CANDU reactors best choice for province, says Alan Middleton
Ontario Energy Minister Dwight Duncan mused in public earlier this month about the need to build new nuclear power plants in Ontario.
This spurred several newspapers, including the Toronto Star, to write editorials supporting the need for new nuclear plants. Given the energy situation this seems all well and good.
However, it now seems the debate is shifting from whether we need new nuclear generation, to what nuclear technology we should use, even implying that we could invite the French and Americans to build their brand of nuclear technology here in Ontario.
This is very odd. Made-in-Ontario nuclear technology — CANDU — is one of the top-performing reactors in the world.
We have a world-class nuclear industry here in Ontario. The CANDU 6 operates in five countries on four continents. In terms of average lifetime capacity factor, the single most important measure of reactor performance, the CANDU 6 fleet ranks well ahead of the French and U.S. reactor fleets. In 2002, the top three CANDU 6 units actually achieved an average 97.1 per cent capacity factor.
CANDU 6 is already licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and is considered to be among the safest reactors in the world. CANDU 6 is a proven safe, clean, reliable and affordable solution that is ready to fill Ontario's looming electricity supply gap in the shortest possible timeframe.
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More nuclear power? All I know is that the nuclear power plant in Pickering makes me very nervous. These plants are quite dangerous especially if there were to be a terrorist attack in the Toronto... that could put the whole city of Toronto into the city of rubble. (Sorry for my ignorance on the issue, I just know these plants aren't the safest thing in the world).
And what about those new plants they are building here in Europe? Couldn't we just wait until those are proven reliable and safer?