BRUCE COUNTY — Ontario’s electricity demand is rising and to prepare for it the provincial government is starting pre-development work to site the first large-scale nuclear build in over three decades.
Bruce Power will begin community consultations and conduct the environmental assessment for federal approval to determine the feasibility of siting up to 4,800 megawatts (MW) of new nuclear generation on its current site.
According to a release, experts at Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) have recommended the province begin planning, siting and environmental assessment work for long-lead assets, including nuclear power, to meet increasing electricity demand in the 2030s and beyond driven by strong economic growth, electrification and population growth.
Federal approval is the first step in a comprehensive process for building new nuclear power generation projects, which could take a decade or longer.
This pre-development work will help evaluate the suitability of the site by examining the impacts of a new facility on the environment, the public and Indigenous communities. It will take several years to complete and is a pre-requisite for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s multi-stage licensing process for new large-scale nuclear stations.
“Initiating this early planning will ensure the province has a reliable, low-cost and clean option available to power the next major international investment, the new homes being built in the province, and industries and sectors across the province as they grow and electrify,” states the release.
“A new nuclear station would also create thousands of new jobs and generate billions of dollars in economic activity across the province for decades to come, while helping to reduce emissions and further Ontario’s clean electricity advantage.”