At the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) last week, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) admitted that work on the operations support building for its Darlington Re-Build Project and on the auxiliary heating system for the station have both gone over budget – by 39% and 135% respectively.
These are not projects with nuclear-level complexity – they are basic infrastructure. Yet OPG, despite all its assurances that things would be different this time, has failed to complete these simple first-stage projects on budget. That does not bode well for what will happen when it begins to tackle the truly complex task of opening up 30-year-old reactors and replacing miles of radioactive tubing and other sensitive components.
Right now, OPG is asking the OEB to raise the price it is paid for nuclear power to 16.5 cents per kWh (180% increase) to cover the high cost of extending the life of its underperforming Pickering Nuclear Station and to re-build Darlington’s aging reactors. And that increase assumes OPG can bring this entire project in on budget despite its shaky start. Of course, every nuclear project in Ontario’s history has gone massively over-budget – on average by 2.5 times.
Meanwhile, the average price Hydro Quebec earned for power it exported in 2016 was 5 cents per kWh. Why should we pay 16.5 cents per kWh for nuclear power – and likely much more once the real bills are in — when we can import water power from Quebec for 5 cents per kWh?
Please put this question to Premier Wynne, and cc leaders of the other parties.
– Premier Wynne, email@example.com
– Patrick Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org
– Andrea Horwath, email@example.com
– Mike Schreiner, firstname.lastname@example.org
-Angela Bischoff, Outreach Director