Time running out for Ontario to formally request Pickering nuclear power station extension

TORONTO - Ontario’s electricity generator has yet to file an official application to extend the life of the Pickering nuclear power plant, more than eight months after the Ford government announced it planned to give the plant a longer life.

As the province faces an electricity capacity crunch in 2025 and beyond, the Ford government scrambled to prolong the Pickering power plant until September 2026,  in order to guarantee a steady supply of power as the province experiences a rise in demand and shutdowns at other nuclear power plants.

The extension may come down to the wire, however, as the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), the federal regulator tasked with approving or denying the extension, tells Global News the province has yet to file key paperwork.

The information is required for the application and the government now has a month before the deadline runs out.

“The Commission requires that Ontario Power Generation submit specific information by June 30, 2023, if it intends to operate the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station beyond December 31, 2024,” the CNSC told Global News in a statement. “The Commission Registry has not yet received an application from Ontario Power Generation.”

If Ontario doesn’t receive the green light, the power plant which currently is responsible for 14 per cent of the province’s energy grid will be decommissioned in 2025 leaving the province with a significant shortfall.

For its part, the Ford government doesn’t seem concerned about the impending timeline suggesting the Crown corporation responsible for the application will get it in on time.

“OPG is on track to submit their application before the end of June and has already started to submit supporting materials as part of the regulatory process,” a spokesperson for energy minister Todd Smith said.


in Year