The Pickering Nuclear Station is the 3rd oldest nuclear station in North America — and the 6th oldest in the world — and is is surrounded by at least twice as many people, within 30 km, as any other nuclear station in North America.
Now a Freedom of Information request obtained by the Globe and Mail has revealed that Ontario Power Generation is relying on deeply flawed information about the integrity of the pressure tubes that are an integral part of each of its six operating reactors.
In 2018, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) signed off on a ten-year licence extension for Pickering despite the fact that no CANDU reactor had ever operated this long without a full replacement of its pressure tubes, which become brittle with age and prone to cracks and leaks.
This decision now appears to have relied on dubious information about the integrity of the pressure tube system supplied by OPG and not on accurate real-world assessments. If the CNSC wants to demonstrate that it is not just a rubber stamp body that always approves nuclear operations (which its history to date strongly suggests), it needs to demand that OPG temporarily shut down Pickering’s reactors and properly assess the condition of the miles of pressure tubes that are critical to their operations.
We need to put the safety of the millions of people who live in the GTA ahead of OPG’s profits!
Send a message to Rumina Velshi, President of the CNSC, demanding that her agency do its job and protect the millions of people who live in the shadow of the Pickering Nuclear Station instead of allowing OPG continue to operate potentially unsafe reactors.
More reasons to shutdown Pickering:
- The Pickering Station has a troubled history of performance and safety problems (also view our video interview with nuclear researcher Dr. Frank Greening ), including the worst accident ever at a Canadian commercial nuclear station — a major loss of coolant accident in December 1994.
- Operations at Pickering continue to produce highly radioactive waste for which Ontario has no plans or facilities in place for long-term storage despite the fact that there is currently more than 36,000 tonnes of high level fuel waste in temporary storage at Ontario nuclear stations and this material will need to be secured for thousands of years.
- Retiring the high-cost Pickering Nuclear Station will reduce Ontario’s electricity costs
- At the present, much of Pickering’s nuclear generation is surplus to Ontario’s electricity needs and is exported to the U.S. at a financial loss.
- Pickering’s power generation that is currently consumed in Ontario can be replaced by purchasing safer and lower-cost Quebec water power and by eliminating our need to spill water at the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station at Niagara Falls and curtail Ontario wind and solar generation.
- Read Dr. Sunil Nijhawan’s submission to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission on why the Pickering Nuclear Station should be shut down to protect public safety.