Expect more harmless steam plumes at Pickering Nuclear this weekend – OPG


Published May 23, 2024 at 4:42 pm

Pickering Nuclear

Pickering Nuclear’s #4 reactor, which experienced a ‘trip’ on Saturday, sending a harmless plume of steam skyward to the amazement of onlookers enjoying the sunshine, is being brought back online following a maintenance outage.

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) officials say residents may see a few more blasts on non-radioactive steam over the next few days as part of the normal shut down and start-up process.

The steam, according to OPG, does not pose any threat to employee or public safety and has no environmental impact.

Saturday’s trip was caused as the turbine reactor was decoupled from the grid, which meant the steam driving the turbine was diverted to the atmosphere.

The plume is normal for steam-driven generator loss at any power plant, with the trapped steam safely vented to the atmosphere.

Two of the four reactors at Pickering’s ‘A’ station have already been decommissioned, while the remaining two reactors – including #4 – are currently in the process of being mothballed. The entire facility will be shut down in 2026 while the four ‘B’ reactors – all built in the 1980s – are being refurbished, a decision announced by the provincial government in late January.

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