Bruce Power begins steps for nuclear generating station in Nanticoke

Simcoe Reformer: October 31, 2008

NANTICOKE -- Bruce Power has announced it will conduct an Environmental Assessment (EA) as it considers building a nuclear generating station in the Haldimand-Norfolk region of southern Ontario.

The assessment, which could take nearly three years to complete, will examine the environmental and social impacts of building two reactors to generate between 2,000 and 3,000 megawatts of low-emissions electricity. It will also consider how other clean energy sources such as hydrogen, solar and wind could complement nuclear in the area.

"Ontario needs affordable, reliable and clean energy as we move forward to address one of the greatest challenges of our time climate change," said Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power's President and Chief Executive Officer, in a release. "Examining new sources of generation in Haldimand-Norfolk will give us, and Ontario, a number of options to consider going forward."

Bruce Power is Canada's only private nuclear generating company and the operator of Ontario's first commercial wind farm at its Bruce County site, about 250 km northwest of Toronto. It is also considering building new reactors at its current Ontario site as well as the Peace Country region of Alberta. Earlier this year, it launched a feasibility study to help Saskatchewan decide whether it will add nuclear to its energy mix as well.

In Haldimand-Norfolk, Bruce Power will use the EA as a planning tool to weigh the merits of building a clean energy hub on about 800 hectares within the Haldimand Industrial Park that it has optioned from US Steel Canada Inc. The EA will officially begin when a Project Description and Site Preparation License, filed today, are accepted by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

As part of its Integrated Power System Plan, the Ontario Power Authority has said nuclear energy should continue to provide 14,000 megawatts of electricity over the next 20 years, while coal is phased-out through investment in renewables and building a culture of conservation.

"Although this is a major step forward, we will not make a decision to proceed with a project until we have consulted thoroughly with the people of Haldimand-Norfolk and have significantly progressed the EA," Hawthorne said.

The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, applauded Bruce Power's decision, saying she strongly supports the launching of an assessment for new nuclear build in her Haldimand-Norfolk riding.

"Im pleased Bruce Power is progressing with an option that could provide stable, long-term economic impacts for the next 60 years," said Minister Finley in a release.

Last June, both Haldimand and Norfolk councils unanimously passed resolutions supporting the launch of an EA into new nuclear. Soon after, a poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid showed more than 80 per cent of residents were open to the EA planning process and that nearly two-thirds of people in the area support nuclear energy.

"Haldimand council fully supports this environmental assessment," said Marie Trainer, Mayor of Haldimand County. "This has been a topic of interest in our community for some time and with Bruce Power taking this step, we can now move ahead with extensive and formal public consultation and input."

Norfolk County Mayor Dennis Travale agreed, saying, "Ontario needs power from Nanticoke to support the grid and if such a project proceeds, following a detailed EA, it will be good news for the economies of Haldimand, Norfolk and Ontario."

In October of 2007, both councils jointly released an economic study, authored by Dr. Harry Kitchen of Trent University, which showed a new facility could create approximately 1,000 new jobs and contribute $550 million annually in regional, economic impacts during construction.

Article ID# 1275579


Nuclear plant could be operating in Nanticoke by 2018 - Province distances itself from Bruce Power announcement

SIMCOE REFORMER: Ashley House - October 31, 2008

NANTICOKE -- After years of rumours and speculation, Bruce Power announced Friday it will begin an environmental assessment on the impacts of a nuclear power station in Haldimand County.

Bruce Power has optioned 800 hectares within the Lake Erie Industrial Park from US Steel Canada Inc. and is considering building two reactors to generate between 2,000 and 3,000 megawatts of electricity.

The company says it is also exploring other clean energy sources such as hydrogen, solar and wind that could complement a nuclear plant at the site.

Were more than a nuclear operator," said chief executive officer and president of Bruce Power Duncan Hawthorne. "We see the logic in synergizing these energies for a stronger economy so we can manage energy demands and sustain the environment."

Despite Bruce Power's steps Friday, the provincial government issued a press release late Friday afternoon distancing itself from Bruce Power's announcement.

"The Government of Ontario has not encouraged or solicited a proposal to build a nuclear generating station in the Haldimand-Norfolk region," the province said in a release. "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 province has maintained that any expansion of nuclear generation will be done at existing nuclear plants.

Hawthorne, however, said Haldimand is a better site than any existing nuclear sites.

"If you look around, you might not find a better site in Canada."

The already isolated rural industrial area, proximity to Lake Erie and an existing transmission corridor are all appealing factors to Bruce Power.

For Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer, new jobs and economical spinoffs like increased tax revenue is what appeals to her community, especially given that Ontario Power Generation's Nanticoke coal-fired generating station is slated to be closed by the province in 2014.

"One thousand jobs for 60 years," Trainer said. "There are millions of economic spinoffs like shopping in our stores, eating our food, moving into our area, more tourists."

The environmental assessment is the first major step in a possible ten-year project.

The assessment could take three years, and should the project go forward, the plant could generate electricity in 2018.

In the meantime, Hawthorne is looking for the community's input.

"This environmental assessment will create a dialogue with us and the community," Hawthorne told a gathering of supporters and politicians at the proposed nuclear site.

"It is our job to educate the community. We will consult with the local population and address their concerns."

Trainer said will be residents' opportunity to ask the hard questions.

Hawthorne welcomes that kind of dialogue and looks forward to explaining the science and safety behind his company's nuclear plants.

He expects the naysayers to speak out.

"They will be active and vocal in this process," he said. "Which is why the silent majority can't be silent this time. I encourage everyone to be active in this process."

Three hundred copies of the project description and information folders have gone out to the outlying community and various stakeholders. Newsletters, open houses and information sessions will follow to allow for open debate and education.

Conservative MP Diane Finley encourages everyone to read up and listen in on the upcoming information.

"Before I started researching this, all I knew about nuclear plants I learned from Homer Simpson," Finley said. "But now I know there is no green ooze in barrels . . . and it's not just one person dedicated to safety. We have here an opportunity to produce clean, affordable and reliable energy. I hope the public sees it as the opportunity it is."

Article ID# 1275895

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