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[cdn-nucl-l] Political interference cranks up costs for Ontario nuclear energy
Political interference cranks up costs for Ontario nuclear energy
The Ottawa Citizen, Mon 05 Jul 2004
Re: Use green energy to keep the lights on, June 30.
Shawn-Patrick Stensil's article, unlike a bikini, conceals more than it
Despite his reference to "astronomical costs," Ontario's nuclear electricity
is second only to hydro electricity for low costs and much below those of
the "green" energy that he advocates as director for atmosphere and energy
at the Sierra Club of Canada.
The much-publicized cost overruns by Ontario Hydro and its successors were
due almost entirely to political interference by all three Ontario parties.
For example, construction at Darlington was halted five times by governments
while interest charges accumulated, government imposed rate caps forced the
utility to sell its product below the cost of production, and
environmentalist Maurice Strong, appointed CEO by the government, reduced
the workforce by about 10,000 without an adequate succession plan with the
result that many experienced people at all levels suddenly departed.
Mr. Stensil fails to mention the good performance of CANDU reactors in the
absence of political interference, including those of Bruce Power in
Ontario, and the recent construction of two CANDU reactors in China within
budget and schedule.
By some logic, he blames nuclear for coal's pollution since when nuclear is
not available the demand for coal increases. He calls this a "disaster
environmentally." Surely this is the reason that more nuclear is needed
along with the "green" energy that can supply only a small fraction of the
Mr. Stensil says we should look to Europe. While it is true that a few
countries have adopted nuclear moratoriums, he fails to mention that nuclear
provided 23 per cent of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and
Development's member countries' electricity in 2002, that six nuclear
reactors were under construction and a further 20 had firm commitments to
build. Both France and the U.S. are planning to resume construction.
J.A.L. Robertson, Deep River