Tag Archives: Hydro-Quebec

CNA Responds

Closure of Gentilly-2 Nuclear Generating Station

October 5, 2012, Ottawa, ON – Hydro-Québec has confirmed the Gentilly-2 nuclear power plant which has been operating safely and reliably since 1983, will stop producing electricity on December 28, 2012. This follows the September 20 announcement by the Government of Québec on its decision to shut down Gentilly-2 rather than proceeding with a refurbishment.

“The Canadian Nuclear Association is disappointed with this decision. The Gentilly-2 Nuclear Generating Station employs roughly 800 people in stable, well trained, well-paid jobs, and powers the equivalent of 275,000 households in Québec,” said Association President and CEO, Denise Carpenter.

The increase in project costs, combined with falling market prices prompted Hydro-Québec to recommend to the Québec government that the generating station be closed. In light of the feedback it has obtained on the complete refurbishment cycle, the company has reassessed the cost of the project to $4.3 billion.

“Hydro-Québec made a decision based on their plant and their economics, for a plant that supplies three per cent of their demand,” continued Carpenter. “However, new project costs are subject to interpretation considering other refurbishment projects in Ontario, where nuclear supplies almost 60 per cent of demand, have lower estimated costs.”

Candu Energy Inc. President and General Manager, Kevin Wallace, has stated Candu Energy Inc. believes the government’s decision to close the Gentilly-2 nuclear facility was made before all options were considered. Candu also hopes that the government will reconsider its decision and engage in further dialogue on a possible lease agreement with a partner to refurbish, operate and potentially decommission the plant.

Despite this announcement, Canada’s nuclear industry is strong and moving forward. In Ontario, nuclear is an integral part of the electricity supply and is expected to continue to account for 50 per cent of the province’s energy supply as indicated in the Government’s Long-Term Energy Plan. For example, a decision to issue a licence to prepare for the new units at the Darlington station was announced in August 2012, and one of the most complex engineering challenges in Ontario’s history of infrastructure is coming to a successful conclusion as workers at Bruce Power prepare to return Units 1 and 2 to commercial service.

The Canadian nuclear industry provides a broad spectrum of products and services that benefit Canadians, generating approximately $6.6 billion per year and contributing $1.5 billion in tax revenue and $1.2 billion in export revenues, and supports over 71,000 direct and indirect jobs.


Media Inquiries:
Kathleen Olson
Director of Communications
Canadian Nuclear Association



Candu Energy statement on decision to close Gentilly-2 nuclear facility in
Quebec (October 3) http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1047543/candu-energy-statement-on-decision-to-close-gentilly-2-nuclear-facility-in-quebec

Hydro-Québec Confirms Gentilly-2 Closure at the End of 2012 (October 3) http://media.hydroquebec.com/en/communiques/communique/hydro-quebec-confirms-gentilly-2-closure-at-the-end-of-2012

Messages Nuclear Energy Nuclear Outreach Nuclear Pride

Nuclear Power as a Foundation for a Sustainable Energy Future

Recently we were asked by the Canada West Foundation (CWF) to provide a guest blog post about nuclear for their Let’s Talk Energy blog — an initiative under the CWF’s Powering Up for the Future project. The post is basically a nuclear primer for an audience which may not be familiar with all of the benefits and contributions of the technology.

Let us know what you think!

Nuclear Power as a Foundation for a Sustainable Energy Future

Originally posted at Let’s Talk Energy

Given recent events in Japan, the first thing that anyone wants to know about Canadian nuclear is: Is it safe? The answer is yes, and I’ll tell you why.

Safety is our number one priority. Canada’s nuclear power operations have a proven track record of being among the safest in the world. They are highly monitored, stringently regulated and continuously improved through the daily efforts of qualified professionals who are committed to ensuring public safety. In over 45 years of operation there has not been a single significant incident at a Canadian facility.

