In search of a massive dose of power, Hydro-Québec’s new boss Michel Sabia has launched a feasibility study. comeback Gentilly 2 nuclear power plant, which has been inactive since 2012.
• Also Read: Gentilly 2: Almost 10 years since ceasing operations
Michel Sabia is looking for energy to meet the growing demands of the Quebec government. In addition to hydropower, wind power and energy conservation, the state company may switch to nuclear power.
Sophie Brochu’s successor made his first big decision: he asked his team to study the feasibility of restarting the defunct Gentilly 2 plant in Beconcourt, our parliamentary office has learned.
This request from the CEO was communicated to the Hydro employees.
The type of withdrawal chosen at that point must be irreversible, however, Hydro agrees. The state corporation wants to give clarity.
“Yes, where we are in the withdrawal of this installation, we are looking to see if there is a way to go back,” confirmed Francis Laub of media relations at Hydro-Québec, indicating that this is a preliminary step.
“We are in a situation where we will need massive terawatt hours to meet the demand we anticipate in Quebec in the coming years. We are at a stage where we want to look at all the options before us, including this one.
The government agency notes that Quebec will need more than 100 TWh of clean electricity to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
The new CEO, like Finance Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon before him, opened the door to nuclear power upon taking office.
After the election in 2012, the PQ government of Pauline Marois scaled back the plant’s renovation project and announced the end of production of 635 MW.
Wanted to do a major overhaul of the hydro reactor and there turbogenerator.
A state corporation wants to expand its facilities to handle radioactive waste.
“There were large investments of several billion dollars, and the decision was made at that time to cease plant operations,” Mr. Labbe recalled.
Nuclear fears are also in the air after the earthquake in Japan that hit the Fukushima power plant hard.
Billions of dollars
Over 10 years, Hydro-Québec has committed about $80 million to classify the nuclear power plant. The plant’s nuclear fuel was also stored.
The declassification phase is due to be completed this year before the complex is put into hibernation until 2057. Only after this process will the decommissioning of the site begin.
The director of the Gentilly 2 nuclear facility, Patrice Desbiens, told TVA Nouvelles last year that a new plant would have to be built if Quebec decided to reverse its decision.
The plan is now under review as Hydro-Québec seeks to rely on a nuclear power plant to increase its electricity production.
“We have to see what we can do (…) We have an obligation to look at all the ways to meet the demand,” said Mr Labe. “The idea is to create an inventory of the plant’s assets to document whether a return to service is possible or impossible.”
Gentilly-2 nuclear power plant in brief
-Opened in 1983 in Beaconcore on the banks of the St. Lawrence
– 800 workers
– Up to 635 MW of clean energy generation
– Estimated cost to restore the plant: about $3 billion in 2012
-Jean Charest’s government considered a possible repair, but after the election in late 2012, Pauline Marois’ Parti Québécois closed the plant.
-Planning to end classification in 2023
-Withdrawal scheduled to end in 2064