Pickering Nuclear Power Plant is a Canadian nuclear power station located on the north shore of Lake Ontario in Pickering, Ontario. The facility derives its name from the City (originally Township) of Pickering in which it is located.

Also co-located at the Pickering station is a single 1.8 MWe wind turbine named the OPG 7 commemorative turbine. In 1994 Pickering Unit 7 set a world record for continuous operation (894 days) without a shutdown.

The reactors are as follows:


  • PICKERING A 2 (Dormant)
  • PICKERING A 3 (Dormant)



The Pickering Nuclear Power Plant facility was constructed in stages between 1966-1986 by the provincial Crown corporation, Ontario Hydro. In April 1999 Ontario Hydro was split into 5 component Crown corporations with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) taking over all electrical generating stations and which continues to operate the Pickering station.

The Pickering Nuclear Power Plant is one of the largest nuclear facilities in the world and comprises 8 CANDU nuclear reactors located on the northern shore of Lake Ontario, having a total output of 4124 MW (capacity net) and 4336 MW (gross net) when all units are online. Pickering is only surpassed in Canada by the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, which while also having 8 reactors, has a greater output. The facility is connected to the North American power grid via numerous 230,000 and 500,000 volt transmission lines.

The facility is operated as two distinct stations, Pickering A (Units 1 to 4) and Pickering B (Units 5 to 8). While primarily administrative in nature, the division is not wholly artificial, as there are some distinct differences in design between the two groups of stations. (Example: The Pickering A units employ moderator dump as a shutdown mechanism, a feature not found in Pickering B.) There are, however, a number of systems and structures in common between the two stations; the most notable of these is possibly the shared vacuum building, a negative pressure containment system.

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) announced a two-part investment strategy for its nuclear generating stations in Durham Region. This includes the decision to spend $300-million to keep the Pickering B nuclear station open for another decade before it begins the longer term decommissioning process as refurbishment for Pickering B station will not be pursued. The first step in this process is to layup the reactors and place them into safe storage. Pickering staff will have future opportunities placing the Pickering units in a safe storage state, at the Darlington refurbishment and operations, or at the potential new build at Darlington. OPG will proceed with a detailed planning phase for the mid-life refurbishment of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station east of Toronto, with construction expected to start in about 2016. The business decision to move forward with an investment in Darlington comes after very positive outcomes of initial studies on the plant’s condition and continued strong operating performance. The next phase of the process will include an Environmental Assessment, an Integrated Safety Review and an Integrated Improvement Plan that will define the scope, cost and schedule of the refurbishment project.

Pickering Nuclear Power Station
A unit at the Pickering plant
A unit at the Pickering plant
Country Canada
Location Pickering, Ontario
Owner Ontario Power Generation (OPG)
Built 1966-1986
Reactor type CANDU
Reactors active 6 (3,100 MW)
Reactors shut down 2
Status Operating