Clock needs to run down on Pickering nuclear

c/o Louise LevertSecretariat
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
280 Slater St., P.O. Box 1046
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5S9
Fax: 613-995-5086
 
Dear Commission Members:
 
I’m writing to express my concerns with Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) request to keep the Pickering nuclear reactors running until 2020.
 
At a time when energy demand is decreasing in Ontario – and is expected to do so until 2021 – it does not make sense to take the financial and environmental risk of extending the life of aging nuclear plants.
 
The extension at Pickering is meant to be a bridge until new reactors at Darlington are built. A responsible government would halt any nuclear plans until the need for, alternatives to, and environmental effects of nuclear power are fully and independently considered.  
 
Significant nuclear accidents are happening around the world about once per decade. We’ve seen the catastrophic consequences associated with nuclear accidents. In Pickering, the aging plants are on the doorstep of Canada’s most populated region and on the shores of Lake Ontario.
 
Government must act to ensure that public safety is prioritized over the needs and interests of the nuclear industry.
 
The nuclear industry has not finalized a comprehensive plan for dealing with nuclear waste. By extending the life of these plants, the amount of dangerous nuclear waste continues to grow. Whatever method is chosen for long-term storage of waste, OPG is unfairly placing the burden to monitor this waste on future generations.
 
Nuclear is an inflexible source of base-load power that removes incentives for conservation, efficiency or more affordable and flexible sources of power. Committing billions to nuclear will hurt recent strides in developing other sources of energy, including renewables, and hamper our ability to take advantage of new, emerging technologies. 
 
More affordable, reliable and safer alternatives to nuclear exist. I urge you refuse the request to extend the life of the Pickering reactors.
 
Thank you for your consideration.
 
Sincerely,
 
Mike Schreiner
Leader, Green Party of Ontario