit Darlington refurbishment project, which began with Unit 2 in 2016 after nearly a decade of planning and preparation, required the support of hundreds of companies and thousands of workers within OPG and from across the province. The integrated team undertook more than 765,000 training hours in the project’s mock-up and training facility to safely shut down, defuel, disassemble and reconstruct the reactor.
This in-depth training enabled the team to practise complex tasks before performing them in the field, resulting in improved efficiencies, said OPG, adding the project’s success was also aided by “innovative technology and precision tooling delivered by hundreds of Ontario manufacturers”.
“The Darlington Nuclear refurbishment project is one of the world’s largest nuclear infrastructure projects, and the timely completion of the Unit 2 reactor showcases Ontario’s position as a global leader in nuclear generation,” said Minister Greg Rickford.
With Darlington’s refurbished Unit 2 now operating at full capacity, OPG is one unit closer to ex-tending the operating life of the station and providing another 30-plus years of energy.
In response to COVID-19, OPG postponed the commencement of Unit 3 refurbishment from its scheduled start in May 2020, allowing the unit to continue delivering electricity to the grid. Subject to the status of the pandemic, OPG is preparing to resume hiring skilled trades workers and begin prerequisite activities this month to start the next phase on the project.