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Durham Region not happy with province’s No to new nuclear


October 12, 2013
By Anthony Capkun


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October 11, 2013 – Yesterday, the Government of Ontario announced that the New Nuclear at Darlington Project—which involved the construction and operation of up to four nuclear power reactors at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station—would no longer proceed… and the Region of Durham is not happy.

“The cancellation of the proposed $10-billion new nuclear facility at Darlington is a significant loss to the Region of Durham and the Province of Ontario. This was one of the largest capital infrastructure projects in Canada,” said Roger Anderson, Durham Region’s chair and CEO. “The proposed new nuclear facilities represented an important economic opportunity for our region to attract new businesses and investment. This would have generated thousands of new employment opportunities, both for the new build and long-term jobs at the Darlington facility and within Ontario.”

Durham Region reports that, in June 2006, the provincial government directed Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to undertake feasibility studies for refurbishing existing reactors at both its Pickering and Darlington sites. OPG had also been directed to begin environmental assessments needed for the construction of new nuclear reactors at “an existing nuclear facility”, although the exact location was specified in September 2006, adds the region.

“Durham Region has always been a proud nuclear host community. We have one of the largest energy centres in the country and have been Ontario’s energy capital for a long time,” said Anderson, adding that while the Region of Durham is pleased the refurbishment of existing reactors will continue, “Durham Region and Ontario require a guaranteed, reliable source of economical hydro to attract new industry and jobs, while retaining the existing ones for years to come.”

There are currently 10 operating nuclear reactors in Durham Region (six in Pickering and four at Darlington). The province is moving forward with refurbishment at the Darlington site, while the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station is anticipated to close in 2020.

“OPG has always demonstrated a strong safety record and exceptional corporate citizenship, which has led to a very positive attitude toward nuclear technology in our region,” said Anderson. “That’s why Durham Regional Council passed a resolution eight years ago, offering our support of new nuclear reactors at Darlington.”