Put Nuclear Energy On Agenda

Date: Tue Jun 03 2014

It is not surprising that a study commissioned by the anti-nuclear group Greenpeace found that the financial risks of overhauling the Darlington nuclear station will be too high. A more accurate estimation of the expected cost would come from looking at past projects.

The most recent CANDU refurbishment projects in Ontario were for two of the Bruce A units, which are similar in design to Darlington. The Bruce projects, while they were over budget, still deliver electricity to the grid for the contracted price of 6.8 cents/kWh, about half the price of wind power, and Bruce Power still makes a good profit, a win-win for both taxpayers and Bruce Power and its investors.

The coming on-line of the refurbished Bruce A reactors was also the single largest reason that Ontario was able to shut down its coal plants. Darlington would be the eighth CANDU reactor to be refurbished, not the first. In the real world, you learn from your mistakes and the risks go down with each subsequent project, not up, as the Greenpeace study would have us believe.

Darlington refurbishment should be a win-win for taxpayers, just like the Bruce refurbishment projects have been.