Our industry continues to make investments and improvements as part of our ‘Safety First’ culture. In response to the Fukushima accident, Bruce Power has taken concrete action on a number of fronts following the events in Japan. For example, they recently announced the re-organization of their emergency response organization, which involves approximately 400 employees who form the basis of their industry-leading emergency response capability. Building on lessons learned from the Fukushima event is a top priority for our industry.

At Ontario Power Generation (OPG), a four-month examination of its nuclear operations following the events in Japan uncovered no major safety issues. OPG carefully studied the safety of its facilities and re-evaluated the potential of unlikely events such earthquakes, severe flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, fire and ice storms having major impacts on nuclear operations. The studies showed that the plants continued to be safe, but as part of continuous improvement OPG will make investments to increase safety margins during these unlikely events. This includes accelerating the installation of hydrogen recombiners and the purchase of additional back up generation and diesel pumps.

Currently there are 17 operational CANDU reactors in Canada that supply 15% of all electricity in Canada. This 15% means the potential emission of 90 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year is avoided. Imagine, without nuclear power, if that same amount of electricity was fossil-fuel generated, Canada’s total GHG emission would increase by a whopping 12%.

Canada’s nuclear facilities are located in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Communities in these provinces are benefiting not only from an available, reliable and clean source of energy, but an affordable one as well. According to studies conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a multi-country organization working to further growth and development of its member nations, the overall cost to the consumer of nuclear power over the life of a nuclear power facility is similar to that of large-scale hydro, natural gas and coal, and much lower than wind and solar.

What about the rest of the country, you might be wondering. What are the benefits of nuclear for the rest of the country not currently powered by nuclear? Power generation is only one of the many great things about nuclear, and it isn’t only Canadians who benefit from the Canadian nuclear industry, both today and historically, what with the countless Canadian innovations in the field.

The Canadian nuclear industry provides a broad spectrum of products and services that benefit Canadians and people around the world. The application of nuclear science improves the health and well-being of us all through nuclear medicine and food safety technologies. Innovation in nuclear science is also being applied to address a number of societal challenges such as public health and transportation.

Our nuclear industry is made up of over 70,000 Canadians employed directly or indirectly in exploring and mining uranium, generating electricity, advancing nuclear medicine, and promoting Canada’s worldwide leadership in science and technology innovation. Through the efforts of these Canadians, our nuclear industry is a $6.6 billion per year industry, contributing $1.5 billion in tax revenues and $1.2 billion in export revenues.

Our commitment to public safety and environmental stewardship includes the safe, secure and responsible long-term management of all of the used fuel produced by Canadian nuclear power plants.  Used fuel is initially stored in secure water-filled bays on site of the nuclear power plants for 5 –10 years. It is then placed in large concrete and steel containers safely stored on site. In order to address the long-term care of Canada’s used nuclear fuel, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) was established by nuclear energy producers in 2002 in accordance with the federal Nuclear Fuel Waste Act.

NWMO has worked with industry, research and government organizations to develop a management approach for the long-term care of Canada’s used nuclear fuel, including development of a deep geological repository in a suitable rock formation. Initial stages of the plan are now being implemented. NWMO’s plan and its implementation is highly monitored and regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to protect the health, safety and security of people and our environment. In fact, radioactive waste facilities are monitored by the licensees and by the provincial and federal authorities, and they are kept extremely secure.

Let’s see, we’ve covered: safety, zero-emission power generation, affordability, contributions to medicine, heath, science and technology innovation, various industries, and the Canadian economy, and talked about how we clean up after ourselves. These reasons all illustrate why nuclear energy should be considered not only in the discussions about a Canadian energy strategy, but also as a component for a sustainable energy future.

I’d love to continue this discussion with you. We have a blog at TalkNuclear.ca and we talk nuclear on Facebook and Twitter. Come join the conversation about all things nuclear and energy related.

If you want to know more about the daily benefits of nuclear beyond energy generation, visit our new microsite. Find out how the future is NU.

