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Ontario to squeeze more life out of Pickering nuclear station

Last Updated Jan 11, 2016 at 2:33 pm EDT

The Pickering Nuclear Plant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve White.

Ontario’s Liberal government wants to squeeze four more years of life out of the Pickering nuclear station.

It will start a $12.8 billion refurbishment of the Darlington power station this fall.

Nuclear reactors at both stations owned by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) were originally scheduled to be decommissioned in 2020.

But cabinet decided to keep Pickering running until 2024 while the four nuclear reactors at the Darlington station are rebuilt to extend their lives by about 30 years.

OPG says the Darlington rebuild will generate $14.9 billion in economic benefits to Ontario and generate 11,800 jobs at peak of construction.

Bruce Power assumed all risks of cost overruns for its nuclear refurbishment, which will start in 2020, four years later than originally planned.

Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats are worried taxpayers will be on the hook for huge cost overruns with the Darlington rebuild, noting nuclear projects never come in on budget.

Premier Kathleen Wynne says she wants to keep generating between about half of Ontario’s electricity from nuclear power.

Ontario companies in the CANDU reactor supply chain.