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Nuclear shadow is stifling development in H-N

Brantford Expositor: Jim Elve, Waterford - July 7, 2009

http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1643979

The new generation of nuclear development is proving to be a lot like the previous generation: too costly to deserve either private or public investment. The much-touted "nuclear renaissance" is proving to be just so much hype from a highly polished and well-heeled sales force intent on lobbying for a dubious, if not absurd, new round of fruitless investment.

In Haldimand-Norfolk, we are being lured with the same empty hook. Bruce Power's bid to build a two-reactor plant with private capital is financially ill-advised. The pie-in-the-sky promise of 1,000 high-paying jobs is as believable as the promises that the new generation of reactors would be built on time and on budget.

About three weeks ago, Ontario Energy Minister George Smitherman reiterated that Ontario is not supporting Bruce's Nanticoke proposal and that the province has no intention of purchasing any electricity that might be created at a possible Nanticoke nuclear plant. We simply do not need it. Ontario already has a surplus of base-load nuclear energy and on over 200 occasions in 2009, we've actually paid industrial customers to use it -- after we paid the nuclear plants to produce it.

Despite the lack of financial backing and the strong probability that no plant will ever be built at Nanticoke, Bruce Power continues to press on with the Environmental Assessment it began last November. The nuclear Sword of Damocles continues to damage our local economy by scaring away potential new residents and driving away longtime citizens.

New residents echo the same sentiment over and over: if they'd been aware that a nuclear plant was being proposed six kilo-metres from downtown Port Dover, they would have bought their retirement homes elsewhere. Instead of helping our local economy with future jobs, jobs, jobs, the threat of a nuclear plant is stifling growth and curtailing employment for our existing local tradesmen and businesses.

Both Bruce Power and Premier McGuinty have assured us that they will not pursue nuclear development in anything but a "willing host community." We can permanently remove the growth-inhibiting threat of a nuclear plant by urging our municipality, through resolutions by Norfolk and Haldimand county councils declaring that we are not a willing host.