The Hon. Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, spoke about the importance of Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program and medical isotope production during Question Period today at Queen’s Park.
Hon. Rickford, who is also the MPP for Kenora-Rainy River, answered questions from Bill Walker, MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound. Hon. Rickford said the Ontario government will always support private companies like Bruce Power, which produce clean, reliable electricity without any risk to the taxpayer.
“Bruce Power is an important producer of energy for our sector here in Ontario,” Hon. Rickford said. “Our government will always support the work of private organizations… that are working to create good jobs, high techs jobs… in our province, while providing safe and secure access to energy.
“We are especially supportive of companies that achieve these goals without the need for public funding.”
Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program, which began on Jan. 1, 2016, and remains on time and on budget, will allow the site to generate carbon-free electricity through 2064. Through its operations to 2064, Bruce Power will create and sustain 22,000 direct and indirect jobs across Ontario annually, and inject $4 billion into the province’s economy directly and indirectly each year, said MPP Walker.
Learn more about Bruce Power Life-Extension Program at www.brucepower.com/life-extension.
When asked about the importance of life-saving medical isotopes that are produced at Bruce Power, Hon. Rickford – who has also served as the federal Minister of Natural Resources and Energy – said Canada and Ontario faced a challenge to fulfil the global demand for medical isotopes with the recent closure of the National Research Universal reactor at Chalk River.
“The private sector in Ontario, in particular, was challenged to step up to the plate and meet global isotope shortages, and I’m pleased Bruce Power demonstrated leadership in this area,” Hon. Rickford said. “By extending the life of the assets they will not only generate low-cost, reliable power through 2064, but will continue to supply 40 per cent of the world’s Cobalt-60, used to keep hospitals and health care clean, and be the largest producer of medical-grade Cobalt used to treat brain tumours.
“We think that’s important,” he added. “And we’re going to stand up for Bruce Power.”
Bruce Power is currently working with nuclear partners to explore avenues to expand the medical isotopes produced on site, recently signing agreements with industry peers to explore the viability of cancer-fighting isotopes, in addition to the Cobalt-60 and High Specific Activity Cobalt that is already produced in its Bruce B reactors.
Learn more about Cobalt-60 and medical isotopes at www.cleannuclearpowersafehospitals.com.
At a June 14 announcement at Bruce Power, and before she was named Minister of Education, Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson said families and businesses across Ontario need low-cost, stable and reliable sources of electricity such as Bruce Power nuclear.
“I’m thrilled that a company based in Huron-Bruce is leading the way on this front as a public-private partnership that is delivering results,” MPP Thompson said. “The Ontario PC Party remains firmly committed to the Bruce Power refurbishment program and, with their multi-year contract in place and private sector funding to drive this program, I believe the best thing we can do is support them in terms of good policy, but when it comes to the day-to-day operations stay out of their way and let them do what they do best – generate low-cost power.”