Letter: Brown should think green
Pickering nuclear station
Letter to the editor and open letter to Simcoe North MPP Patrick Brown:
I am writing you to say how disgusted I am by your comments and your attitude towards importing more hydroelectricity from Quebec and closing down the aging Pickering nuclear plant.
You say we have no need for Quebec power and should keep North America’s most expensive-to-operate nuclear plant running for another six years or more. Do you think the people who have had this dangerous and aging plant operating in their community for close to half a century now should be happy to continue accepting tritium releases, the stockpiling of radioactive waste (14,000 tonnes and counting) and the ever-present threat of a major accident — despite the presence of a lower-cost, renewable option?
You made a number of head-shaking claims about the benefits of continuing to operate Pickering, including that it is a lower-cost option and somehow lower risk than clean Quebec water power.
It is true that Ontario Power Generation (OPG) currently sells the power produced at Pickering at a big loss — about $1 billion a year. But guess who owns OPG? We do, and those losses are coming out of our pocket. Even OPG sees that this is not sustainable and has asked the Ontario Energy Board for a whopping 180% increase, by 2026, in the price it is paid for nuclear power.
Hydro Quebec is offering Ontario enough water power to keep the lights on in close to a million homes at a very low price (6.12 cents per kilowatt hour). That is 30% less than the fuel and operating costs of the Pickering nuclear plant (nine cents).
But it seems that you think the people of Pickering, Ajax, Scarborough and Toronto would rather keep one of the world’s oldest and largest nuclear stations running in their backyard, rather than take what Quebec is offering.
I sincerely hope you will be more responsible and accountable by taking a much closer look at this critically important issue, and give your support to clean/green, reliable, sustainable and affordable hydroelectricity instead of the dangerous, polluting, unsustainable, costly and unnecessary nuclear energy.
Your current attitude will definitely not help you win the provincial election next year!