October 28, 2014

High cost jobs

Ford: $25,000 per job | Darlington $5.8 to 14.4 million per job

The nuclear industry likes to point out that spending billions of dollars re-building reactors will create and retain jobs. This is, of course, true. Nuclear plants need everything from reactor operators to heavily armed security forces. But what the nuclear industry doesn’t talk about is the cost of retaining nuclear plant jobs for taxpayers.

Ontario Power Generation expects the Ontario Government to provide 100% of the financing for its Darlington Rebuild project. This puts the government on the hook for the whole $12.9 billion cost of this project. Of course, when the project runs over budget, the government – and therefore taxpayers – will have to absorb that cost too, which could run up to $32.25 billion.

That means that every job at a rebuilt Darlington Nuclear Plant will cost taxpayers somewhere between $5.8 and $14.4 million per job.

Let’s compare that to the cost of creating jobs at the Ford auto assembly plant in Oakville. In September 2013, the government invested $70.9 million in a plant that employs 2,800 workers – about 500 more workers than can currently be found at Darlington. The cost per job secured at Ford was $25,000.

That is, the cost to Ontario taxpayers of creating jobs at Darlington will be 232 to 576 times more expensive than creating jobs at the Ford plant.

Clearly, when it comes to using tax dollars to create jobs, nuclear is a costly way to achieve results.

For more, see our recent factsheet: Cost to Ontario taxpayer of securing jobs at Ford Oakville Plant and Darlington Nuclear Station

– Angela Bischoff