Today Ontario Premier-Designate Doug Ford failed to seize his opportunity to lower Ontario’s electricity costs by $1.1 billion per year by directing Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to close the Pickering Nuclear Station in August when its licence expires.
On the contrary, Mr. Ford announced that he will allow the 4th oldest nuclear station in North America to continue to operate in the middle of the GTA until 2024.
Mr. Ford’s decision does not make financial sense for Ontario’s electricity consumers. The annual savings from closing the Pickering Nuclear Station would be 183 times greater than the savings from firing Mayo Schmidt, the CEO of Hydro One.
According to the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters association, the Pickering Nuclear Station’s performance is “persistently abysmal…by any objective standard.”
According to OPG’s own 2015 Nuclear Benchmarking Report, Pickering’s operating costs are higher than those of any other nuclear station in North America.
To add insult to injury, approximately half of Pickering’s output is surplus to Ontario’s needs and is exported to the U.S. at a financial loss.
Nevertheless, based on an out-of-date 2015 report, which compared Pickering’s costs to those of a natural gas-fired power plant, Mr. Ford asserted that the continued operation of the nuclear station will save Ontario consumers $600 million. What Mr. Ford failed to note is that Ontario can lower its electricity costs by $1.1 billion per year by replacing Pickering’s output with lower cost water power from Quebec.
For more information, on the financial benefits of buying Quebec power and closing Pickering, please click here to read our report: We have better choices: It’s time to close the aging Pickering Nuclear Plant.
Presently, 1900 people work at the Pickering Nuclear Station. By immediately dismantling and decommissioning the station, we could create 32,000 person-years of employment over the next 14 years, creating a fair jobs transition for the workers. To read our report on immediate decommissioning, please click here.
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Angela Bischoff, Director