Opening doors: Tours are resuming – while following COVID-19 safety protocols – at Ontario Power Generation facilities, in support of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) process to develop a lasting solution for used fuel from Canada’s nuclear facilities. NWMO aims to complete site selection in 2023 for a Deep Geological Repository (DGR); it narrowed its original list of 22 interested municipalities to two candidate communities in Ontario, South Bruce and Ignace. This week, members of the South Bruce Community Liaison Committee visited the Western facility of OPG’s Nuclear Sustainability Services, at the Bruce nuclear site, to see how used fuel is processed and stored on an interim basis, pending development of the DGR for service by 2043-45.
Big dig: Earth-moving equipment has arrived the Bruce Energy Centre in Kincardine, site of the planned new Western Clean Energy Sorting and Recycling – ready to excavate for the foundation once a building permit is in place. While a formal ground-breaking ceremony took place in December, the real work gets underway this spring, for completion by the end of the year. Once up and running, the new facility will enhance sorting of low-level materials from OPG nuclear operations, to support the Three Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle – and ultimately to reduce the environmental footprint of storage facilities at the Bruce nuclear site.
Setting goals for equity: OPG has launched its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Strategy, a 10-year roadmap toward ED&I excellence. The strategy identifies 15 priorities to drive leadership and accountability on ED&I, make it a core component of recruitment, and provide greater learning opportunities for employees.
“Acceleration of equity, celebration of diversity and fostering a culture of inclusion and belonging is a key strategic imperative for OPG,” said Wendy Kei, Chair of OPG’s Board of Directors. “This strategy provides a framework by which every level of the organization holds itself accountable for positive change.”
“Diverse, engaged workforces are at the core of creating and maintaining work environments where everyone can work safely and to their full potential every day,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG’s President and CEO. “We have made progress in this area, but know creating this type of workplace is an ongoing journey. This strategy helps guide our next steps to achieve measurable goals.”
Around Ontario and beyond:
- Plugging in: Along Ontario’s busiest highway, drivers of electric vehicles (EVs) now have more options to quickly charge their cars and get back on the road. The Ivy Charging Network recently opened six fast-charger locations at ONroute stops along Highway 401. The network, a joint venture between OPG and Hydro One, will soon be the largest EV fast-charging network in Ontario, with 150 fast chargers across more than 60 sites around the province.
- Year of successes: On March 10, OPG reported its financial and operating results for 2021, with net income of $1,325 million – earnings that go to the shareholder, the government of Ontario. OPG reported that its Darlington Refurbishment project reached significant milestones with the beginning of commencement of the reassembly of Unit 3 and the start of work on Unit 1, the third of four units to be overhauled. The report also cited progress toward development of a Small Modular Reactor at Darlington, and an overhaul of hydroelectric facilities across Ontario, both vital elements in OPG’s Climate Change Plan to help the economy achieve net-zero carbon emissions.
- Indigenous scholars: Three Ontario Indigenous students recently received $10,000 each as part of OPG’s John Wesley Beaver Memorial Scholarship Program. The awards went to: Desiree Boulter, of the Red Rock Indian Band, studying biology at Algoma University; Brittney Pigeau, of the Marten Falls First Nation, studying environment at Carleton University; and Tiffany Plain, of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, studying chemical production and power engineering technology at Lambton College.