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Unit 2 Darlington – A success story of world-class project performance

Jun 8, 2020

Unit 2 at Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington Nuclear Generating Station is now connected to the electricity grid and ready to provide another 30-plus more years of reliable, clean, low-cost power to Ontario.

Throughout the Definition Phase of the project, the Aecon team relentlessly worked to ensure constructability – building a full-scale reactor mock-up, and carrying out rehearsals, training, and extensive planning. Turning to the Execution Phase, as a lead for the project execution, Aecon focused on project excellence, innovation, and the spirit of collaboration. The team demonstrated safety, quality, and world-class project performance despite, most recently, the unprecedented circumstances presented by COVID-19. The three-and-a-half years of the Unit 2 execution scope included replacement of 480 fuel channels, 960 feeder pipes, 4,000 welds, and numerous permanent and temporary modifications.

Illustrative of its economic benefits, the project will generate an average of 14,200 jobs annually across the province and 750,000 hours in skills training have been carried out inside the leading-edge Mock-up and Training Facility to date.

“The historic success of Unit 2 of the Darlington Nuclear Refurbishment project milestone is of incredible importance to the Canadian nuclear industry and to the Province of Ontario. This success provides a critical foundation as we progress towards the refurbishment of Ontario’s remaining reactors.  It would not be possible without our dedicated Aecon team members and trades who demonstrated unparalleled nuclear expertise and a steadfast commitment to quality and safety,” said Jean-Louis Servranckx, President and CEO, Aecon Group Inc.

For Unit 3, OPG has targeted the third quarter of this year to begin the next phase of the Darlington Nuclear Refurbishment program. 

“For this incredible success, I would like to congratulate Ontario Power Generation, Aecon staff, our partner unions, our Joint Venture partner SNC-Lavalin and suppliers who worked as one team at every step of the project,” said Thomas Clochard, Executive Lead and Senior Vice President, Aecon Nuclear.

Aecon is the #1 nuclear constructor in Canada and is committed to the success of the Ontario Nuclear Refurbishment Program. Aecon previously completed other projects which are essential to OPG’s overall refurbishment program including construction services for the Balance of Plant project.

“Aecon has a record of success working with our key nuclear clients across North America,” said Sean Sexstone, Senior Vice President, Aecon Nuclear. “We are proud to have made a critical contribution to the success of Unit 2 Darlington completion and we look forward to working with OPG on Unit 3 to support this critical program.”

In addition, Aecon is proud to be working on the Unit 6 Fuel Channel and Feeder Replacement project and Steam Generator Replacement Project at the Bruce Power Nuclear Generating Station.  

As a Canadian leader in construction and infrastructure development with global expertise, Aecon Group Inc. (TSX: ARE) strives to be the number one Canadian infrastructure company. Aecon safely, profitably and sustainably delivers integrated solutions to private and public-sector clients through its construction segment in the Civil, Urban Transportation, Nuclear, Utility, and Industrial sectors, while providing project development, financing, investment, and management services through its concessions segment.