Tag Archives: Ontario Clean Air Alliance

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

Uncategorized

ONA Response to NewmarketToday Opinion Piece

Re: Ontario needs to move away from nuclear power to reduce electricity costs (November 13)

The Ontario Clean Air Alliance has once again misrepresented the cost of nuclear energy and put forward proposals that simply don’t work.

According to the OEB, the folks who create our bills, in 2019 the cost of nuclear energy was 8 cents per kWh. That’s 4.39 cents per kWh lower than the average cost to produce electricity in Ontario. Nuclear energy provided 60 per cent of Ontario’s electricity in 2018 helping to keep costs down.

Leveraging Ontario’s nuclear advantage, our province has phased-off of coal and eliminated smog days. That’s a real impact on clean air in Ontario that helps people with asthma and other respiratory illnesses enjoy a summer day and Torontonians enjoy a blue sky. This is a world-leading achievement that we must be proud of. Even Quebec, which has a large hydro fleet still has over 40 air quality warnings every year.

Refurbishing the Bruce and Darlington stations will extend their lives for decades, providing a cost-effective, long-term supply of clear electricity for Ontario. This investment in energy security for Ontario is also creating thousands of jobs within the province and generating life-saving medical isotopes in the process.

Market mechanisms in Ontario help to ensure we receive power from Quebec when we need it and when it makes economic sense. The reverse is also true. Last January, Ontario provided Quebec with more than 400 GWhs to support its winter demand for power.

Quebec simply does not have the capacity to send power to Ontario in the winter and relies on the nuclear fleet in Ontario to help keep the air as clean as possible.

Ontario is committed to a nuclear future with the life extension of the existing nuclear fleet, which is now scheduled to provide reliable and affordable electricity into 2060s.

The Financial Accountability Office (FAO) released a report that states there is currently no portfolio of alternative low emissions generation that could replace nuclear generation at a comparable cost.

The FAO report is clear: ratepayers are protected; the Ontario’s Nuclear Refurbishment plan is projected to provide ratepayers with a long-term supply of low-cost, low emissions electricity.

This transformational change in Ontario was accomplished through the strength of Ontario’s nuclear sector that provided 90 per cent of the incremental electricity needed to phase out coal.

Thankfully, today, the people of Ontario have cleaner air from cleaner energy.

With such a reliable supply of carbon-free energy being provided by Ontario’s nuclear fleet, the future is bright, and the sky is blue for Ontario residents.

Taylor McKenna, Ontario’s Nuclear Advantage

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

Response to “Pickering’s nuclear waste problem just got bigger”

Re: “Pickering’s nuclear waste problem just got bigger” (NOW Online, July 20), by Angela Bischoff, director of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA).

Ontario Power Generation has safely stored used fuel bundles from the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station for more than 40 years. After they are removed from the water filled bays where they cool and become much less radioactive, they are placed in robust concrete and steel containers. Before being placed into storage, the containers are rigorously tested and safeguard seals are applied by an inspector from the International Atomic Energy Agency. The entire site is closely monitored by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, which is Canada’s regulator.

Despite what the article argues, Canada has a plan in place to safely manage used nuclear fuel and identify a single, preferred location for a  deep geological repository (DGR) for used nuclear fuel. Potential sites are assessed by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) in a process that began when the communities formally expressed interest in learning more. The NWMO has narrowed a list of 22 potential and interested host communities down to five. A single site is expected to be selected in 2023 with licensing and construction to follow. It is expected that an operational facility will be available to begin taking used fuel shipments in the mid-2040s.

John Barrett, President & CEO, Canadian Nuclear Association, Ottawa

CNA Responds

CNA response to “Ford and Wynne wrong on electricity costs”

Re: “Ford and Wynne wrong on electricity costs” (Hamilton Spectator, May 26)

Once again, the anti-nuclear Ontario Clean Air Alliance ignores the facts about the feasibility of replacing nuclear power with hydroelectricity imports from Quebec.

Currently, the people of Ontario benefit from the safe, reliable, low-cost energy generated at the Pickering nuclear power plant. Importing hydro from Quebec would require millions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades, and result in higher consumer prices, less energy reliability, and result in thousands of job losses.

Last year’s report by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) said Quebec would not be able to supply Ontario with electricity during the winter season because it would not have enough to supply its own needs.

According to the IESO: “To be able to supply Ontario with firm year-round capacity, it is expected that Hydro-Quebec would need to build additional resources above what they have for internal capacity needs.”

The all-in cost of long-term large-scale purchases from Quebec, including the cost of required interconnections and transmission investment in Ontario and Quebec and the cost of new hydro generation investment in Quebec, would be significantly more than quoted by the OCAA

Like all things that appear to be a cure for all ills, the real solution is somewhat more complex. Portraying hydro imports as a cost-effective baseload replacement is a non-viable solution to a problem that does not exist.

John Barrett
President and CEO
Canadian Nuclear Association

Uncategorized

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