NANTICOKE NOT IN PLANS FOR NUCLEAR INVESTMENT, MINISTRY SAYS: Province sets nuclear sights elsewhere
Monte Sonnenberg Simcoe Reformer- Oct 18, 2007
Norfolk and Haldimand will have to do some arm twisting if they hope to see nuclear reactor built In Nanticoke
Yesterday, the Ministry of Energy affirmed Its commitment to invest in new nuclear capacity only in -communities that already have reactors.
This spring, a spokesman for energy minister Dwight Duncan said existing sites in Pickering, Darlington and Bruce County are in line to receive additional investment. The spokesman explicitly stated that alternative sites are not being considered, Including Nanticoke.
Yesterday, ministry representative Sylvia Kovesfalvi said nothing has changed.
"The government remains committed to building reactors at the site of existing nuclear stations,"
The McGuinty government is committed to closing the Nanticoke Generating Station by 2014.
Queens Park has concluded that the continent's largest coal-fired generating station is detrimental to the province's air quality and is a major producer of greenhouse gases. The plan is unlikely to change now that the McGuinty Liberals have been elected to a second majority government.
The Nanticoke station supports 600 good-paying jobs and pumps millions of dollars into the local economy. It is also
a major source of tax revenue for Haldimand County.
The pending closure of the station has politicians in Norfolk and Haldimand searching for alternatives. Despite the ministry''s pledge to group new reactors with existing reactors, councils in Haldimand and Norfolk remain optimistic that the province can be persuaded to change its mind.
Key to these discussions is the massive transmission corridor that begins at the Nanticoke station and heads north into the Ontario heartland. Yesterday, Dunnville Coun. Lorne Boyko said a corridor like this would be impossible to assemble today and is thus an irreplaceable asset.
"That is our ace in the hole," he said. "There have been reports that we are not in the running. But that corridor makes us a candidate. The cost of replacing or duplicating that corridor would be tremendous."
As well, nuclear reactors must be located beside large bodies of fresh water for cooling purposes.
The Ministry of Energy has signaled that Norfolk and Haldimand are out of the running for a nuclear facility. However, that hasn''t stopped the counties from holding public information sessions or studying nuclear''s potential impact on the local economy.
The counties recently paid $5,000 to have Trent University economist Harry Kitchen analyze the economic impact a two megawatt nuclear station would have on the local area.
Professor Kitchen''s report was tabled Monday at Haldimand council. Based on the experience of other Ontario communities with nuclear installations, Kitchen has concluded that construction of a facility in Nanticoke would
cost about $7 billion.
create full-time work for nearly 1,000 people for the nine ~years it would take to build.
boost economic activity in Haldimand and Norfolk by about 15 per cent during the period of construction.
Once the plant is up and running, Kitchen concludes the installation would infuse an additional $150 mil
lion a year into the local economy over the facility''s 60-year life span. The boost to the local economy would be about four per cent a year in 2006 dollars.
Taxes to Haldimand County would be worth about $2.1 million a year. Kitchen estimates the facility would create full-time work for about 1,500 people.
Kitchen''s report received an enthusiastic reception at Norfolk council Tuesday night.
"This is a very positive report," Mayor. Dennis Travale said in a statement. "The impacts of a new-build nuclear power-generating plant in the Nanticoke Industrial Park would be tremendously beneficial to the economy, the citizens and the business community of Norfolk.
"The jobs created would more than offset the closure of all or part of the coal-burning plant and would offer attractive opportunities to any displaced worker as well as the youth of Norfolk. The added affirmative impacts on our economy would be a major boost to counter the results from the decline in tobacco growing."
McGuinty Government Delivers A Balanced Plan For Ontario's Electricity Future
Securing Reliability For Ontario's Long-Term Electricity Supply
News Release: June 13, 2006http://www.energy.gov.on.ca/index.cfm?body=yes&fuseaction=english.news&news_id=134