By Erin Polka
Canadian Nuclear Association
Ontario nuclear set another monthly output record – 8.72 billion kWh for March, beating out January’s 8.46 billion kWh, and more than any other month since 2010.
Most likely, it’s the highest monthly output in Ontario’s history, however reliable data sources are hard to find.
According to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), nuclear’s output is usually highest in mid-winter and mid-summer. This is due to the increased electrical demand as a result of heating and cooling.
But March isn’t typically a high-demand month, which makes this record all the more impressive.
The more Ontario relies on nuclear energy, the fewer greenhouse gases the province releases into the atmosphere.
Over the entire lifecycle, including construction, transportation, operation and decommissioning, nuclear is one of the cleanest options available, emitting about 16 grams of CO2 per kWh. It compares favorably with hydro (4 grams), wind (12 grams) and solar (46 grams), and is a vast improvement over gas (469 grams).
This past March, gas only contributed 1.09 billion kWh, which is less than usual, and translates into less air pollution.