Greenpeace gets a glow on; Nuke theatre staged to protest Pickering plant

The Toronto Sun: JASON MILLER - May 13, 2008

Rescue teams with stretchers and gas masks aided radiation-poisoned Torontonians dying on the city's sidewalks yesterday.

It was a street-theatre production staged by Greenpeace to show what they say would happen within 30 km of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station if there was a catastrophic failure at the plant.

The protest is a part of Greanpeace's 30-km Campaign aimed at putting pressure on the McGuinty government to shut down the four Pickering "B" reactors when the facility reaches the end of its operating life in 2014.

"This is going to be the most dangerous and unpredictable part of its operating life," said Shawn Patrick Stensil, an energy and climate campaigner for the group.

"The areas within that 30-km radius from the plant to Yonge St. would be the worst affected," he said.

The 30-km range is similar to the evacuation distance used in the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, that caused 56 direct deaths and displaced thousands in the Ukraine, he said.

The Pickering facility is the world's closest nuclear station to a major city, Stensil said.

"Many people in the GTA don't know that they have a nuclear reactor in their backyard," he said.

Avrele Gervais, a spokesman for the nuclear safety commission, said the agency has recommended the licence be extended until June, 2013.

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