Originally posted at Let’s Talk Energy



Canadian Nuclear Worker Newsletter September 2011

A Publication of the Canadian Nuclear Workers’Council

This issue includes:

  • Message from the President
  • Five-Year License Renewal for Hydro Quebec
  • Point Lepreau Refurbishment Makes Progress
  • CNWC Hall of Nuclear Industry Leaders
  • Clarington Receives Good News from OPG
  • Cameco Updates Port Hope Community
  • Bruce Power Achieves Major Milestone
  • In short…

Download a PDF of the September issue of the Canadian Nuclear Worker newsletter

is published four times a year by the
Canadian Nuclear Workersʼ Council,
244 Eglinton Avenue East,
Toronto, Ontario M4P 1K2.

Nuclear News Nuclear Pride

2010 Annual CNSC Staff Report on the Safety Performance of Canadian Nuclear Power Plants

Last week, the CNSC staff presented their annual report on the safety performance of Canada’s nuclear power facilities. Part I of the presentation covered the safety performance, from January to December 2010; Part II addressed regulatory developments and issues.  The public was invited to provide comments on the reports, which have been publicly available since April, however, no comments were received. The industry average was Satisfactory. This means our operators were found to be satisfying the regulators’ expectations for safety and control areas and maintaining very safe operations.

Summary of Results for 2010

  • No serious process failures at the NPPs
  • No radiation dose to the public and workers above the regulatory limits
  • Accident severity rate was low
  • No environmental releases above regulatory limits
  • Canada was able to meet its international obligations regarding the peaceful use of nuclear energy

How did we do?

Here are some report highlights on each of the Canada’s nuclear stations

Bruce A & B

  • Integrated Plant Ratings: Satisfactory
  • Fully Satisfactory in measures of conventional health and safety


  • Integrated Plant Rating: Fully Satisfactory
  • Fully Satisfactory in measures of Operating Performance, Fitness for Service, Radiation Protection

Pickering A & B

  • Integrated Plant Ratings: Satisfactory
  • Satisfactory in measures of Environmental Protection, Emergency Management and Fire Protection, Waste Management


  • Integrated Plant Ratings: Satisfactory
  • Satisfactory in measures of Human Performance Management, Safety Analysis, Safeguards

Point Lepreau

  • Integrated Plant Ratings: Satisfactory
  • Satisfactory in measures of Packaging and Transport, Radiation Protection, Environmental Protection
  • NB Power’s Point Lepreau Generating Station received a “Below Expectations” rating in area of Emergency management and fire protection. NB Power assures their plant is safe. They have a plan in place to address the areas where performance needs to be improved and are confident in achieving high standards of performance. Safety is their number one priority.They do have fire, chemical, radiological and medical response capabilities as provided by highly trained, qualified and dedicated emergency response teams. They will continue to put measures in place to improve — that is their commitment to continuous improvement and ensuring that they meet the expectations of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

Aside from the report card on our nuclear power facilities, the CNSC staff report contains tons of interesting information about how Canadian plants fair against international benchmarks (note: very well!).

CNSC Presentation Overview

  • Background of the 2010 Report
  • Public Comments
  • Summary of the Results for 2010
  • Individual Station Highlights
  • Concluding Remarks

Download PDF versions of the CNSC presentation documents below

2010 Annual CNSC Staff Report on the Safety Performance of Canadian Nuclear Power Plants

2010 Annual CNSC Staff Report on the Safety Performance of Canadian Nuclear Power Plants – Presentation

In the concluding remarks, the CNSC found that all nuclear power facilities in Canada operated safely in 2010, and that operators made adequate provisions to protect health, safety, environment and international commitments. The Canadian nuclear industry works because of a shared commitment to safety among plant workers and operators and the strong regulatory oversight of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

The CNSC will present a final report on the implications of the Japan nuclear event for Canadian nuclear power facilities. This report will be available on September 30, 2011.