Sunday, August 14, 2005

Ontario to permanently mothball two nuclear generators

Ottawa Business Journal - Home Page

By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Fri, Aug 12, 2005 12:00 PM EST

Ontario Power Generation is canceling plans to refurbish two of the provinces' nuclear generating units, saying there is no "sound business case" for returning them to service.

OPG says while re-furbishing Pickering A Units 2 and 3 is technically feasible, but it will spend the money on other nuclear generating projects.

President and CEO Jim Hankinson was quick to assert the decision does not reflect a diminishing role for nuclear power in Ontario.

"The decision on Units 2 and 3 should not be seen as a lack of confidence in nuclear power," Mr. Hankinson said in a statement. "OPG continues to believe strongly that nuclear power remains an important element of the province's electricity generation mix. Nuclear fuel costs are stable and nuclear reactors do not contribute to smog or global warming."

Instead, OPG will proceed with re-furbishing Units 1 and 4 at Pickering and will study the case for extending the life of the Pickering B station as well as Darlington.

Pickering A Units 2 and 3 haven't produced a kilowatt of power since they were mothballed in 1997. OPG says the fuel and heavy water will be removed from Units 2 and 3 over the next two years and they will be put into a "long-term layup state."

OPG's decision comes just as the Ontario Chamber of Commerce re-iterated its concern about the province's energy supply.

"We've told the government that the shortage of available power in Ontario is becoming a major economic concern," says Stuart Johnston, vice-president of policy for the OCC. "We've asked them to consider new clean coal technology, new nuclear capacity---and to bring additional mothballed nuclear reactors back online."

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has republished its energy savings kit brochure and will continue working with business to reduce energy use.

The second anniversary of the 2003 Blackout is Sunday.


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