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Ontario Secures $360 Million in Nuclear Deals, Creates Jobs at Home

CLARINGTON – In a groundbreaking move, Ontario has completed the initial phase of site preparation for its first Small Modular Reactor (SMR) at Darlington, making it the first of its kind within the G7 nations. Alongside this milestone, recent trade missions to Romania and France have culminated in deals worth $360 million, promising substantial economic benefits and job creation for Ontario’s nuclear workforce.

Leading the charge were Stephen Lecce, newly appointed Minister of Energy and Electrification, and Todd Smith, Minister of Education. Just days into his new role, Lecce spearheaded these crucial agreements, underscoring Ontario’s position as a global leader in nuclear energy.

“With increasing geopolitical volatility, it is clear that countries around the world are looking for stable democratic energy partners that offer clean, reliable, and affordable energy — and Ontario is once again answering that call,” Lecce stated. He highlighted that these international agreements would not only create valuable jobs in Ontario but also enhance Europe’s energy security.

The mission’s first success was in Romania, where a $360 million (CAD) agreement was signed between Ontario Power Generation (OPG) subsidiary Canadian Nuclear Partners and Romania’s SN Nuclearelectrica S.A. (SNN). This project involves the refurbishment of Unit 1 at Romania’s Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant, leveraging the expertise of Ontario’s seasoned nuclear workers known for delivering large-scale infrastructure projects efficiently.

In France, Minister Smith facilitated a Memorandum of Understanding between OPG and Stellarex, a fusion technology company. This agreement will explore the development and deployment of fusion energy technology in Ontario, further solidifying the province’s reputation as a leader in nuclear innovation.

The Ontario Government announced that the early works for the Darlington SMR were completed on time and within budget. The site has now been handed over to Aecon, the Darlington New Nuclear Project’s construction partner, to begin main site preparation, which includes excavation, shoring wall construction, and land clearance for three additional SMR units.

Jeff Parnell, President of the Power Workers’ Union, hailed the job creation and economic impact of Ontario’s international nuclear projects. “The thousands of jobs being created to support Ontario’s international position as a supplier of nuclear technology and the thousands more supporting nuclear power generation in Ontario will help drive the provincial economy for years to come,” Parnell said.

Ontario’s nuclear expansion plans include:

  • Pre-development work at Bruce Power for the first large-scale nuclear build in over three decades, which could power up to 4.8 million homes.
  • Site preparation for four small modular reactors at Darlington, expected to power up to 1.2 million homes.
  • Steps towards refurbishing the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, projected to power up to two million homes.

Minister Lecce and Minister Smith also met with European government representatives and energy companies to showcase Ontario’s strengths in the nuclear sector. Their itinerary included meetings with Romanian Energy Minister Sebastian Burduja, EnergoNuclear, and Romatom. Additionally, they hosted a Nuclear Education Roundtable with leaders from Europe’s nuclear industry and Ontario universities to address workforce and talent gaps in Romania’s nuclear sector and explore future collaboration opportunities.

These developments are part of Ontario’s Powering Ontario’s Growth Plan, which includes significant investments in nuclear energy and supports the 67,000 jobs in Ontario’s nuclear sector. The government’s commitment to expanding affordable energy generation continues to drive the provincial economy and establish Ontario as a pivotal player on the global energy stage.

Samantha Deschamps

Samantha Deschamps serves as the Queens Park Reporter, offering insightful coverage of provincial politics with depth and accuracy. With a keen understanding of legislative intricacies, Deschamps provides invaluable perspectives on matters affecting Ontario. For inquiries or feedback, contact Samantha at

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