Darlington plans abandoned

30 June 2009

The government of Ontario has stopped the process to procure two replacement nuclear reactors for the Darlington site. It said that Atomic Energy of Canada Limited was the only bidder to meet its criteria, but it has concerns about costs and the future of the company.

In March 2008 the government of Ontario launched a two-phase competitive procurement process for two new reactors at Darlington. Second-stage proposals were received from Areva NP, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and Westinghouse Electric Company in February and carefully evaluated.

“Only the submission from AECL was compliant with the terms of the RFP and the objectives of the government. However, concern about pricing and uncertainty regarding the company's future prevented Ontario from continuing with the procurement at this time,” the government of Ontario said 29 June.

In late May, a review into the structure of AECL determined that the company should be restructured with its commercial and research arms separated. Although the government has yet to announce concrete plans for the future of AECL, commercial interest in the Candu reactor division could see it put up for sale.

Deputy premier and minister of energy and infrastructure George said the government remains committed to modernisation of Ontario’s nuclear fleet, which currently accounts for 50% of the province’s electricity needs.

“Emission-free nuclear power remains a crucial aspect of Ontario's supply mix,” he said.

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