Sunday, 12 August 2012

Time for a nuclear moratorium in Ontario

Two recent articles build the case for a moratorium on further nuclear investment in Ontario.

The first, from Steve Hargreaves at CNNMoney covered the decision by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to stop issuing both new permits and license extensions.  Even though the spent fuel characteristics of US and Canadian are different, the same question should be raised in Canada.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The U.S. government said it will stop issuing permits for new nuclear power plants and license extensions for existing facilities until it resolves issues around storing radioactive waste.
The government's main watchdog, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, believes that current storage plans are safe and achievable. But a federal court said that the NRC didn't detail what the environmental consequences would be if the agency is wrong.

"We are now considering all available options for resolving the waste issue," the five-member NRC said in a ruling earlier this week. "But, in recognition of our duties under the law, we will not issue [reactor] licenses until the court's remand is appropriately addressed."

The second, written by Jack Gibbons (Chairman of Ontario Clean Air Alliance) and published in The Star, demonstrates that Ontario has a surplus of power and that shutting down Pickering for good would reduce Ontario electricity costs by over 5%.  The details behind this statement can be found on the OCAA website, in the report, "Ontario's Electricity Surplus - an opportunity to reduce costs".

Pretty compelling arguments.

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