Reports say Kincardine or Darlington to be site of new nuclear plant- Nanticoke still in running: Trainer

TIMES-REFORMER: Daniel Pearce - June 11, 2008

Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer says Nanticoke is still in the running to host a nuclear power plant despite media reports saying it's already been ruled out as a site.

Sun Media reported yesterday that Queen's Park has narrowed down its choice for a new site to one of two existing nuclear plants, either in Kincardine or at Darlington in Durham Region, and will make an announcement within days.

Trainer, however, said Nanticoke is being considered "for above and beyond what they're doing this round" and could still be approved in the future.

"It's always been on as far as looking at it," Trainer told the Times-Reformer. "It's in the running to be looked at."

Bruce Power, the private company that owns Ontario's nuclear plants, is in talks with U.S. Steel to buy unused land at its Lake Erie factory in Nanticoke for a nuke plant, she said.

"As soon as they seal that deal, they'll do an EA (environmental assessment)," Trainer said. "If that proves OK, they'll buy it."

Haldimand County is pushing for the EA to be done and wants to have something in place at Nanticoke if the coal-fired generating station there is closed by 2014, as Queen's Park has promised.

The station, blamed by environmentalists for being one of the worst contributors to greenhouse gases, employs 600 people in well-paying jobs and pays the county millions in property taxes.

Trainer said she envisions a situation in which two of Nanticoke's eight coal-fired units continue running beside a new nuclear plant.

George Nutter, spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Energy, noted the government decided two years ago to allow new nuclear reactors at existing sites only and has not changed its mind.

In the long run, however, the government will face other decisions as more reactors wear out, Nutter said.

"The question comes up, 'Do we put up new or refurbish existing ones?' . . . That's very much in the future."

A phone call to Bruce Power was not returned by deadline.

Article ID# 1066740

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