Category Archives: CNA Responds

CNA Responds

CNA responds to the Ontario Clean Air Alliance

The CNA sent the following letter to the Hamilton Spectator in response to an opinion piece by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.

Re: It’s time Ontario said no to nuclear (Feb. 3)

The Ontario Clean Air Alliance is using the recent false provincial alert regarding the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station as an opportunity to engage in fear-mongering about nuclear power.

The opinion piece is full of misleading and distracting statements at a time when clear and accurate information about nuclear has never been more important.

Canada’s nuclear industry is among the safest and most strictly regulated in the world. The Pickering station is a CANDU design with a long history of safe performance. It is regularly upgraded to ensure alignment with international codes and standards.

In 2019, the station achieved its best-ever year of safety and reliability, and was recently recognized for performance excellence by the World Association of Nuclear Operators.

Like all Canadian nuclear plants, the station benefits from strong oversight by an independent and highly regarded regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

Nuclear energy provided 60 per cent of Ontario’s electricity in 2019 and has enabled the province to phase-out coal. Across Canada, the industry accounts for 76,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Last year, I shifted from advocating for solar energy to promoting nuclear energy. It was a logical outcome of the realization that the climate emergency requires us all to pick up the pace of transformation.

I’m proud to be part of an industry that, along with solar, wind and hydroelectric, provides clean electricity that is virtually free of the emissions and helps mitigate climate change.

The critical transition to a low-carbon economy will be almost impossible without the reliable, safe and clean energy that nuclear technology provides.

John Gorman
President and CEO
Canadian Nuclear Association
Ottawa, ON

CNA Responds

CNA response to The London Free Press op-ed on January 17

RE: Op-ed Ontario should denuclearize its power generation (Jan. 17)

Ian Fairlie and Erika Simpson use the recent false provincial alert regarding the Pickering station as an opportunity to engage in fear-mongering about nuclear power.

The article consists of many misleading statements and is not based on credible scenarios.

The false alert was the result of a provincial alert system test and was unrelated to any event at the Pickering station.

The Pickering station is a CANDU design with a long history of safe performance. It is regularly upgraded to ensure alignment with international codes and standards.

In 2019, the station achieved its best-ever year of safety and reliability and was recently recognized for performance excellence by the World Association of Nuclear Operators.

Like all Canadian nuclear plants, the station benefits from strong oversight by an independent and highly-regarded regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

The safety culture and human performance of the Canadian nuclear industry is often emulated by other countries and industries.

John Gorman
President and CEO
Canadian Nuclear Association
Ottawa, ON

CNA Responds

CNA response to Toronto Star article about Pickering nuclear alert

Re: We have good reasons to be alarmed about nuclear reactors, Jan. 14

Just to clarify Rosie DiManno’s column, there was no “wee email booboo at Pickering” over the weekend.

The erroneous alert was sent out by the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre during an internal exercise and did not originate with Ontario Power Generation or the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station.

The Pickering station provides clean, emissions-free power to one out of seven homes and businesses across Ontario. It has safely and reliably provided Ontario with power for decades.

The Pickering station continues to receive high safety ratings from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Canada’s nuclear regulator.

The CNSC also has full-time staff on site who perform regular inspections to ensure safe operations.

John Gorman
President and CEO
Canadian Nuclear Association
Ottawa, ON

CNA Responds

Small Nuclear Reactors are Powering Ships World Wide

The following letter from John Stewart, Director of Policy and Research at the Canadian Nuclear Association, originally appeared in the Financial Times on June 3, 2019.

You use a full page to outline the massive environmental impacts of oil-powered shipping, and even mention weak options like sails and batteries. Why don’t you give a few paragraphs to a safe, non-emitting way to drive large vessels that has worked well for 65 years?

Small reactors have driven submarines, aircraft carriers and icebreakers quietly and reliably all over the world since 1954. Amazingly few writers recognize nuclear as the clean energy solution that it already is, and will be. FT should have joined them long ago.

John Stewart
Ottawa, ON, Canada

CNA Responds

CNA response to a Montreal Gazette op-ed by Jack Gibbons of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance

Re: “Quebec and Ontario have much to gain from energy co-operation” (Montreal Gazette, December 4), by Jack Gibbons of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.

Jack Gibbons argues in his letter that Ontario should purchase hydro power from Quebec to replace the 60 per cent of its power generated by nuclear energy.

In 2017, Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) looked at the electrical interconnections between Ontario and Quebec. It found the maximum potential of reliable import capability from Quebec into Ontario is 2,050 MW, or approximately 15% of Ontario’s installed nuclear generating capacity.

According to the IESO, importing this amount would require five to seven years of upgrades to Ontario’s transmission system at a cost of at least $220 million. Any more hydro imports would require the construction of new interties at a cost of up to $1.4 billion, additional transmission infrastructure in both provinces, and take up to 10 years to complete.

Ontario’s nuclear plants produce electricity safely and reliably, every day, around the clock at 30% less than the average cost to generate power. Refurbishing Ontario’s nuclear reactors will extend their lives for decades, provide a cost-effective, long-term supply of clean electricity, create thousands of jobs within the province and generate lifesaving medical isotopes in the process.

John Barrett
President and CEO
Canadian Nuclear Association
Ottawa, ON

CNA Responds

CNA response to Power Technology magazine story

The following letter from the Canadian Nuclear Association is in response to a recent story in Power Technology magazine.

https://www.power-technology.com/features/most-dangerous-jobs-in-the-energy-sector/

Your story “What are the most dangerous jobs in the energy sector?” (Sept. 6, 2018) greatly overstates the risks associated with working in the nuclear industry.

When you consider death rates from air pollution and accidents related to energy production, nuclear has by far the lowest number of deaths per terawatt hours.

In Canada, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) limits the amount of radiation nuclear workers can receive when they work in a job where they may be exposed to radiation. The effective dose limits are 50 millisievert (mSv) per year and 100 mSv over 5 years. According to the CNSC, studies to date have not been able to show any excess cancers or other diseases in people chronically exposed to radiation at doses lower than about 100 mSv.

The average dose for workers at uranium mines and mills in 2007 was about 1 mSv, significantly below the regulatory nuclear energy worker limit of 50 mSv per year, and well below typical Canadians’ natural exposure of 2.1 mSv.

Concentrations of radon in uranium mines, mills, processing facilities and fuel fabrication facilities are strictly monitored and controlled. Controls include sophisticated detection and ventilation systems that effectively protect Canadian uranium workers.

For 50 years we have transported nuclear materials safely both internationally and in Canada. There has never been serious injuries, health impacts, fatalities or environmental consequences attributable to the radiological nature of used nuclear fuel shipments.

The nuclear industry is also one of the most strictly regulated and closely monitored industries in the world.

John Barrett
President and CEO
Canadian Nuclear Association
Ottawa, Ontario