Premier Doug Ford’s support for Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) proposal to extend the operating life of the geriatric Pickering Nuclear Station to 2025 is reckless and financially irresponsible.
Pickering is the 4th oldest (and 5th largest) nuclear plant in North America. It is surrounded by more people – 2.2 million within 30 km – than any other nuclear station on the continent.
The Government of Ontario does not have a plan to evacuate those millions of GTA residents in the event of a serious nuclear accident. The erroneous emergency alert sent in January about an accident at the plant demonstrated all too well how unprepared we are for a real emergency at the Pickering Nuclear Station.
A Fukushima-level accident at Pickering could cause 26,000 cancers and a $125 billion loss in housing values.
It is reckless to put the safety of millions of GTA residents at risk, especially given that we have lower cost, cleaner and safer options to keep our lights on. Energy efficiency investments, Made-in-Ontario wind and solar energy and Quebec water power can keep our lights on at less than half the cost of continuing to operate the old and dangerous Pickering Nuclear Station.
By immediately starting to dismantle the Pickering Nuclear Station, when its repeatedly extended operating license expires in 2024, we can create 32,000 person-years of employment between 2024 and 2034 and return most of the 600-acre Pickering waterfront site to the local community by 2035.
In contrast, under OPG’s plan this prime Lake Ontario waterfront site will remain off-limits to revitalization for more than 40 years.
For the 1,900 workers employed at the Pickering Nuclear Station, transitioning to the fast growing nuclear decommissioning industry by developing expertise through the dismantling of Pickering is a better option than dragging out the life of one of the world’s oldest nuclear plants.
Send a message to all four Ontario Party Leaders asking them to close the PIckering Nuclear Station in 2024 when its license expires and immediately dismantle the station.
Thanks for taking the time.
Angela Bischoff, Director