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Cecilia Stuart

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Government negligence casts doubt on nuclear safety plan

January 13, 2020

No room for error, with aerial view of Pickering nuclear station

“Public confidence was broken by a vague emergency alert that raised alarm bells for two hours before the government finally broke its silence to let people know it was a false alarm.

In the wake of this fiasco, the province must prove that operations at Pickering are safe and that a robust emergency response plan is in place.

This communication breakdown has exposed the risks of operating one of the world’s oldest nuclear stations in a region populated by 4.5 million people.

Ford made a politically motivated decision to keep the lights on at Pickering well past its original expiration date, despite a performance history with spills, leaks and fires.

If Pickering is to stay open any longer, the Ford government must show that it has a plan to keep people safe under a worst-case scenario.

The public needs reassurance that those at the switch are putting true safety over the appearance of safety.

In addition to a fully independent investigation led by the Ontario Ombudsman, I am calling for the province to review its nuclear emergency response plan.

The Green Party raised concerns in 2017 when the plan was last updated, and yesterday’s false alarm necessitates a public review to ensure proper staffing and response plans are in place for a worst-case scenario.”