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Nuclear Energy

Download “How does Nuclear Benefit Ontario” Infographic

Today’s Globe and Mail includes an infographic titled How does nuclear energy benefit Ontario? The image highlights nuclear as the best option for clean, reliable and affordable energy, as well as the number of jobs made possible by the refurbishment project.

Click on the image of the infographic to download your copy.

 

Infographic-Ontario

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Canada Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Nuclear Power Generation

The Canadian nuclear industry today celebrates the 50th anniversary of nuclear power generation in Canada!

On June 4th, 1962, in Rolphton, Ontario, the Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) reactor began supplying electricity to the Ontario grid, producing enough electricity to power 10,000 homes.  Today, nuclear power generation supplies 15 % of Canada’s safe, clean, and reliable electricity, and almost 60% in Ontario alone.

Birds-eye view of NPD

“This historic achievement marks an important milestone in Canada’s leadership in nuclear energy and technology,” said Denise Carpenter, Canadian Nuclear Association President and CEO. “The NPD was made possible through the combined expertise and innovation of several companies we know today, such as AECL, and with the support and direction of the National Research Council.”

One of NPD’s essential roles was as a prototype for Canada’s homegrown CANDU technology as it was the first heavy-water power reactor in the world. It used Canadian natural uranium and assumed the horizontal pressure-tube arrangement, which is characteristic of all CANDU units to this day. This made NPD the first commercial power reactor to have a completely replaceable core, and the first to refuel while operating at full power – both signature CANDU traits.

In the five decades since, Canada’s CANDU nuclear fleet has grown to include 20 reactors with two more planned at Darlington in Ontario to help the province achieve its clean energy goals – similarly, this was the goal when nuclear energy was developed 50 years ago to compete with coal.

“Today also marks the kick-off of Canadian Environment Week,” added Carpenter. “This is particularly significant since nuclear energy provides a clean and reliable source of power that is an important part of Canada’s clean energy portfolio.”

The role of nuclear in Canada goes far beyond being a safe, clean, affordable, available, and reliable source of energy. Nuclear has an important role to play in medicine, research, food safety, highly-skilled jobs, and makes crucial contributions to other industries across the Canadian economy.

The women and men who worked to give us the gift of the clean, reliable, affordable nuclear power generation we enjoy today. Thank you!

The NPD was shut down in 1987 after having exceeded its operational goals. Our thanks to the women and men who brought us this strong symbol of Canadian innovation for a powerful, clean energy future.

For more information about nuclear in Canada and around the world, please visit CNA’s Factbook.

 

Additional Info:

AECL marks 50th anniversary of nuclear power in Canada – June 4, 2012

50th anniversary of nuclear power in Canada observed at UOIT – April 9, 2012

CNA Responds Nuclear Energy Nuclear Outreach Nuclear Pride

Nuclear Projects and Costs: Jobs and Affordability

In the article Rising electricity prices have little to do with renewable energy (May 5), Weis makes several omissions and extrapolations in the areas of transparency, cost and the role of nuclear energy projects in Ontario.

Ontario Power Generation (OPG), which is owned by the people of Ontario, produces about 60 per cent of the electricity used in Ontario and half of that comes from its 10 operating nuclear units. The price for this electricity is 5.6 cents per kilowatt hour, up from 5.5 cents two years ago.  This information is publicly available and is set by the Ontario Energy Board during a public process.

While “full costs associated with refurbishing existing units or building new ones has never been made public,” that’s because OPG and the government have yet to determine a projected cost, Similarly, OPG has yet to determine precise costs to refurbish the four units at Darlington. Both projects will be the result of competitive bidding processes. Setting a price before the bids are complete would not result in the best deal for consumers.

Building two new nuclear units will be a major undertaking. It will require thousands of skilled tradespeople, enormous quantities of cement, steel and other metals. It would require thousands of specifically fabricated components which will create numerous spin off jobs in the manufacturing sector.

According to a report released in July 2010 by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, refurbishing nuclear facilities at Bruce and Darlington will create 25,000 jobs in the next decade and inject $5 billion into the Ontario economy annually.

For example, the contractor workforce for the Bruce Power refurbishment wrapping up this year, at its peak, included over 3,000 skilled tradespersons. The project has been employing thousands of people since 2006. In addition to this direct employment, there is also a significant amount of indirect employment in those firms that supply services and materials to the refurbishment projects. Ontario has an ambitious clean energy development targets and nuclear energy – an integral part of the province’s clean energy portfolio – is crucial to achieving those targets. Many people may not realize that nuclear’s clean, base load power is enabling the province of Ontario to be coal-free by 2014 and provides the stable base that is needed to bring renewables onto the grid.

Reaching these clean energy goals does have associated costs and to better understand the costs of Ontario’s energy mix, plain and accessible information can be found in the provincial Auditor General’s latest report, which cites what the Ontario Energy Board itself said in 2010:

“In April 2010, the OEB completed an analysis predicting that a typical household’s annual electricity bill will increase by about $570, or 46%, from about $1,250 in 2009 to more than $1,820 by 2014. More than half of this increase would be because of renewable energy contracts” (page 95).

Nuclear energy provides over half of the province’s electricity. It’s clean, reliable and affordable. The CNA invites Canadians to read the Auditor General’s report and make an informed decision on energy costs.

We also invite you to join the conversation on our TalkNUclear blog, Facebook and Twitter and ask us about the topics that are important to you. Our NU microsite NUnuclear.ca is an excellent tool that illustrates the role nuclear technology plays in our daily lives beyond power generation. From life-saving nuclear medicine to enabling materials safety, we depend on nuclear for much more than just keeping the lights on.