Greens call for independent review of nuclear costs

The McGuinty government’s plan to give $26 million to prospective nuclear builders to study their own costs is outrageous.

The GPO is demanding an independent review of nuclear costs.

“Protecting our pocketbooks from nuclear cost overruns is clearly not a priority for the McGuinty government,” says GPO leader Mike Schreiner.  “Every nuclear project in Ontario’s history has gone over budget.  It’s an irresponsible waste of our money to pay $26 million for the nuclear industry to study their own costs.”

Toronto Sun reporter Jonathan Jenkins described the proposal: “It’s like giving the cashier at Tim Horton’s a penny to find out how much a cup of coffee costs.”

The GPO believes the government has a responsibility to halt plans for new nuclear until an independent review of costs is completed.  Even though no nuclear project has delivered on budget or on time, Ontario has never conducted an independent review of nuclear costs or alternatives.  In fact, the McGuinty government specifically told the federal panel reviewing new reactors not to look at alternatives.

“No business would invest in a technology that has never delivered on time or on budget,” says Steve Dyck, GPO energy critic and recent candidate in Guelph.  “A responsible government would halt any nuclear plans until a thorough, independent review of costs and alternatives is completed.”

The GPO is also concerned that the McGuinty government is backtracking on their prior commitment to require the winning company to assume all the risks associated with building new nuclear.  Under the government’s proposed Bill 75, the McGuinty government would remove the requirement that the government’s electricity plans be reviewed by the Ontario Energy Board for cost-effectiveness and environmental sustainability.