Response to “New Nuclear not Needed in Ontario, Green Groups Say”
Article by John Spears, Toronto Star
September 10, 2013
September 11, 2013
1 Yonge Street
This letter, signed by the president of the Canadian Nuclear Association is in response to John Spears’ article entitled “New nuclear not needed in Ontario, green groups say,” published on September 10.
The Greenpeace/Pembina study fails to mention three very important factors concerning the production of nuclear energy in Ontario. First, the cost of increasing wind generation is substantially high. Second is the undeniable workhorse reliability of nuclear reactors compared to wind and solar. And finally, nuclear reactors do not emit greenhouse gases. There are very good reasons why the Government of Ontario has over 50% of its electricity generated by nuclear energy – it is clean, efficient and it is relentless in its capacity to generate a strong, steady and dependable flow of power.
Nuclear produces massive amounts of electricity on a constant, 24/7 basis. The basic fact is that wind and solar produce intermittent power characterized by drastic ups and downs on any given day. If the Government of Ontario were to increase its reliance on these sources of energy, it would have to increase its reliance on GHG producing natural gas plants for steady production. Solar Power and wind energy are extremely costly compared to nuclear. According to a 2010 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the overall cost of onshore wind is almost 50% more than the overall cost of nuclear while solar PV is over four times more expensive than nuclear.
A July, 2013 study conducted by Strategic Policy Economics Inc. (Strapolec) concludes that retaining the nuclear generation capacity as planned in the 2010 Long Term Energy Plan while reducing contemplated wind generation would produce $56 billion in direct benefits to Ontario’s economy through $27 billion in savings to ratepayers and $29 billion in direct investment in Ontario. This represents a $60 billion net incremental benefit to Ontario as compared to the Retain Wind scenario. It would generate $9 billion in greater direct employment income benefits than the Retained Wind scenario including the creation of more than 100,000 full-time jobs in Ontario, many in the advanced manufacturing sector. It would also reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 108 million tonnes or 80 per cent less, compared to the Retained Wind scenario.