Nuclear energy: Hydro-Québec might reactivate Gentilly 2

In quest of an enormous dose of vitality, Hydro-Québec’s new boss, Michael Sabia, initiates a feasibility research the approaching again of the Gentilly 2 nuclear energy plant, which has been decommissioned since 2012.

• Additionally learn: Gentilly 2: Nearly 10 years since cessation of operations

Michael Sabia is in search of vitality to satisfy the rising calls for of the Quebec authorities. Along with hydropower, wind energy and the vitality transition, the state-owned firm might additionally swap to nuclear energy.

Sophie Brochu’s successor has due to this fact simply made his first main resolution: he has requested his group to hold out a feasibility research on learn how to restart the decommissioned Gentilly 2 energy plant in Bécancour, as our Parliament workplace has realized.

Nuclear power: Hydro-Québec could reactivate Gentilly 2

Picture archive, Pierre-Paul Poulin

Hydro workers have been knowledgeable of this request by the CEO.

Nonetheless, Hydro agrees that the kind of dismantling chosen on the time have to be irreversible. Nonetheless, the nationwide group wish to make clear.

“Sure, we’re wanting into whether or not there’s a method again given the decommissioning of this facility,” confirmed Francis Labbé of Media Relations at Hydro-Québec, noting that it is a first step.

“We’re in a scenario over the approaching years the place we are going to want large terawatt hours to satisfy the demand we anticipate in Quebec. We’ve gotten to some extent the place we need to evaluate all of the choices in entrance of us, together with this one.

For Quebec to succeed in carbon neutrality by 2050, greater than 100 TWh of further clear electrical energy will likely be wanted, the federal government firm recollects.

When he took workplace, the brand new CEO left the door to nuclear energy open, similar to Financial system Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon earlier than him.

Costly restore

After her election in 2012, the PQ authorities of Pauline Marois had deserted the ability station’s rehabilitation challenge and introduced the top of manufacturing of 635 megawatts.

Hydro needed to hold out main renovations to the reactor and turbogenerator there.

Nuclear power: Hydro-Québec could reactivate Gentilly 2

Andréanne Lemire/QMI Company

The nationwide group additionally needed to develop its services for the disposal of radioactive waste.

“There have been giant investments, amounting to a number of billion {dollars}, and within the context of the time, it was determined to shut the plant’s actions,” recollects Mr. Labbé.

After the earthquake in Japan, which severely hit the Fukushima energy plant, nuclear fears additionally prevailed.

billion {dollars}

For greater than 10 years, Hydro-Québec has dedicated roughly US$80 million in the direction of the nuclear energy plant’s decommissioning. The nuclear gasoline from the plant was additionally saved.

The declassification section must be accomplished this yr earlier than the advanced is put into hibernation by 2057. Solely after this course of ought to the dismantling of the positioning start.

The director of the Gentilly 2 nuclear energy plant, Patrice Desbiens, advised TVA nouvelles final yr that Quebec must construct a brand new plant if it reversed its resolution.

A plan that might now be reviewed as Hydro-Quebec seems to be to financial institution on the nuclear energy plant to spice up its electrical energy manufacturing.

“We should look at what will be accomplished (…) We’ve a duty to look at all potentialities to satisfy the demand,” mentioned Mr. Labbé. “The thought is to create a listing of the services to doc whether or not it’s conceivable or just not possible to start out up once more.”

The Gentilly-2 nuclear energy plant in short

-Opened in 1983 in Bécancour on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River

-800 employees

– Most output of 635 megawatts of fresh vitality

– Estimated price of refurbishing the power: roughly $3 billion in 2012

-Jean Charest’s authorities thought of a potential restore, however after the autumn 2012 election, Pauline Marois’ Parti Québécois closed the plant

-Finish of launch deliberate for 2023

-Finish of mining deliberate for 2064

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