July 8, 2014

Darlington re-build over budget before a single shovel hits the ground

With Ontario Power Generation (OPG) admitting that its Darlington re-build project is already $300 million over budget even before any actual construction work has begun, it is time for Premier Wynne to pull the plug on what is certain to be another financial disaster for Ontario’s electricity system.
 
In the Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP) released in 2013, the government outlined seven conditions for nuclear projects, including “Require OPG to hold its contractors accountable to the nuclear refurbishment schedule and price.”
 
Accountability, in this case, seems to consist of admitting that work on the plant “campus” – not the reactors themselves, just the stuff around them – will run at least 50% over budget. We can only imagine what will happen when OPG starts replacing miles of radioactive tubing and other equipment in the reactor cores – the real tricky business in any reactor re-build.
 
Surely the Wynne government can recognize an electricity system fiasco in the making by now. It is time for the Premier to order this project onto one of the “off ramps” promised in the LTEP for when nuclear projects spin out of control.
 
We can save billions of dollars by combining strong energy efficiency efforts, local renewable power, combined heat and power in buildings like schools and hospitals, and water power imports from Quebec instead of wasting another dime on Darlington.
 
With Moody’s changing the outlook for the Province of Ontario to “negative”, the last thing Ontario needs is another mountain of nuclear debt. Tell Premier Wynne to take the next exit on the Darlington re-build and adopt more sensible electricity solutions instead. Click here to send your letter now.
 
Thank you!
 

– Angela Bischoff