• Hi Guest: Welcome to TRIBE, Toronto's largest and longest running online community. If you'd like to post here, or reply to existing posts on TRIBE, you first have to register on the forum. You can register with your facebook ID or with an email address. Join us!

$4Billion to Restore Pickering?

KickIT

TRIBE Member
WTF? Up from $1.1B? Heads need to roll.

*c*

Pickering executives fired
Cost of reviving reactor estimated at $4 billion


The Ontario government moved swiftly to take control of the province's giant electricity generating utility today, firing its top three executives, after a report blamed senior managers for botching the restoration of the Pickering nuclear plant.
There was no decision on whether the province would go ahead with efforts to restart the plant, a project the report's authors estimate will likely cost $4 billion.

"It is a horrible mess," said Energy Minister Dwight Duncan.

Duncan, who blamed the previous Conservative government for failing to properly oversee Ontario Power Generation, said he had no choice but to fire the three executives. The project has driven up electricity prices in Ontario and shaken public faith in nuclear power, he said.

The government-commissioned review estimated the cost of restoring service at the Pickering A plant at almost three billion higher than the original estimated cost of $1.1 billion.

It could take until August 2008 to get all four units running at the plant just east of Toronto, the report found. That's almost eight years longer than originally scheduled.

"The facts of this report are in the panel's words alarming," said Duncan.

"The findings point to mismanagement of one of Ontario's most important energy assets."

In May, former Tory energy minister John Baird appointed Jake Epp - a former federal energy minister - to investigate the years of delays and hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns in getting the nuclear reactors back online.

The review was partly a response to soaring electricity prices in Ontario after a period of tight supply.

Four units at Pickering A were taken offline in 1997 for safety reasons. Repeated deadlines to get them running again were missed and the project is now almost four years behind schedule.

Only one of the four units has returned to full service and that has happened only in the last couple of months. The cost for the lone unit was $1.25 billion, almost triple the $457 million originally estimated.

Epp blamed OPG management for failing to ensure the project stayed on track.

"We also found that management of the project was seriously flawed," said Epp.

"Well established industry practices and steps for carrying out a project of this size and complexity were not followed."
 

AdRiaN

TRIBE Member
In all fairness, one of the main contributors to the massive cost increase is the fact that everyone underestimated the extent to which Pickering A needed to be refurbished. Back in the late 1990s, the initial assessment was a simple replacement of equipment within the plant, but in reality, the plant and its systems needed to be completely overhauled. This type of work should cost billions of dollars judging by the experience of other nuclear stations around the world.

That being said, management made a lot of mistakes and turned a blind eye to the increased scope of the project. If you ask me, it sounds like the same old Ontario Hydro from the 1980s and 1990s. I don't think the corporate culture changed very much simply because the name changed to Ontario Power Generation in 1999.

Nonetheless, I still believe that returning the remaining three units of Pickering A to service is a worthwhile project. If the government wants to close down 7,500 MW of coal-fired generation in Ontario, these units are going to be badly needed.
 

Hi i'm God

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by AdRiaN


That being said, management made a lot of mistakes and turned a blind eye to the increased scope of the project. If you ask me, it sounds like the same old Ontario Hydro from the 1980s and 1990s. I don't think the corporate culture changed very much simply because the name changed to Ontario Power Generation in 1999.
You'd be surprised. all the "consultants" they brought over and stuff. My Dad works there and he says things have totally changed.
 

416

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Hi i'm God
You'd be surprised. all the "consultants" they brought over and stuff. My Dad works there and he says things have totally changed.
Tell your dad... "Nice job buddy" for me.

A company that size and that specialized shouldn't use consultants heavily. It's bad business.

Is there anything the Tories touched that didn't turn to shit?
 

AdRiaN

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Hi i'm God
You'd be surprised. all the "consultants" they brought over and stuff. My Dad works there and he says things have totally changed.
Don't get me wrong, OPG has definitely come a long way in the past few years with respect to operating like a commercial company. The prospect of being privatized made a big difference, I'm sure. I was speaking more in terms of the late 1990s and the transition from Ontario Hydro to OPG (ie., when the major errors at Pickering A were made).
 

Hi i'm God

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by 416
Tell your dad... "Nice job buddy" for me.

A company that size and that specialized shouldn't use consultants heavily. It's bad business.

Is there anything the Tories touched that didn't turn to shit?
He was there right outta highschool reading meteres and stuff then actually ran one of the reactors now he teaches employees
 

416

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Hi i'm God
He was there right outta highschool reading meteres and stuff then actually ran one of the reactors now he teaches employees
Nice!

That doesn't sound like a bad job at all. Did they ship him off to school to learn that shit or train him on the spot?
 

Hi i'm God

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by 416
Nice!

That doesn't sound like a bad job at all. Did they ship him off to school to learn that shit or train him on the spot?
On the spot. He ran one of the reactors on nights 5pm-8am for almost 20 years. Now hes off site (still in pickering) teaching in a simulator. he's 45 and going to retire early and take a consulting job with them. My sister tempd in the office as an office bimbo i guess and make like 20$/hr it's nuts but impossible to get in.
No they wont take people without proper uni.
 

DJ_Science

TRIBE Member
They are partly being forced to use consultants because of the tory mandate to cut the OPG monopoly. OPG had to divest large portions of their Nuclear analysis teams to consulting companies because the Tories made them.

Originally posted by 416
Tell your dad... "Nice job buddy" for me.

A company that size and that specialized shouldn't use consultants heavily. It's bad business.

Is there anything the Tories touched that didn't turn to shit?
 

AdRiaN

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by DJ_Science
They are partly being forced to use consultants because of the tory mandate to cut the OPG monopoly. OPG had to divest large portions of their Nuclear analysis teams to consulting companies because the Tories made them.
The Power Workers' Union supported the proposed sale of OPG's Nuclear Inspection Services Division. It would have brought in more work for their members.
 
Top