Media Release

Restart of Pickering Nuclear Unit A Big Mistake Says CELA

Jul 07 2004

The McGuinty government has made a big mistake in deciding to allow Ontario Power Generation to restart Unit 1 at the Pickering A’s nuclear plant says the Canadian Environmental Law Association. "Instead of allowing OPG to spend almost one billion dollars on a hazardous and unreliable nuclear plant, Dwight Duncan should have been immediately increasing the government’s plans to contract for renewable energy," stated Theresa McClenaghan, CELA counsel. "Just two weeks ago the government told us that they received 4,400 MW of bids to their call for renewable energy. They were only looking for 300 MW of renewable energy under that RFP proposal and Dwight Duncan has not yet made any announcements about his plans to pursue the rest of the renewable energy that is obviously available." The government’s announcement today regarding restart of the Pickering A Unit 1 states that it will provide 515 megawatts of energy. Nuclear energy is not renewable energy; it bears enormous environmental and financial costs and hazards. CELA is urging the provincial government to abandon its plans to incrementally pursue greater amounts of nuclear energy for Ontario and to seriously begin to set policy directions that will take Ontario to a truly sustainable energy future. CELA and the Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development just recently released a detailed and thorough report (linked below) demonstrating that Ontario could meet its power needs by the year 2020 with no coal and no nuclear energy supply. Instead Ontario must aggressively pursue conservation and renewable energy sources and use transitional fuels such as natural gas to meet any remaining supply gap until we have a completely renewable energy supply mix. - 30 -   For further information, contact: Theresa McClenaghan, CELA Counsel 416-960-2284 ext. 218 Paul Muldoon, CELA Executive Director 416-960-2284 ext. 219