Cancel the Darlington Nuclear Rebuild to avoid another financial meltdown

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(Queen’s Park): Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner is demanding a halt to rebuilding the Darlington Nuclear Station until the government conducts an independent, public review of costs and alternatives.  
No nuclear project in Ontario’s history has ever been delivered on time or on budget. The Darlington Rebuild is already over budget by $300 million before construction even begins.
 
The government’s hand-picked advisor, Ed Clark, says the Darlington project “carries enormous risks.” 
 
“I don’t want Ontarians to wake up to another nuclear nightmare,” says Schreiner. “It’s outrageously irresponsible for the Liberals to write the nuclear industry a blank cheque by allowing them to proceed with a $12.9 to $32 billion project without an independent cost review.”
 
Ontario taxpayers are on the hook for cost overruns since publicly-owned Ontario Power Generation is responsible for 93% of the project’s cost. Only 7% of the project will be undertaken by independent third-party contractors on fixed price contracts. In contrast, none of the 21,000 signed contracts for electricity from renewable and natural gas-fired power plants can pass capital cost overruns onto Ontario’s electricity consumers or taxpayers.
 
“Why are the Liberals afraid of an independent review of nuclear costs?” asks Schreiner. “I don’t understand why neither the NDP nor the PCs are hammering the government every day on the financial risks of rebuilding Darlington. Darlington could make the gas plant fiasco look like chump change.”
 
Independent studies estimate that cancelling the rebuild and signing a contract with Hydro Quebec could reduce Ontarians’ electricity bills by $700 million to $2.6 billion per year.
 
“The Liberals are under fire for rising electricity rates,” says Schreiner. “It makes no sense for the government to ignore lower cost alternatives to Darlington. Is the nuclear lobby really that powerful?”
 
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