The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission renewed the operating licence Wednesday for the Darlington generating station, an announcement that comes shortly after the Ontario government announced a sweeping multi-billion dollar plan to update some of the province's nuclear power plants.

In a written statement released Wednesday, the commission said the licence for the plant — located in Clarington, Ont. which is about 70 kilometres east of Toronto — will be "valid from Jan. 1, 2016 until November 30, 2025."

"With this licence renewal, the commission authorizes [Ontario Power Generation] to undertake the refurbishment and life extension of the four reactor units comprising the Darlington NGS," the release said.

In 2013, the Wynne government indefinitely shelved plans to build two new reactors at Darlington.

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli has said the cost of upgrading the province's old reactors will be just half that of building new ones. His ministry is expected to announce details of the plan for Darlington next month.

Wednesday's announcement comes after the province said earlier this month that Bruce Power will refurbish six of the eight nuclear reactors at its generating station near Kincardine, Ont.

An incident earlier this year underscored the need to refurbish the aging Darlington plant. In April, there was a heavy-water leak at the generating station that was contained, but not before it shut down the plant for a couple of days.


  • An earlier version of this story said Bruce Power will be refurbishing the province's nuclear power plants. In fact, Bruce Power will only be refurbishing the reactors it operates.
    Dec 24, 2015 11:14 AM ET