Nanticoke site eyed for nuclear plant

Port Dover Maple Leaf: November 5, 2008

CEO Duncan Hawthorne of Bruce Power addressed area dignitaries, business leaders and media about plans for a nuclear power plant at Nanticoke last Nanticoke site eyed for nuclear plant

Dignitaries Present: Norfolk County Mayor Dennis Travale, Diane Finley MP, Haldimand Councillor Buck Sloat, Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer and Toby Barrett MPP.

A crowd of 100 invited people were on the U.S. Steel Canada Inc. property at Nanticoke Friday afternoon to hear Bruce Power CEO Duncan Hawthorne declare "at Bruce Power, we want to explore the potential of building a clean energy hub in Haldimand-Norfolk that would involve next generation nuclear, hydrogen, wind and solar panels."

What Bruce Power intends to do is carry out an extensive three-year environmental assessment on a site just west of the steel-making complex. The site for the Nanticoke Nuclear Power Plant is approximately 900 hectares. If the company gets the green light from those studies, and necessary Ontario government approvals, it will build two reactors that together would generate between 2,000 and 3,000 megawatts of electricity. That was reported to be enough to power up three million homes.

CEO Hawthorne outlined how his company will carry out "due diligence" as there "is a lot of work to be done. There are many things to think about, especially the (local) people," he said. CEO Hawthorne assured his listeners within a large tent set up on the proposed site, "we think about the people, ask them for their thoughts." Noting the location within the Nanticoke Industrial Site he said "many of the building blocks are here." The first electricity from the Nanticoke Station would not be on line for about nine years.

The gathering heard CEO Hawthorne, and several others, proclaim the completed nuclear plant would create 1000 high-paying jobs for 60 years.

Communications Consultant John Peevers said the federal environmental assessment could cost the company about $3 million.

Hon. Diane Finley, MP, now Canadas Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, said the federal government is on side. She told The Maple Leaf that she and the Conservative Government have been working on this project for two years. Speaking to the gathering of politicians from all three levels, business people, trades people and trade union leaders as well as the media, she said "we all need a reliable, safe, affordable source of energy." The local MP cautioned what would happen "if Ontario Hydro shuts down?"

Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer brought along three of her councillors to give a strong endorsement of the proposal. She stated, "this is an important first step." The mayor stated the nuclear power plant "will bring a new economic engine to our region."

Norfolk County Mayor Dennis Travale was accompanied to Fridays announcement by Councillors John Wells, Harold Sonnenberg and Jim Oliver. As early as June 13, 2007 Mayor Travale had forwarded a letter to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty stating a resolution had been unanimously passed by council that put forward strong arguments for an environment assessment process for the nuclear option at Nanticoke. At Fridays gathering he stressed Norfolk County Councils support of what was being proposed by Bruce Power at Fridays announcement.

Toby Barrett MPP commented how he has been engaged in many aspects of the life in his riding, mentioning labour, tourism, cash crops, livestock and how those impact on residents. He urged people to get answers for any questions they have as it is important to have "citizen participation and public involvement." Referring to what is being proposed Mr. Barrett stated, "US Steel Canada and Bruce Power have a strong track record."

Business Manager Patrick Dillon of Building & Construction Trades Council of Ontario (based in Etobicoke) expressed enthusiasm for the large number of trade jobs this project will create if construction proceeds. He said "it is just fantastic to see all levels of government supporting the project."

Others praised the Bruce Power plan for undertaking an environmental assessment with the hopes of building a nuclear generation plant.

Bruce Power CEO and President Duncan Hawthorne acknowledged the company cannot construct its new nuclear plant without the approval of the Ontario Government. "The provincial government are the people who have to make the decision (for Bruce Power to build). This is not an attempt to circumvent the provincial government."

The gathering was informed that Bruce Power intends to partner with McMaster University and the University of Waterloo to study clean energy sources such as next-generation nuclear, solar, wind and hydrogen.

In a press release, the Government of Ontario said it has not encouraged or solicited a proposal to build a nuclear generating station in the Haldimand-Norfolk region. "Ontario is not looking to build new nuclear facilities at Nanticoke. This course of action is speculative and is being conducted by a private company," the release continued.

"As we get out of using coal-fired generation for electricity, were looking for opportunities to replace that as much as possible with conservation and take full advantage of more renewable energy," said George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. "Adding more nuclear beyond the existing supply of 50 per cent is not in Ontarios plans or in Ontarios interest."

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