Canadian court rejects appeal of enviro report in Darlington rebuild project

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) said April 14 that it is pleased that Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal the prior day unanimously dismissed a judicial review by objectors, including Greenpeace Canada, to the environmental assessment (EA) of the Darlington Nuclear Refurbishment Project.

The Federal Court of Appeal found that there were no gaps or errors in the 2013 EA, which determined the project would have no significant adverse effects on the public or the environment. The court also found there was nothing unreasonable about the determinations made by the responsible authorities, and that the intervenors’ arguments were not borne out by the evidence.

“The decision is a vote of confidence in the quality of the work that went in to OPG’s EA application and in the licensing process,” said Glenn Jager, President of OPG Nuclear and Chief Nuclear Officer. “This is another important step toward clean air, jobs, innovation and lower energy prices. We have been preparing for this project since 2009, and we’re ready to deliver the job safely, on time and on budget.”

In January, OPG announced a C$12.8 billion investment in the Darlington Nuclear Station. The refurbishment of the first of four units will begin in October of this year and will preserve about 3,000 jobs. A refurbished Darlington will provide 30-plus more years of clean, reliable baseload power, at a cost lower than other alternatives considered, OPG said. In 2015, OPG’s average sale price for nuclear generation was C6.5 cents per kilowatt hour.

The Conference Board of Canada estimates that Darlington’s refurbishment is expected to generate C$14.9 billion in economic benefits to Ontario. At its peak, the refurbishment project will create 11,800 jobs per year, with an average of 8,800 annually over the life of the project.

The Darlington facility is a four-unit station with a net output of 3,512 MW. Located in the Municipality of Clarington, 70 kilometers east of Toronto, Darlington provides about 20% of Ontario’s electricity needs.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.