Using Hydro to Displace Nuclear is Wrong-Headed

This letter deconstructing the Ontario Clean Air Alliance’s proposal to cancel nuclear refurbishments and replace the lost capacity with hydro from Quebec appeared in the Toronto Star on July 28 and is worth highlighting

While importing some hydroelectric power from Quebec may make sense, if the price is right, using that power to displace nuclear is wrong-headed. High electricity costs in Ontario have little to do with nuclear power. The electricity that it produces costs about six cents per kWh, which is half the price of wind power and about one-eighth the price of solar power.

About 75 per cent of the electricity generated in Ontario is from greenhouse gas (GHG) emission-free sources, hydro and nuclear. Most of the remaining electricity is generated by fossil fuels, primarily burning natural gas.

If you are really committed to clean air, it would make far more sense to use any imported hydroelectric power to displace natural gas, rather than displace one GHG-free generation source with another. It does not make sense for an organization committed to clean air to advocate a policy that would perpetuate the burning fossil fuels in Ontario.

Michael Ivanco, President, Society of Professional Engineers and Associates, Mississauga

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