OPG in the Community – September, 2020

          Fred Kuntz

Pumpkinfest Powers On!  Hurrah to the organizers, volunteers, sponsors and participants in Pumpkinfest 2020 in Port Elgin, for finding a way to deliver wagonloads of fun, even in this unusual year when so many festivals have been cancelled. Pumpkinfest this year is a “virtual” event, and Ontario Power Generation is plugged in, sponsoring Pumpkin Pack Wednesdays.

Families can pick up a FREE Pumpkin Pack filled with activities for children to enjoy from the safety of home. Each week’s pack features a different community partner and activity – outdoor adventures, plantings or crafts – co-sponsored by OPG, Pumpkinfest, MacGregor Point Provincial Park, Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority, and Historic Saugeen Métis.  You can pick up your Pumpkin Pack at Hi-Berry Farm, north of Port Elgin on Highway 21, on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 23 or 30, between 3 and 5 p.m. (Quantities are limited – limit of three per family/car each week). Also, please visit the Pumpkinfest website to learn more about the OPG-sponsored pumpkin-carving contest – deadline to enter is Friday, Oct. 2. Together we will #PowerOn!

Willing to listen:  OPG is committed to lasting solutions for the byproducts of nuclear energy from its generating stations, embracing the three Rs – Reduce, Re-use, Recycle – while developing plans for the safe and permanent disposal of any materials that remain. For used fuel, the federally mandated Nuclear Waste Management Organization is developing a Deep Geological Repository for all of Canada, with site selection by 2023. You can learn more the DGR project at the NWMO website; and for residents of the Bruce area, please check out the Facebook group called South Bruce DGR – Willing to Listen.

 Around Ontario and beyond:

·         Bundles away:  Defueling has begun in Unit 3 at Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. It’s a big step in advancing the refurbishment of Darlington’s four reactors, following the successful completion of Unit 2 earlier this year. Workers will use remote-controlled tooling to remove 6,240 fuel bundles over the next three months and place them in water-filled fuel bays to cool down. Bill Walker, Ontario’s Associate Minister of Energy, said, “Darlington is part of the foundation of Ontario’s world-class nuclear sector, and I’m pleased that the work to extend its operating life has proceeded to the next phase.”

·         We were ready:  Recent news coverage has detailed how Canada’s nuclear industry long ago developed business-contingency plans, to prepare for a pandemic, such as the COVID-19 challenge we are now managing through. Lessons learned from the 2002-04 SARS crisis spurred companies, including OPG, to stockpile personal protective equipment (PPE) and develop what-if scenarios to keep workers safe, while ensuring continued production of electricity for businesses, homes and hospitals. Having interviewed businesses, workers and regulators on these extensive measures, Global News reports: “By all accounts, they worked.”

·         Solar milestone:  OPG’s Nanticoke Solar facility, which went into service in March 2019, has now generated [OPG’s%20new%20Nanticoke%20Solar%20facility%20recently%20marked%20a%20major%20milestone,%20generating%20more%20than%20100,000%20megawatt-hours%20of%20clean%20power%20to%20date%20–%20enough%20to%20power%2010,000%20homes%20year-round.]more than 100,000 megawatt-hours of clean power – enough to power 10,000 homes year-round. The 44 megawatt facility, near Port Dover on the shores of Lake Erie, was built in partnership with the Six Nations of Grand River Development Corporation and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.