The Globe and Mail reports in its Saturday edition that Ontario Power Generation plans to make a decision this year that might determine the future of Canada's nuclear industry. The Globe's Matthew McClearn writes that the utility, by far Canada's largest nuclear power producer, promises to select a design for a 300-megawatt reactor it proposes to build at its Darlington Nuclear Generating Station by 2028. The estimated price tag: up to $3-billion. With a supply chain of more than 200 companies covering everything from uranium mining to operating power plants to decommissioning them, Canada is considered a Tier 1 nuclear country. Lately, however, this machine has been devoted to squeezing more life out of old Candu units, largely through Ontario's $26-billion plan to refurbish its Darlington station, east of Toronto, and the Bruce Power complex on Lake Huron. Seeking to catch up, dozens of nuclear vendors sprung up in just the past few years. Candu, owned by SNC-Lavalin, wants to build highly standardized, factory-built reactors, produced in large quantities that will make them cheaper than traditional reactors while facilitating rapid deployment. Candu claims its model could be "shovel-ready" as early as 2023.
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