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Pickering has experienced rapid growth in the post-war period in the second half of the twentieth century. Toronto's continuing growth led to more people moving into Pickering. Between 1996 and 2001, the municipality experienced a growth rate of 10.3 percent (78,989 people to 87,139). Population growth has slowed considerably in recent years, growing only slightly between the 2001 and 2011 census.
Pickering is home to the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, an eight-reactor facility with a capacity of 4,120 megawatts. The first station, Pickering A, opened with four reactors in 1971. Ontario Power Generation, the plants' operator, is the largest single employer in the city. In 2001, the wind-powered OPG 7 Commemorative Turbine was opened on the generating station site.
A number of manufacturers are also located in the city. Major employers include Yorkville Sound (audio equipment), the Canadian headquarters of Purdue Pharma (pharmaceuticals and health & beauty products), Hubbell Canada (electrical equipment), PSB Speakers - Lenbrook (stereo equipment) and Eco-Tec Inc. (industrial water purification and chemical recovery systems).