Pickering nuclear plant decision delayed

CBC News: November 23, 2007

A decision about the future for one of Ontario's big nuclear projects has been hit with a delay.

An Ontario Power Generation official says it will take longer than expected to decide whether to spend billions of dollars to upgrade or expand the nuclear plant in Pickering.

The board of OPG was supposed to decide early next year whether it made better economic sense to refurbish the four nuclear reactors at Pickering B, or build new ones instead.

Just last week Premier Dalton McGuinty gave the impression the decision was moving ahead.

"Gerry Phillips is my new minister of energy," said McGuinty, "and I have told him one of the first things we've got to get done is we've got to get on with nuclear technology in Ontario."

According to OPG spokesman John Earl, the decision has been delayed, probably for a year.

"We still believe, in 2008 we will move a recommendation to the board," said Earl.

OPG staff are still working on the environmental assessment and looking at whether the life of the existing reactors can be extended, which could delay any refurbishment.

NDP Leader Howard Hampton sees more problems down the road.

"Nuclear power in Ontario continues to have problems. The proposed refurbishment of Pickering B, it's probably going to be very expensive and very complicated, if it goes ahead at all," he said.

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