Nuclear Brings Clean Air to Ontario

By Romeo St-Martin
Communications Officer
Canadian Nuclear Association

It is important that when we speak of “clean technologies” in Canada, we include nuclear. Thanks to nuclear power, the atmosphere gets a break on its steady diet of carbon dioxide – a 90-million tonne CO2 reduction annually.

“Canada’s record on reducing greenhouse gas emissions is substantially helped by Ontario’s use of nuclear power,” says Canadian Nuclear Association president John Barrett.

In April 2014, the Ontario government announced a major clean-air landmark: it shut down its last coal-fired generating station, and became the first North American jurisdiction to eliminate coal entirely.

How was Ontario able to do this? Because it relies on that clean, reliable workhorse – nuclear power.

“We are extremely proud of the role Bruce Power has played to support the phase out of coal in Ontario,” says Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power President and CEO, and also the Chair of the CNA’s Board of Directors. Bruce Power has doubled its fleet of operating reactors from four to eight, becoming the world’s largest nuclear generating station. Says Hawthorne: “By returning 3,000 megawatts of safe, reliable and carbon-free electricity to Ontario’s grid, we have played a major role in this important environmental and health initiative.”

In Ontario, nuclear power provides nearly 60 percent of the electricity mix. Between 2000 and 2013, nuclear-powered electrical generation rose 20 percent, coinciding with a 27 percent drop in coal-fired electricity. During the same period, non-hydro renewables increased to 3.4 percent from one percent. This major transition to a cleaner Ontario could not have happened without nuclear.

bruce power output

Source: Bruce Power.

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