TORONTO – Ontario’s Liberal government had decided it will not spend billions of dollars to build two new nuclear plants, but will refurbish existing reactors at two nuclear generating stations.
Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli says Ontario has a comfortable surplus of electricity and will not need to spend money now to build new reactors.
The province first put a halt on plans to build new reactors in 2009 when the cost was said to be as high as $26 billion.
Chiarelli says the cost has come down since then, but not enough to justify new builds.
The New Democrats applaud the decision but say the government should have made it before giving nuclear companies $26 million to help with applications for the new reactors.
The Progressive Conservatives say backing off on the new reactors is proof the Liberals have given up on getting Ontario’s manufacturing sector back on its feet, which would drive up demand for electricity.
Greenpeace also welcomed the decision to kill the new nuclear plants, but urged the government to proceed cautiously with the cost of refurbishing existing reactors at Bruce Power and Darlington.
Ontario currently gets about 50 per cent of its electricity from nuclear generation, and Chiaraelli said it will likely be around the 47 per cent mark when the government’s long-term energy plan is released later this year.