OPG in Bruce County: Update – May, 2022

Fred Kuntz, Sr. Mgr., Corporate Relations and Projects | Bruce County

Connecting in person:  It was encouraging to see a strong delegation from the Bruce area at the recent Canadian Nuclear Association 2022 annual conference, a gathering themed “Together for Net Zero.” The municipalities of Kincardine, Saugeen Shores, Huron-Kinloss and Brockton were all represented. So were nuclear companies that operate in the Bruce area, including Ontario Power Generation (OPG), its commercial subsidiary Laurentis Energy Partners, Bruce Power and many others. For attendees’ safety, COVID protocols were in evidence everywhere, including masks. Workshops and panels focused on new nuclear technologies, action on climate change, and advancing reconciliation through Indigenous partnerships. Also at the conference, Laurentis announced an agreement with Fermi Energia to help develop Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) in Estonia.

Concrete action: Construction is well underway on a new OPG facility in Kincardine called Western Clean-Energy Sorting and Recycling, with pouring of the floor slab scheduled in the coming days. As CTV’s Scott Miller reported this week, the facility should be operational in early 2023, employing at least 25 people, to sort nuclear by-products from OPG operations for recycling, processing for volume reductions, or free-release as clean. It’s part of the strategy of OPG’s Nuclear Sustainability Services to embrace the three Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle – and further protect the environment, in alignment with OPG’s Climate Change Plan.

Around Ontario and beyond:

  • Tomorrow’s technicians: OPG is helping to support the next generation of Ontario’s skilled trades. In April, the Whitby campus of Durham College unveiled the Ontario Power Generation Centre for Skilled Trades and Technology, a new 60,000-square-foot home to specialized labs and shops for 750 students a year. Post-secondary and apprenticeship programs will cover trades such as electrical engineering technician and mechanical technician.
  • Climate headlines: OPG has posted a new edition of Net-Zero News at its website, with a roundup of developments in our action plan to meet climate-change goals. Items include progress toward building Canada’s first grid-scale SMR at the Darlington site, updates on projects that will secure more clean hydro power for Ontario, and recent biodiversity achievements in our host communities.
  • Nuclear partners:  OPG and the Tennessee Valley Authority are helping each other develop SMRs as a source of carbon-free energy in both Canada and the United States. A new agreement supports collaboration in design, licensing, construction and operation of SMRs. “Working together, OPG and TVA will find efficiencies and share best practices for the long-term supply of the economical, carbon-free, reliable electricity our jurisdictions need,” said OPG President and CEO Ken Hartwick.
  • Equity in action:  History was made on a recent night shift at OPG’s Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, with the first-ever all-women-led crew at the helm.  Shift Managers Julie Thrasher and Krista Huszarik oversaw operations, while Control Room Shift Supervisors Sara Rasouli and Kasia Carisse managed the operators in the plant’s two control rooms. It shows more women are involved “in leadership roles across OPG,” said Thrasher.