Denise Carpenter, President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA), today presented to the Joint Review Panel for the Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant to support a favourable environmental assessment decision and a license for Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to prepare the future site of new reactors at the Darlington generating station.
“This proposed project is a very important step in fulfilling Canada’s growing energy demands,” said Ms. Carpenter. “New nuclear units are an integral part of the electricity supply and consistent with the direction of the Government of Ontario’s commitment to maintaining nuclear power at 50 per cent of the province’s energy supply in the Long-Term Energy Plan.”
The CNA provided a perspective on the proposed project based on economic benefits, environmental effects, and safety considerations in the nuclear industry as a whole.
Ms. Carpenter emphasized the importance of the project and the benefits it would bring to the communities in the Durham region. Highly skilled jobs, opportunities for education and fulfilling careers, and a strong local economy are examples of what the Darlington nuclear station currently provides, and what could be further enhanced with additional nuclear units.
“Canada’s nuclear sector is a 6.6 billion-dollar-per-year industry. Every year, we generate 1.5 billion dollars in federal and provincial taxes, and provide rewarding careers to about 71,000 men and women who mine uranium, generate and support the production of electricity and contribute to innovations in nuclear technology including medicine. The new Darlington Project alone has the potential to employ up to 7,500 workers, directly and indirectly, all across Ontario,” added Ms. Carpenter.
While addressing environmental impacts to the Panel, the CNA emphasized that Canada’s nuclear industry is committed to environmental stewardship both in the communities in which Canadians work and live, and globally. In 2009, OPG was awarded the prestigious William W. Howard CEO Award, which recognized the company’s history of excellence in conservation, education and outreach.
“Nuclear energy provides a clean energy solution for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. By clean, we mean virtually no GHG emissions,” said Ms. Carpenter. “And due to its ability to provide 24/7 baseload power over the long term at a low-operating cost, nuclear can enable emerging renewable energy sources. There’s room for all of us in the mix.”
In light of recent events in Japan and the ongoing review of safety systems around the world, Ms. Carpenter reiterated that thoughts remain with the Japanese people, who will continue to be tested in the weeks and months ahead.
“They are facing their present challenges with solidarity, and courage,” she added. “As an industry, we are proud of our safety record, but we are never complacent. The tragedy in Japan will be examined thoroughly for lessons we can apply to safety here in Canada. At home and abroad, our industry is participating in discussions on lessons learned from this event and how to address any necessary changes required to enhance safety systems.”