It’s starting. The inevitable delays and cost overruns that have plagued every nuclear project in Ontario’s (and much of the world’s) history are now well underway with the Darlington re-build project.
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has admitted that it is behind schedule on its first reactor rebuild with the usual excuses about supplier delays and other “issues”. And while claiming the project is on budget, we know that this is only true if you accept OPG’s creative accounting, including ignoring a $300 million cost overrun in the preliminary stages of the project.
It’s no surprise, then, that previous CEO and nuclear booster Jeff Lyash pulled the plug on his job with OPG just months before the costly legacy of his multi-billion dollar bet on refurbishing four aging and outdated reactors is becoming clear.
New CEO, Ken Hartwick, has quickly doubled down on OPG’s high-cost strategy, buying four giant gas plants and starting the wheels turning on approvals for four new reactors at Darlington. This emissions-heavy and high-risk mega-project strategy is exactly what Ontario power consumers do not need in an era of a rapidly unravelling climate. OPG seems sadly stuck in some 1950s’ time warp where dreams of “atoms for energy” kept politicians starry eyed until they started to see the true costs.
The Ford government talks a lot about the “mess” made by the previous provincial government when it comes to our electricity system. If OPG gets its way, the mess will be uncontainable with an outdated, hugely costly and inefficient system that locks Ontario into an incredibly expensive nostalgic daydream while the rest of the world moves forward with dynamic, responsive renewable energy systems.
Please email Energy Minister Greg Rickford (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell him to direct OPG to move away from its mega-project fixation and to start building a modern energy system instead that includes hefty increases in energy conservation and Quebec renewable power imports.
And please consider making a donation to Ontario Clean Air Research.
Thanks for your help!
Angela Bischoff, Director