The government of Ontario, Canada, is starting pre-development work to site the first large-scale nuclear build in Ontario in over three decades, the province said on July 5.
Ontario-based Bruce Power will start community consultations and conduct the environmental assessment for federal approval to determine the feasibility of siting up to 4,800 megawatts of new nuclear generation.
For the first time since 2005, Ontario’s electricity demand is rising. While the government has implemented its plan to meet rising demand this decade, experts at Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator have recommended the province begin planning, siting and environmental assessment work for long-lead assets, including nuclear power, to meet increasing electricity demand in the 2030s and beyond driven by strong economic growth, electrification and population growth.
Federal approval is the first step in a comprehensive process for approving and building new nuclear power generation projects, which could take a decade or longer.
The pre-development work will help evaluate the suitability of the site by examining the impacts of a new facility on the environment, the public and Indigenous communities. It will take several years to complete, involving public input and consultations with Indigenous communities, and is a pre-requisite for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s multi-stage licensing process for new large-scale nuclear stations.