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Quebec power utility studies possible reopening of Gentilly-2 nuclear reactor

MONTREAL — Quebec’s hydroelectric utility says it is studying whether to reopen the province’s only nuclear power generating station.

Hydro-Québec says that as demand for electricity rises in the province, it is looking into restarting the Gentilly-2 reactor in Bécancour, Que., on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River about halfway between Montreal and Quebec City.

The Hydro-Québec facility was shut down in 2012 by the provincial government after it reached the end of its service life and needed refurbishment.

But the utility says it would be “irresponsible” to exclude nuclear power as an option for meeting the growing energy needs of the province, adding that it is studying the current state of the facility.

Hydro-Québec says the utility’s new president and CEO, Michael Sabia, has affirmed his openness to different options for generating power in light of the strong demand.

Gentilly-2 opened in 1983, operating with a CANDU reactor designed to produce up to 675 megawatts of electricity.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 10, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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