Plans by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to restart two mothballed reactors have been abandoned on cost grounds. The state-owned utility has decided not to go ahead with plans to refurbish Pickering A Units 2 and 3 following management recommendations. Instead, it will devote its resources and expertise to maximising the performance of its 10 existing nuclear units, notably Pickering A Units 1 and 4, which are in better physical condition.

“For several months we have studied the economics of the Pickering A Units 2 and 3 return to service, including third party reviews. We don’t see a sound business case for returning Units 2 and 3 to service,” said OPG president and chief executive Jim Hankinson.

OPG returned Pickering A Unit 4 to service in 2003 and Unit 1 is now undergoing commissioning. The refurbished Unit 1 is expected to be in service in October at a projected cost of about C$1 billion ($833 million).

Units 2 and 3 have been maintained in a safe shutdown state since December 1997. Over the next two years the fuel and heavy water will be removed from Units 2 and 3 and the units will be put into a long-term layup state.