Former Ontario energy minister George Smitherman called for the provincial government to shut down the aging Pickering nuclear station in a presentation to the City of Toronto executive committee last week.
“Pickering has done its work,” Smitherman said, and “Ontario should be encouraged to expand its ‘cash for clunkers’ program to include the Pickering nuclear plant for the rationale associated with health and safety.” The plant “is old, it has really, really low-pressure containment, and its containment model is one containment housing” for all six of its reactor units.
- Be among the first to read The Energy Mix Weekender
- A brand new weekly digest containing exclusive and essential climate stories from around the world.
- The Weekender:The climate news you need.
When Smitherman first visited Pickering in 2007, just days after becoming minister, “I was told pointedly by Ontario Power Generation that the facility was nearing the end of its useful life,” and that the utility’s application to extend its operations “would be the very last one,” Smitherman recalled. Today, “Ontario does not need the electricity Pickering is creating,” so “why take the risk associated with it, is the question that needs to be posed.”
He said that question is particularly relevant for Toronto, given its close proximity to the plant.
Notwithstanding Smitherman’s presentation, the executive committee voted to defer the topic, with Mayor John Tory questioning whether Toronto should devote staff time to studying a matter that falls outside its jurisdiction. If so, “you have to ask yourself,” he said: “Is it worth the time for them to write up a report on nuclear safety?”
Leave a Reply