On Sunday Jan. 12th, the Ontario Emergency Measures Office issued and then withdrew an emergency alert for the Pickering Nuclear Station. This alert was a reminder that the Pickering Nuclear Station has a long history of serious accidents.

The 8-reactor Pickering Nuclear Station is surrounded by twice as many people (2.2 million within 30 km.) as any other nuclear plant on the continent. It is also one of the oldest and biggest nuclear stations in the world. 

Environmental groups have long raised concerns about the inadequacy of emergency plans for this almost 50-year-old nuclear station, including the failure to plan for a Fukushima-scale accident.

Assuming that millions of people will not try to flee in the event of a major accident or won’t be caught transiting through an area bisected by Canada’s busiest highway and a busy commuter rail corridor seems largely to be based on wishful thinking rather than a realistic assessment of the wisdom of operating a nuclear plant in the heart of our largest urban area. If Sunday’s event had turned out to not be a false alarm, chaos could well have resulted.

The Pickering Nuclear Station was built at a time when the future explosive growth in the region was never considered. Keeping this old nuclear plant and massive piles of radioactive waste next to the source of drinking water for tens of millions of people is not only dangerous, but completely unnecessary.

Ontario has safer, cleaner and less costly options for keeping its lights on, including conservation and water power from Quebec.

Send a message to Premier Ford and Minister Bethlenfalvy to buy Quebec power and immediately dismantle the Pickering Nuclear Station after shutdown.

Please share this with your friends.

– Angela Bischoff, Director