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Energy minister expresses support for nuclear power

DCN News Services
Energy minister expresses support for nuclear power

TIVERTON, ONT.  – The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has issued a position paper urging Ontario’s new Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford to continue the government’s support for nuclear power.

The report, titled Blueprint for Making Ontario Open for Business, suggested the new Ontario government should leverage Ontario’s nuclear sector, “which gives the province key advantages because of the low cost and high reliability of the electricity source that powers 60 per cent of the province.”

A media release from Bruce Power noted the chamber position paper supports the firm’s Life-Extension Program.

“Not only does the nuclear industry contribute to the economy by providing less costly and more reliable electricity, it creates jobs across Ontario, it has a high-tech supply chain and contributes to health research and innovation through the development of critical isotopes,” the report stated.

The Life-Extension Program will allow the site to provide 30 per cent of Ontario’s electricity through 2064. Eight operating units at Bruce Power will maintain stability on the electrical grid, the blueprint states, contribute 22,000 jobs annually and invest $4 billion into Ontario’s economy through direct and indirect spending on engineering, specialized equipment, materials and labour income.

Rickford recently commented in Question Period, “Bruce Power is an important producer of energy for our sector here in Ontario. Our government will always support the work of private organizations…that are working to create good jobs, high tech jobs…in our province, while providing safe and secure access to energy.”

 

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Al Workman Image Al Workman

Verbal support for nuclear energy is one thing, but action is far more important. Canada has a pressing need for small modular reactors (“SMR”s) in remote areas. The public hears nothing from the Government in respect to action in working with design specialists at AECL to develop such technology. Based in Ontario, AECL could be doing much to provide SMRs as a means of supplying electrical energy in remote areas thereby reducing line losses, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions from both hydrocarbon-fueled electrical generating stations and oil sands projects in northern Alberta. SMRs represent is high-value technology that Ontario could export abroad, and Government can act as a catalyst in supporting this vital industry.

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