While Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli crows about what a great deal the new contract with Bruce Power is, his government is simultaneously refusing to make public the key clauses in the deal that will determine the real price that we will pay for the next 49 years for power from Bruce’s reactors.
What’s clear is that there are clauses in the contract that compensate Bruce Power for any decision to not proceed with re-building reactors in the face of falling electricity demand and falling costs for faster-to-deploy and more flexible renewable power sources.
And there are clauses that set out just how high the Bruce Re-Build’s capital costs can soar above $13 billion before the government can trigger an “off ramp” and kill all or part of the Re-Build project.
The problem is, we have no idea what either of those sections say because they have been designated “secret.” Is the cost of the project capped at $13 billion? Or is it $33 billion, which is what it will be if this project’s actual costs exceed its preliminary cost estimate by the average cost overrun factor for Ontario nuclear projects (i.e., 2.5 times)?
This matters, because one way or the other, it is you and me that will end up paying these costs – not Bruce Power.
We’ve outlined the big disconnect between the government’s claims and the actual contract language in our new report, The Bruce Power Contract: A Prudency Review.
Read it and then ask Premier Wynne to act on her own commitment to running “the most open and transparent government in the country” by making these key details public so we can judge for ourselves whether this contract makes sense.
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