TORONTO - Ontario Power Generation earned $143 million in the first three months of 2010, reversing last year's loss, as improved financial markets boosted returns on its nuclear waste management funds.

This year's profit compared to a net loss of $9 million for the period ended March 31, 2009.

The improvement was largely due to a $140 million improvement in the loss in the nuclear waste management business segment. Higher market returns reduced the pre-tax and pre-interest loss to $24 million, compared to a $164 million loss in 2009.

Offsetting the nuclear improvement were lower average sales prices from unregulated power generation and lower overall generation.

Revenue after revenue limit rebate fell by 2.5 per cent to $1.44 billion, from $1.48 billion a year earlier.

Total electricity generated during the first quarter of 2010 was 24.5 TWh compared to 25.6 TWh during the first quarter of 2009.

Thermal production fell by 0.5 TWh primarily due to lower primary demand and a decrease in net exports, partially offset by a decrease in electricity generation from other generators in Ontario.

Unregulated hydroelectric generation decreased by 0.4 TWh primarily due to lower water levels. An increase in planned outages the Darlington and Pickering A nuclear plants reduced nuclear generation by 0.3 TWh.

OPG president Tom Mitchell said the provincial utility continued to moderate electricity prices in the province while reduce CO2 emissions.

"The prices we receive for electricity generated from our regulated assets have remained the same since 2008. Further, the prices we received for electricity generated from our unregulated assets declined in the first quarter of this year, compared to the first quarter of 2009."