OPG in the Community – May, 2021

Fred Kuntz, Sr. Mgr., Corporate Relations and Projects | Bruce County

Fred Kuntz, Sr. Mgr., Corporate Relations and Projects | Bruce CountyWork in progress:  At the Western Waste Management Facility (WWMF), work continues on upgrading our incinerator, a project we started in late March. Think of this as WWMF’s mini-refurbishment . The incinerator is a smaller machine than a reactor, of course, but it’s vital to our good stewardship of nuclear by-products, helping to reduce the volume of low-level materials by up to 90%.  That’s important to our environmental practice of minimizing stored volumes, and maximizing the re-use and recycling of clean materials. We’re on track to complete the planned 74-day outage in the coming month, as we finishing installing new components and then test them, before resuming normal operations.

Getting engaged:  On Tuesday, May 26, at 6:00 p.m., residents of Kincardine and surrounding communities are invited to join an online engagement session with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), about a new strategy to manage low-and intermediate-level radioactive materials. You can register for the Kincardine session at NWMO’s website “A Next Step,” at radwasteplanning.ca. This process is separate from NWMO’s development of a Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for Canada’s used fuel.  Aside from the DGR project, NWMO has been asked by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to developed an Integrated Strategy for Radioactive Waste, as part of NRCan’s review in 2021 of Canada’s over-all policy framework. OPG supports and is participating in both NRCan’s and NWMO’s engagement processes.

Around Ontario and beyond:

·  Scholarships expanding:  OPG has joined forces with Indspire to provide 20 scholarships of $10,000 each to First Nations (status or non-status), Inuit or Métis students over the course of the next three years. OPG’s contribution of $100,000 will be matched by the federal government to expand the company’s John Wesley Beaver Memorial Scholarship program, which since 1997 has awarded two scholarships a year. With the new funding, six scholarships a year will be awarded in each of the first two years, and eight scholarships in the third year.

·  SMR progress: The premiers of Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan have taken the next step forward in ensuring Canada becomes a global leader in the development and deployment of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), with the release of the SMR feasibility study. As well, Alberta formally joined the other three provinces by signing their 2019 SMR Memorandum of Understanding. The next step will be the development of a strategic plan for deployment of SMRs.

·  All for one:  OPG’s Centre for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability (CCNS), Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) and SNC-Lavalin have signed a Collaboration Agreement on nuclear decommissioning. “The solutions we develop through this group will be applied not only in Pickering, post-commercial-operations, but have the potential to be used internationally and create jobs and opportunities for Canada’s nuclear industry at home and abroad,” said Carla Carmichael, OPG Vice-President, Decommissioning Strategy.

·  Better way:  The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) board has approved a framework with OPG and Toronto Hydro for the three parties to work together to electrify the TTC bus fleet, North America’s largest transit electrification project to date. OPG, through a subsidiary, will design, build, operate and maintain the charging infrastructure to power the TTC’s electric bus fleet.

·      Water power:  OPG is planning a 20-year overhaul of its hydroelectric generating units around Ontario. The estimated $2.5-billion program aims to replace key components in hydro facilities from the province’s northwest to the southeast. This refurbishment will ensure generating units can continue to operate efficiently and reliably while supporting OPG’s net-zero carbon goals outlined in its Climate Change Plan.