The Ontario Clean Air Alliance is asking Ms. Rumina Velshi, President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, to impose an interim moratorium on the operation of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station (PNGS) until Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has demonstrated that the risk to public safety from its continued operation is acceptable.

                               Rumina Velshi, President and Chief Executive Officer of the CNSC

According to Dr. Frank Greening, a former OPG research scientist, OPG has failed to demonstrate that the PNGS’s pressure tubes are fit for service. According to Dr. Greening, OPG has failed to secure accurate data on the state of Pickering’s extensive and critical tubing and must rectify this problem immediately, declaring “I think they’re playing Russian Roulette with the Canadian public.”

According to Dr. Sunil Nijhawan, a nuclear engineer and consultant who once worked for OPG and specializes in accident and safety assessments, in a worse-case scenario, a ruptured pressure tube could lead to a series of “cascading failures not unlike what happened at Fukushima”.

To determine if the pressure tubes are fit for service the PNGS must be temporarily shut down to permit OPG to scrape samples from the pressure tubes to obtain accurate data for an evidence-based, scientific safety analysis. This is no time to be guessing about the operational fitness of one of the world’s oldest nuclear stations.

Fortunately, an interim shutdown of Pickering Nuclear doesn’t have to lead to an increase in gas-fired generation. That’s because currently much of Pickering’s nuclear generation is surplus to Ontario’s needs and is exported to the U.S. For example, in 2020, Ontario’s total electricity exports were virtually equal to Pickering’s generation. As a consequence, Pickering’s generation that is currently consumed in Ontario can be replaced by purchasing safer and lower-cost Quebec waterpower and by eliminating the need to spill water at the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station at Niagara Falls and curtail Ontario wind and solar generation.

To read our letter to Ms. Rumina Velshi, President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, please click here.

What you can do

Please click here to ask Ms. Velshi to put a moratorium on the continued operation of the PNGS until OPG has demonstrated, at a public hearing, that the risk to public safety from its continued operation is acceptable.

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Thank you!