April break: Now that March Break in Ontario schools is postponed to April 12-16, Ontario Power Generation is working on a children’s program (for ages 6 to 12) to run online on Thursday mornings, from late March through late April. Called Virtual Power Kids, the program has community partners including Scientists in School, Earth Rangers and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Participants will learn about biodiversity, science and climate change, among other topics. More information is coming soon, including how to sign up – watch for this monthly note in March.
Around Ontario and beyond:
· Record setter: After a world-record run of more 963 days of continuous operation, Unit 1 reactor at Darlington Nuclear Generating Station is taking a well-deserved break. A key component of OPG’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon company by 2040, the 878-megawatt unit was taken offline February 5 for its final planned inspection and maintenance outage, prior to its refurbishment in 2022.
· Not frazzled: At this time of year, frazil ice – loose, slushy ice on turbulent rivers – can threaten electrical generating stations, gumming up water intakes and even grinding generators to a halt. To mitigate the risk, OPG’s hydro operators manage water levels and flows around the stations, temporarily shutting units down until an even ice cap has formed, allowing smooth water flows under the ice.
· Spreading its wings: As part of its support for biodiversity across Ontario, OPG is contributing $10,000 toward a new wild-bird rehabilitation centre, planned by the Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre. Now in its 40th year, the centre has provided essential care to thousands of injured and ailing birds, many of which are endangered or threatened.