nuclear plant pickering

Ontario wants to delay shut down of nuclear power plant in Pickering

The Ontario government is asking the Canadian Nuclear Safety (CNSC) Commission for an extension to run the Pickering nuclear plant until September 2026 to cover a shortage of electricity in the province. 

The Pickering Nuclear Generating Station currently provides enough power to meet the needs of 1.5 million people and was reponsible for 14 per cent of electricity generation in Ontario last year. 

The extension of operations would also protect thousands of jobs, with the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) employing roughly 4,500 staff at the Pickering nuclear plant.

Under the OPG's new plan, electricity generation at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station would end in September 2026 instead of 2025. 

"Keeping Pickering safely operating will provide clean, low-cost, and reliable electricity to support the incredible economic growth and new jobs we're seeing while building a healthier Ontario for everyone," said Minister of Energy Todd Smith. 

The extension would also help reduce CO2 emissions by 2.1 megatonnes in 2026, representing a 20 per cent reduction in projected emissions, which is the equivalent of taking over 600,000 cars off the road annually. 

Operations beyond September 2026 would require a total refurbishment, which could result in an additional 30 years of zero-emissions electricity. 

The plan still requires approval from the CNSC, which will make the final decision regarding the plant's operations. 

Lead photo by

Sean Bennell

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