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Risky and expensive nuclear folly: letter

Every person in Ontario, should be interested in what is happening with the plans to continue producing 50% of our electricity from nuclear energy. There is currently a review panel considering the expansion of the Darlington Nuclear plant, where two new reactors  are planned to be built. Is it not hypocritical to fight against renewable energy while saying and doing nothing about this risky and expensive nuclear folly?

Dear Minister Duguid,
Apparently, April Fool’s day has come early this year.  How do you explain the ads Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is running in the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star?  OPG is making the astounding claim that its last three major nuclear projects were completed “on budget”.  Here’s the truth:
–          In 1999 OPG forecast that the cost of returning its shutdown Pickering A Unit 4 nuclear reactor to service would be $457 million.  The real cost was 2.7 times higher at $1.25 billion.
–          In 1999 OPG estimated that it would cost $213 million to return its shutdown Pickering A Unit 1 nuclear reactor to service.  The actual cost was 4.8 times higher at $1.016 billion.
–          In 1975 OPG’s predecessor company, Ontario Hydro,  said that it would cost $3.2 billion to build the Darlington Nuclear Station.  The real cost was 4.5 times higher at $14.319 billion.
Every nuclear project in Ontario’s history has gone massively over budget.  On average, the real costs of Ontario’s nuclear projects have exceeded their original cost estimates by 2.5 times.  Enough is enough.  It is time to respect Ontario’s taxpayers. Thank you.
Don Ross- Milford, Ont

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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  1. Doris Lane says:

    Jim don’t forget Pickering –It is between Oshawa and Toronto. Darlington is on the east side of Oshawa. There is another plant down by Bowmanville that was never put into operation.
    I feel that Pickering and Darlington are in a too heavily populated area. I lived in Oshawa for several years and was quite aware of what lurked on either side of me.
    I have always said that I lived in the best of times but we can not go back to the horse and buggy days so we have to live with it

  2. Jim says:


    Interesting site .
    50%+ of Ontario’s electricity is nuclear.
    22% of that from the facility hidden behind the man made hills on the south side of the 401 between Bowmanville and Oshawa.

  3. Hazel says:

    Yet another reason for PEC to embrace wind and solar energy!

  4. John Thompson says:

    The Ontario Clean Air Alliance expects that the already costly nuclear plants are going to become more costly and uncompetitive with:
    – energy efficiency
    – Made in Ontaro green power
    – water generated power from Quebec and Labrador
    – Combined heat and power.

    We will need all of the above.

  5. Ron Hart says:

    Ignoring the Ontario NDP’s call to abandon nuclear energy, Dalton McGuinty seems determined to commit political, financial, and environmental suicide by building nuclear capacity in Ontario.

    Instead, following the example of Germany’s Merkel, he should remove the roadblocks he put in place to the development of renewables in Ontario, and remove all subsidies to the nuclear industry.

    Instead of spending billions on developing nuclear capacity, he should invest in the quick development of a electrical smart grid and open an energy corridor to Quebec and/or Manitoba.

    The Japanese nuclear disaster is going to unfold over weeks and months as their technicians continue to try to cool their damaged reactors. During that time, political pressure on the Ontario Government is going to mount for the closing of Ontario’s reactors , especially at Darlington and Pickering–both far too close to major population centers.

  6. Phil Norton says:

    I don’t understand people who refer to natural gas and atomic energy as clean energy.

    President Barack Obama calls it cleaner nuclear fuel and he announced more than $8 billion in federal loan guarantees for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the United States in 30 years.

    Apparently these folks never saw the barren landscape of a shale gas drilling operation or the millions of gallons of pure water converted into a toxic slurry in each well hole.

    And, because it’s invisible, we forget how one small amount of radioactive material released into the environment is forever deadly as it cycles through air, water, plants and animals.

    Witnessing the Japanese nuclear accident you would think intelligent human beings would consider alternatives even if they too are less than ideal.

  7. John Thompson says:

    Just noticed a study which determined that if the OPA continues to award solar FIT contracts at the current rate for the next 5 years, it would translate into:

    – more that 70,000 person years of full time employment plus spinoff jobs.

    – The increased costs to the average Ontario household would amount to .7% of their electriciy bills compared to other sources.

    – Provides lessened environmental impact and reduced health care expenses.

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