OPG in the Community: April, 2021

Fred Kuntz, Sr. Mgr., Corporate Relations and Projects | Bruce County

Thank you, Your Worship:  Ontario Power Generation (OPG) wishes to thank Kincardine Mayor Anne Eadie for her years of dedication to local public service, including as a member of Bruce County council, and previously as a councillor in Huron-Kinloss. Mayor Eadie, who resigned effective today, has been a steadfast advocate for the benefits of clean nuclear energy while leading a community that hosts one of the largest nuclear sites in the world, including through her work with the Canadian Association of Nuclear Host Communities.

Her countless contributions to the wider Bruce area, such as her tireless support for watershed conservation and environmental protection, leave a legacy of positive benefits for our region.  We extend our best wishes to Anne and family, for health and happiness on the road ahead.  We also offer best wishes to Deputy Mayor Randy Roppel and Kincardine councillors and staff, for progress and prosperity as they continue to serve this vibrant nuclear community.

Embracing the 3 Rs:  At the Western Waste Management Facility (WWMF), the focus continues to be on good environmental practices – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – to minimize volumes of nuclear materials in storage.  We consider this commitment to the environment to be a vitally important part of good stewardship. Recent and ongoing initiatives include:

·         A planned outage of our incinerator this month, for maintenance and further upgrades, adding to major improvements to the machinery in 2020. The upgrades will improve efficiency in the clean operation of this vital tool to reduce stored volumes – which in turn reduces our environmental footprint, by reducing the need to build new storage capacity.

·         Continued research into advanced methods of sorting and segregating materials, to maximize the amount that can be free-released or recycled. Supported through collaboration with the WWMF, this research takes place at a laboratory in Hamilton, in a partnership between McMaster University and OPG subsidiary Laurentis Energy Partners.  Innovations that emerge may also be applicable to the wider nuclear industry.

·         Advances in welding procedures, approved by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, that have enabled a reduction in the amount of welding material used to seal Dry Storage Containers of used fuel. This is ultimately good for the environment, reducing the amount of material destined for disposal, and also introduces costs savings that, however small, still contribute to OPG’s over-all drive for efficiencies to mitigate costs for electricity ratepayers.

Good as gold: OPG was excited to be recognized with Gold Certification – the highest level – from the Wildlife Habitat Council, for habitat protection at the WWMF and Bruce site. Over the years, OPG’s environmental staff and partners have launched numerous biodiversity programs, ranging from habitat restoration for turtles and ducks, to managing invasive species, to providing awareness and community engagement programs to Bruce County residents.  “We are proud of this achievement, reflecting OPG’s commitment to biodiversity at the Western facility,” said Jason Van Wart, OPG’s Vice President of Nuclear Waste Management and Commercial Services.  “It’s consistent with OPG’s history of protecting the environment at its operations throughout the province.”

Public accountability:  OPG’s Nuclear Waste Management division issues quarterly Performance Reports, as part of our commitment to transparency and public information.  These reports include metrics on safety, environmental and operational performance, as well as news about special milestones, achievements and local community activities. You can find the 2020 Q4 performance report, plus earlier editions, posted online at www.opg.com/reporting/reporting-regulatory (just scroll down the page to the NWM Performance Reports, to download the PDF).

Better together:  Each year, OPG and Bruce Power issue a report on how they achieve success by working closely together.  Collaboration between the two companies helps us both to identify efficiencies and innovation to lower cost for ratepayers, share lessons learned on refurbishments, and leverage economies of scale to ensure these large clean-energy projects remain on time and budget.  You can find the 2020 Ontario Nuclear Collaboration Report posted at each of our websites.