OPG in the Community – March 2019

Fred Kuntz

Conference with heart: It was great to see strong representation from the Bruce area at the annual Canadian Nuclear Association conference, held recently in our nation’s capital. People from local industry and municipalities – including Kincardine, Saugeen Shores, Huron-Kinloss and Bruce County – participated in forward-looking workshops focused on the industry’s higher purpose. With a theme of “New Nuclear: Generating Solutions in Climate and Health,” CNA2019 explored how innovations in the Canadian industry are providing medical isotopes to the world, solutions for climate change, and opportunities for the next generation of scientists, engineers and skilled tradespeople.

In a lighter moment, OPG CEO Jeff Lyash, who is moving to a new role in the U.S. next month, presented a farewell gift to his counterparts at New Brunswick Power and Bruce Power: a framed photo of the three CEOs, digitally refurbished to resemble Canadian rock band Rush. It was a humorous poke at national culture; but also, for some of us, the conference’s inspiring messages called to mind the Rush lyric: “Philosophers and plowmen / Each must know his part / To sow a new mentality / Closer to the heart.”

OPG and SON: OPG has reached an interim agreement with Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) regarding legacy issues. The agreement lays the groundwork for further progress in 2019 and beyond to resolve issues related to the history of nuclear development in SON traditional territory.

Terms of the Agreement on Interim Measures on Legacy are confidential. But in essence, it enables OPG and SON to enter a framework and work plan for significant advancement of their relationship and mutual understandings. In more than a decade of engagement, OPG and SON have been building their relationship and working together in a respectful and collaborative way to achieve their shared objectives.

The Interim Measures agreement is not about OPG’s proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for low-and intermediate-level waste. On the DGR, OPG is required to update its cumulative effects analysis for the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change; and the analysis must be informed by the result of SON’s own community process on the DGR, a process continuing through 2019.

OPG is also engaged in continuous dialogue with Métis communities, both on the proposed DGR and on regular operations at the Western Waste Management Facility.  

All across Ontario, OPG is committed to building and growing long-term, mutually beneficial working relationships with First Nations and Métis communities near its current and future operations. Relationships are developed on a foundation of respect for the languages, customs, cultural institutions and rights of Indigenous communities in Ontario. OPG has long history of working with Indigenous communities through collaboration and partnership to address mutual interests and priorities including employment, training and education, capacity building, procurement, and economic development.

Around Ontario:

·         Strong year: OPG has released its 2018 financial and operating results, with net income attributable to the shareholder – the people of Ontario – of $1,195 million, up from $860 million in 2017. Earnings growth reflects new OPG regulated prices, which remain 40 per cent lower than the average of other electricity generators, as well as the sale of the former Lakeview Generating Station site.

·         Small is beautiful: The future of clean energy could lie in Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). OPG has signed several  Memorandums of Understanding other companies working in this area — Bruce Power, Oregon-based NuScale and Ontario’s Global First Power —  to pursue SMR opportunities in Canada.

·         March Madness: If you happen to be in Durham Region during March break, check out the wide array of fun sponsored by OPG’s Darlington and Pickering Nuclear Stations. Note that pre-registration is required for some events, such as the Science Bound program at the Pickering station on March 15. Similar OPG-sponsored programs are occurring in other areas, including Cornwall.

·         Join the movement: The Canadian Nuclear Association has launched a new website, called We Are Nuclear. The website and social media feeds are a grassroots effort to encourage Canadians to join together in supporting nuclear as part of a responsible path to a clean, low-carbon future.