Map of Canada

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Electricity generation in Canada

Nuclear power

Currently 18 NPPs are operating in Canada.
In 2004 Canada's NPPs produce 12% of the country's electricity. All units are Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors of Canadian design, called CANDU (Canadian Deuterium Uranium Reactor).

Electricity generation

Canada has considerable natural resources and is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of energy.
Canada had 120 gigawatts of installed electricity generating capacity in 2006. The country produced 610 billion kilowatt hours (Bkwh) of electric power in 2006 while consuming 540 Bkwh. Hydroelectricity represents the largest share of Canada’s electricity generation, followed by conventional thermal and nuclear.

Energy consumption

In 2005,

  • the largest source of energy consumption in Canada was oil (31 percent),
  • followed by hydroelectricity (25 percent) and
  • natural gas (24 percent). Both coal (12 percent)
  • and nuclear (7 percent) constitute a smaller share of the country’s overall energy mix.

Canada is one of the biggest Uranium producers in the world, it's only topped by China.

Developments in the nuclear sector

2008, May: No uranium exploration in British Columbia

British Columbia will not support the exploration and development of uranium in British Columbia and is estabilishing a "no registration reserve" under the Mineral Tenure Act for uranium and thorium.
The government will also ensure that all uranium deposits will remain undeveloped. These changes support the BC Energy Plan commitment of no nuclear power.
The ban makes B.C. a no-go zone for uranium and confirms a moratorium put in place in 1980 by a previous government responding to anti-nuclear sentiment in the province.
Today, there is no uranium mining in the province.
Uranium exploration is under way in toher provinces, but the only producing mines in Canada are in Saskatchewan.

In 1998 Canada started to open the electricity market: When the hearings on the legislation got underway Energy Minister Jim Wilson said the Ontario government's bill to create competition in Ontario's (Cdn)$10-billion electricity market will let wind, solar, and biomass power compete against Hydro's predominantly nuclear generation. "For the first time customers will be able to demand "green" energy sources from suppliers.".

1998: Ontario Hydro Nuclear submitted a detailed plan for NPP recovery

The (Cdn) $1,65-billion program will involve 66 separate projects, but almost half of the money will be spent on just three major ones:
A "configuration management restoration" project is budgeted to get $344-million. A project to assure that safety-related equipment will do what it is supposed to do in an emergency will get $293-million, and one to upgrade fire protection at the Bruce, Pickering and Darlington nuclear stations will get $161-million.
The environmental qualification program has actually been underway since 1989, but the new funding will take it to completion by 2003.
On the fire protection front, the improvement plan report concedes that previous reviews have found fire protection and the ability to fight fires at OHN stations "lacking in several key areas."

For the first half of 1998, Hydro recorded three level 1 and 24 level 2 events on the Atomic Energy control Board scale. In the first half of this year they had met the production target with an average 74 % capability factor.

The theoretical dose to anyone exposed beyond Hydro´s three nuclear station boundaries was 3 µSv or less than a quarter of the target figure. During this half-year period Hydro was obliged to report seven nuclear spills, but that was less than 40% of an anticipated 18 spills in period.
The collective radiation exposure of Hydro nuclear employees averaged 217 mSv per unit or 1,7 less than targeted for the first half of 1998.

1967: Reactor goes critical

The first commercial Canadian reactor went critical in 1967. In

1952: Catastrophic failure of research reacotor

The research reactor at Chalk River had a catastrophic failure when an explosion occurred and the core melt. At the same site a second research reactor accident occurred in 1958. Both accidents led to substantial contamination of the local environment.

Sites With Nuclear Facilities

siteplantreactor typconstruction startoperation startshut down
BruceBruce-1CANDU 850 (PHWR)19711977
Bruce-2CANDU 850 (PHWR)19701976
Bruce-3CANDU 850 (PHWR)19721977
Bruce-4CANDU 850 (PHWR)19721978
Bruce-5CANDU 870 (PHWR)19781984
Bruce-6CANDU 870 (PHWR)19781984
Bruce-7CANDU 870 (PHWR)19791986
Bruce-8CANDU 870 (PHWR)19791987
Chalk RiverChalk RiverLLW storage
Chalk River NRUMo production
Cigar LakeCigar LakeUranium mine
DarlingtonDarlington-1CANDU 880 (PHWR)19821992
Darlington-2CANDU 880 (PHWR)19811990
Darlington-3CANDU 880 (PHWR)19841992
Darlington-4CANDU 880 (PHWR)19851993
Douglas PointDouglas PointPHWR 200196019671984
GentillyGentilly-1HWLWR, 250196619711977
Gentilly-2CANDU 640 (PHWR)197419822012
McArthur RiverMcArthur RiverUranium mine
PickeringPickering-1CANDU 500 (PHWR)19661971
Pickering-2CANDU 500 (PHWR)196619711997
Pickering-3CANDU 500 (PHWR)196719721997
Pickering-4CANDU 500 (PHWR)19681973
Pickering-5CANDU 500 (PHWR)19741982
Pickering-6CANDU 500 (PHWR)19751983
Pickering-7CANDU 500 (PHWR)19761984
Pickering-8CANDU 500 (PHWR)19761986
Point LepreauPoint LepreauCANDU 640 (PHWR)19751982