Every nuclear construction project in Ontario has gone massively over budget. We are all already on the hook for nuclear’s runaway costs, paying a nuclear debt surcharge on every kilowatt of electricity we use. We should not be providing more public money for high-risk nuclear porjects.
The Ontario Government is planning to spend upwards of $59 billion to rebuild much of the province’s electricity system. However, the plan developed by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) for replacing dirty coalfired generation and aging nuclear units is heavily focused on maintaining the status quo of a highly centralized generation system that serves electricity consumers through a system of long-distance high-voltage
This decision to maintain the status quo will be costly for Ontario. Building or refurbishing nuclear units is one of the highest cost – and riskiest – options available for meeting our electricity needs. Similarly, maintaining and expanding a long distance transmission system will cost billions of dollars.
Many other jurisdictions are moving away from such inflexible and inefficient systems toward what are called “distributed” energy systems. In distributed systems, the emphasis is on meeting electricity needs in the most efficient and lowest cost manner possible. Many smaller generation sources located near centres of electricity demand are used instead of a handful of large power stations. The result is a system that wastes much less energy during generation, transmission and use, and that thereby reduces costs and polluting emissions.