Unit 1 of Canada’s four-unit Darlington nuclear power plant, located in Clarington, Ontario, set a North American record on July 9 with 895 consecutive days of operation, according to Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the plant’s owner and operator.
The previous record of 894 days was held by Pickering-7, also part of OPG’s nuclear fleet. The reactors at the Darlington and Pickering plants are CANDU pressurized heavy-water reactors. Darlington-1, an 878-MWe PHWR, has been on line since January 26, 2018.
What they’re saying: “Unit 1’s remarkable run is a reflection of the strong dedication and commitment of our employees to drive efficient and robust performance from our generating units for the benefit of all Ontarians,” said Sean Granville, OPG’s chief nuclear officer. “This success story is a testament to the reliability of the Darlington station, which produces clean electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Reactor renovation: OPG began a major 10-year project to refurbish all four of its Darlington reactors in 2016, when Unit 2 was taken off line. Earlier this year, the unit was reconnected to Ontario’s electricity grid. Darlington-3’s refurbishment, originally scheduled to begin in May of this year, was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Darlington-1’s refurbishment is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2022 and to be completed in the second quarter of 2025. Darlington-4 is scheduled for its overhaul to begin in the third quarter of 2023, with completion in the fourth quarter of 2026.