Pickering nuclear seeks to renew its licence

Ontario's oldest nuclear power station wants to keep operating for a few more years. Critics say that's a bad idea.
Author: 
John Spears
Source: 
http://www.thestar.com/business/
Date published: 
Tue, 2013-05-28

Ontario’s oldest nuclear plant pleads its case this week for a few more years of active life.

But nuclear skeptics say it’s time to bring down the axe on the Pickering nuclear station.

It’s an old debate that pits hardened nuclear campaigners such as Greenpeace against low-profile supporters such as the Pickering Soccer Club.

It comes to a head because the Pickering station’s operating license runs out this year. But Ontario Power Generation, which owns and operates the plant, wants to keep the station running until about 2020.

The company wants to continue the operation without doing an environmental impact assessment, and without performing a major overhaul of the aging station.

What’s at stake depends on your perspective of what’s crucial: keeping Ontario’s lights on, or keeping the province safe.

OPG says it can do both. The critics aren’t so sure.

OPG wants to keep Pickering running until about 2020 to fill the need for power. Although the province has plenty of electricity now, the big Darlington station is due for a multi-year overhaul starting in 2016 that will crimp its output until about 2020.

Pickering will be needed to fill the gaps, says OPG.

What stands in the way of continued operation are two things.

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