September 12, 2023

What's Driving Ontario's Nuclear Renaissance

If you look at a chart of global nuclear energy output over time, what you see is hockey-stick growth from the mid-1960s through the mid-1990s—and then nothing.

After growing from zero to around 2600 THw, we just stopped building more of it. But that’s starting to change. 

Around the world, new nuclear projects are starting up, and plants scheduled for shutdown are being refurbished to last for decades to come. And one of the places at the forefront of this nuclear renaissance is Ontario. 

Ontario already produces an outsized share of the world’s nuclear energy—around 3.7% of the global total, ahead of Germany and the UK. 

And in the last couple of years, it announced plans to increase that dramatically, with new reactors and refurbishments at its plants in Bruce Country, Darlington, and Pickering. 

We recently had the chance to tour the Pickering facility and see firsthand the work that’s going on there. 

Afterward, we sat down with Riley Found, a Senior Manager for New Nuclear Growth at Ontario Power Generation, to talk about what's driving the renaissance in Ontario's nuclear sector and what's changed since the last time we built nuclear in the 1980s.