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November 5, 2021

OPG awards contract for complex parts for nuclear refurbishment

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BWXT Nuclear Energy lands $50M parts deal for Darlington refurbishment project

News Release, November 4, 2021

Peterborough – Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BWXT) are announcing a contract for Fuelling Machine (FM) head engineering and component supply as part of refurbishment of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. 

The contract will be formally announced today at BWXT’s Peterborough, Ontario, facility, with Energy Minister Todd Smith, Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith, OPG President and CEO Ken Hartwick, and BWXT Nuclear Power Group President John MacQuarrie in attendance. 

The $50 million (US$38.2 million) contract will be executed by BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. in Peterborough, where a team of more than 250 employees, engineers, skilled trades and other specialized personnel will design and supply complex parts and assemblies to enable refurbishment of all eight FM heads at Darlington. Engineering work on this project began in 2020, with component supply occurring from 2022 to 2026. 

After 30 years of providing safe, clean, reliable power to Ontarians, Darlington is in the midst of a planned midlife overhaul. The first of four units was shut down in 2016 and returned to service in 2020. A second unit is currently being refurbished, with the four-unit project slated for completion in 2026. 

Beyond extending the life of the station by 30 or more years, Darlington Refurbishment is a boon to Ontario’s economy. Approximately 96 per cent of project costs are being spent in the province – like this project currently underway in Peterborough – drawing on Ontario’s significant and skilled nuclear supply chain. More than 200 companies across Ontario are part of the refurbishment project and are helping to power the province's economy by creating jobs and delivering high quality parts and services. 

According to the Conference Board of Canada, Darlington Refurbishment and the station’s subsequent operating life:

  • Provides an $89.9 billion boost to Ontario’s economy
  • Creates approximately 14,000 jobs annually for the life of the project, with five jobs created in the broader Ontario economy for each worker directly employed at Darlington Station.
  • Increases Ontario’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP): every $1 spent on the project increases GDP by $1.40, on average. 

FM heads are part of the remote-controlled system that allows continuous on-power fuelling in CANDU reactors, like those found at Darlington. 

Quick Facts

  • Darlington’s refurbishment also plays a role in helping meet Ontario’s climate change goals: a study points out continued operation of Darlington to 2055 is equivalent to taking two million cars off Ontario’s roads in terms of greenhouse gas avoidance.
  • Darlington Nuclear Generating Station generates enough electricity to meet about 20 per cent of Ontario’s power needs, enough to power two million homes.
  • BWXT employs approximately 1,500 highly skilled people at its unique facilities in Peterborough, Cambridge, Toronto, Arnprior, Oakville, Dundas and Owen Sound. They support the operation and refurbishment of Ontario’s nuclear generating stations with innovative products and services. 

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