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Ontario backs OPG's plan to keep operating Pickering nuclear plant

FILE PHOTO: General view of the Pickering Nuclear Power Generating Station near Toronto

(Reuters) - Ontario said on Thursday it supports Ontario Power Generation's plan to continue generating electricity from Pickering nuclear power plant through 2026 instead of ending in 2025.

The plan would cut carbon emissions by 2.1 megatons, or roughly 20% of the electricity sector's projected emissions, in 2026, the province's ministry of energy said. It would increase North America's supply of Cobalt-60, which has medical uses such as in cancer treatments, by 10%-20%.

The plant, which produces enough electricity to power a city of 1.5 million people, would need to be completely refurbished to stay in operation beyond September 2026, the ministry said, adding that refurbishment could extend that by 30 years.

The revised schedule is subject to approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the ministry said.

(Reporting by Deep Vakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Chang)