Too Much Power In Ontario? Then Why Keep Pickering Nuclear Plant Running?

A Commentary by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance

Posted September 29th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

Citing a surplus of power, Ontario’s Wynne government pulled the plug this past Tuesday, September 27th  on its Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) process for acquiring wind and solar power at highly competitive prices.

But what the Minister of Energy didn’t mention was that the reason we have a glut of power is the government’s insistence on keeping high-cost nuclear plants running despite plenty of better options.

Shut down the Pickering Nuclear Power plant and keep the solar panels coming.

Shut down the Pickering Nuclear Power plant and keep the solar panels coming.

The Pickering Nuclear plant is an excellent case in point. Our new factsheet shows that Pickering’s power is just not needed. Almost half of the power the station produces is exported, often at a loss. The rest can easily be replaced with lower cost water power from Quebec, energy efficiency improvements, Ontario green power or some combination of all three. This is true even if one or more of the aging Darlington reactors are shut down for re-building.

Pickering’s power it is also more costly than these other options. Just last week, Ontario Power Generation was at the Ontario Energy Board seeking a 180% increase in the price it is paid for nuclear power. Water power from Quebec and energy efficiency savings are both substantially cheaper than power from Pickering today. Meanwhile, power from renewable sources just gets cheaper and cheaper, with wind power already more economical than power from Pickering (based on the last LRP round’s prices) and solar likely to be competitive in the near future.

What our factsheet makes clear is that there is no excuse for continuing to run a 45-year-old nuclear plant surrounded by two million people beyond its design lifetime. And now OPG is applying for a license to run the station for another decade. This is not only reckless – it is economically backward because it is only going to lead to electricity bills going up and up, not down.

Please click here to sign our petition to close the Pickering Nuclear Station in 2018 when its license expires.

Please pass this message on to your friends and colleagues.

Thank you.

Angela Bischoff, Outreach Director

About the OCAA- The Ontario Clean Air Alliance is a coalition of over 90 organizations that represent more than six million Ontarians.   We led the successful campaign to phase-out Ontario’s five dirty coal-fired power plants.   We are now working to move Ontario towards a 100% renewable electricity future through an integrated combination of energy conservation and efficiency, water power imports from Quebec and cost-effective Made-in-Ontario green energy.

For more information on the Ontario Clean Air Alliance and its advocacy work for a clean environment and reasonable energy costs to consumers, click on – .

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders



2 responses to “Too Much Power In Ontario? Then Why Keep Pickering Nuclear Plant Running?

  1. The writer misleads the reader by saying that power generated at Pickering is sold for a loss to other jurisdictions.
    Both nuclear and hydro stations have the ability to throttle down energy output. Both forms of power monitor need and reduce or increase power as required.
    It is unfortunate, but green energy is the culprit in generating power when it is not needed. Wind turbines generate power from wind and this energy is immediately distributed through the grid. Wind turbines are not controlled as other power sources.
    Unfortunately, the ability to store power is a technology that hasn’t arrived. Typically overnight winds are more present than the daytime. I know, I see wind turbines working from my home. Wind turbines are out of sync with demand, hence the glut of energy. Wind turbine power is twice as expensive than the traditional power generators.
    It’s a shame that people have to twist realities to suit their purposes. If you want to say that Pickering should be closed, then say so with the facts.


  2. Nuclear power was originally touted as the ultimate solution to our power needs. Clearly, it is a great source of energy to meet the needs, or more accurately the desires, we have for more energy to fuel our greedy consumptive habits. Yet, we still have not solved the problem of toxic nuclear waste which poses a hazard to human health for many hundreds of years. If, indeed, we have too much power in Ontario why do we need the dangerous waste that comes from nuclear power plants? Remember Chernobyl and the Japanese power plant meltdowns?

    Oil prices fall when there is too much oil. Why are power rates in Ontario far greater now than ever if we have too much power? The government of Ontario wishes to push and pull at the same time. Here is one more reason to oust this government next election. Too bad we don’t have recall privileges in Canada. This government would be gone by now, surely!.


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