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Pickering nuclear station is closing as planned, despite calls for refurbishment

Nationa lObserver , By Jessica McDiarmid | News | July 29th 2022 The Ontario government will not reconsider plans to close the Pickering nuclear station …………

In a report released this week, a nuclear advocacy group urged Ontario to refurbish the aging facility east of Toronto, which is set to be shuttered in phases in 2024 and 2025. The closure of Pickering, which provides 14 per cent of the province’s annual electricity supply, comes at the same time as Ontario’s other two nuclear stations are undergoing refurbishment and operating at reduced capacity.

Canadians for Nuclear Energy, which is largely funded by power workers’ unions, argued closing the 50-year-old facility will result in job losses, emissions increases, heightened reliance on imported natural gas and an electricity deficit.

But Palmer Lockridge, spokesperson for the provincial energy minister, said further extending Pickering’s lifespan isn’t on the table…………………………

The Ontario Clean Air Alliance, however, obtained draft documents from the electricity operator that showed it had studied, but not released publicly, other scenarios that involved phasing out natural gas without energy shortfalls, price hikes or increases in emissions.

One model suggested increasing carbon taxes and imports of clean energy from other provinces could keep blackouts, costs and emissions at bay, while another involved increasing energy efficiency, wind generation and storage.

“By banning gas-fired electricity exports to the U.S., importing all the Quebec water power we can with the existing transmission lines and investing in energy efficiency and wind and solar and storage — do all those things and you can phase out gas-fired power and lower our bills,” said Jack Gibbons, chair of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.

July 30, 2022 - Posted by | Canada, politics

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