SPEA welcomes government support for Pickering reactor refurbishment plan

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Province of Ontario’s investment supports made in Canada low-carbon energy solution

Refurbishing units at Pickering Nuclear Generating Station is a win for Ontario’s energy workers, the economy, and a net-zero future, says the Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA-Unifor).

“The announced support for the refurbishment of Pickering is great news for Ontario and the community of Pickering,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “Nuclear energy is an essential part of the low-carbon energy future and an important part of Ontario’s economy.”  

On January 30, 2024, the Ontario government announced $2B in support for Ontario Power Generation’s Project Initiation Phase to start the refurbishment of Pickering Nuclear Generating Station’s “B” units 5 to 8.

CANDU technology has gained widespread acceptance through its innovative design, which uses unenriched uranium to deliver reliable low-carbon power. CANDU reactors support a supply chain worth $6 billion annually, supporting 74,000 jobs, many of them unionized. Pickering is also an essential part of Canada’s medical isotope program .

“CANDU technology is clean, made in Canada, and has an impeccable safety record,” said SPEA-Unifor President Mark Chudak. “SPEA-Unifor welcomes, and greatly appreciates, the Province of Ontario’s investment in this first phase of the project that promises to generate thousands of jobs every year in the nuclear sector through completion in the mid-2030s and beyond.”

An independent report from the Conference Board of Canada suggests that the refurbishment of Pickering could increase Ontario’s GDP by $19.4 billion over the 11-year project period and help sustain roughly 6,410 Ontario jobs per year for decades to come.

The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates is a union affiliated with Unifor representing engineers, scientists, technical and administrative staff who work for Candu Energy Inc., (formerly Atomic Energy of Canada Limited), a subsidiary of AtkinsRéalis  (formerly SNC Lavalin). Formed in 1974, SPEA is one of the oldest professional unions in Canada. 

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Ian Boyko

National Communications Representative - Western Region