Nuclear energy: “Clean, Reliable, Affordable”?

Ontario scraps plan for nuclear power expansion


Proponents of nuclear energy promise that it’s cheap—and just as safe as the alternatives. That’s why the Ontario government started drafting serious nuclear power plans in 2007, with the hope of adding two next-generation Candu reactors at Darlington generating station. But those plans were scrapped last month. Today, the Star reports that it was sky-high prices that put a stop to the project. The Ontario Power Authority had initially estimated the new generators would cost $2,900 per kilowatt—$7 billion in total for the expansion. But a bid from Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.—the only “compliant” bid received—put the figure at more than three times that amount: $26 billion. “It’s shockingly high,” said Wesley Stevens, an energy analyst at Toronto’s Navigant Consulting. That amount alone would have wiped out the province’s nuclear-power expansion budget for the next 20 years. And right now, there’s no sign that Prime Minister Harper is prepared to subsidize the province’s purchase. “Paying $26 billion for prototype reactors that may not even work is a huge gamble for the province,” said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, a nuclear researcher at Greenpeace Canada. “This whole renaissance in nuclear was built on the premise of cheap reactors, and that’s what they haven’t been able to deliver.”

Toronto Star

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Nuclear energy: “Clean, Reliable, Affordable”?

  1. Surprise surprise, a Greenpeace activist talking out of his a$$ again about the AECL.
    Maybe Greenpeace will be happy when the contract is outsourced to foreign companies for less $ and we loose tens of thousands of jobs and a billion in economic benefits.

  2. The only other options are coal (bad eco karma), hydroelectric (nearly tapped out in Ontario), solar (even more expensive, weather dependent, and requiring more energy to fab than it produces over its lifetime), wind (highly unreliable and space inefficient), and geothermal (extremely expensive).

    Too bad we didn't put a little more effort into researching cheaper nuclear reactors over the past 20 years due to objections from Greenpeace.

  3. Of course reactors are that expensive….thirty years of constant lobbying to constantly increase regulation will increase the costs of any industry. If only the constant flow of hot air from their mouths could be tapped as a power source.

    Developing a nuclear industry in Canada is horse sense. It requires highly educated engineers for its design, highly technical trades and industry to build and maintain and diligent, expert operators to run. We as a nation possess the second greatest reserve of uranium fuel and the know-how to design, refine, build and maintain reactors, yet none of the fortitude to actually use our advantages and endowments to make it happen. We even have one of the largest expanses of stable bedrock to store our waste.

    None of this will ever happen as long as organizations such as Green Peace are allowed to poison public policy debate with their fearmongering, lobbying and gotcha attitude.

  4. What a shame! The new fast breeder reactors are cheap, safe and use readily available spent fuel from the old dinosaur reactors operating around the world. Too bad our politicians cannot "think outside the box" and will only consider the dinosaur reactors we all know and hate. They think a comparative bit of investment now is bad, while ignoring the horrendous costs of us arriving at the 500ppm C02 level.