Thought Leadership

Congratulations to OPG on Completing the First Unit of the Darlington Refurbishment Project

Category: Industry News
Eric Gould • June 15, 2020

At Modus, we are thrilled to congratulate Ontario Power Generation on the completion of its project to refurbish Unit 2 at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. The completed unit is the first of four that make up the Darlington Refurbishment project, which is slated to be completed over the next six years.

Despite the risks inherent from the beginning in a project of this scale and complexity, as well as the unprecedented challenge of dealing with a global pandemic during the final stages, OPG brought the unit back online essentially on time and on budget.

It’s difficult to overstate what an achievement this is. Few megaprojects, particularly in the nuclear industry, live up to their cost and schedule aspirations; doing so requires significant commitment.  

During the seven years we have provided oversight of this project, we’ve observed a transformation. OPG invested heavily upfront in planning, tooling and engineering, and followed a rigorous gate process that allowed for thorough vetting and understanding of its plan.

The refurbishment team established processes for managing cost and schedule that persisted throughout the project and allowed for careful identification and implementation of lessons learned. They developed analytics to track and manage project performance, which were adjusted as needed to effectively communicate needed information across all levels of the organization. Their issues and risk management capabilities have become best-in-class.

In short, the OPG team learned from its challenges and adapted effectively whenever conditions changed. Combined with the Unit 2 lessons learned, the early investments should pay further dividends throughout the next three units of the project.

With this project complete, the unit is back in service, ready to provide the citizens of Ontario with another 30 years of safe, carbon-free energy. Together with its key contractors, OPG has forged an integrated team with its vendor partners that performed admirably on this project and is now well equipped to take on the remaining work.  Everyone who contributed to Darlington Unit 2’s success deserves the nuclear industry’s congratulations for a job well done.