More proof the so-called nuclear renaissance is dead on arrival: Bruce Power announced today it is abandoning two proposals to build new reactors at the Bruce and Nanticoke sites in Ontario.
This comes on the heels of the McGuinty government’s announcement last month that it was suspending the purchase of new reactors because the price tag was “billions” of dollars too high.
Tellingly, the Ontario government refused to divulge how much these new reactors would cost, probably because it knew nuclear would come out the loser in any transparent comparison of nuclear against green options.
The Toronto Star, however, revealed a week later the cost of building a new prototype reactor was a frightening $ 26 billion – about $ 20 billion more than Ontario estimated in 2006. For $ 26 billion Ontario could buy double the amount of green power.
Today’s announcement by Bruce Power shows that even the nuclear industry is having difficulty keeping up the charade that it can afford to build reactors without billions in subsidies.
There’s a lesson here. The nuclear lobby has run a successful public relations campaign and made many – including many politicians - believe the nuclear revival was done deal. This unfortunately has diverted much time and valuable public resources from the development of less risky and cost-effective solutions to climate change.
While Canada’s nuclear lobby may be good at public relations, today’s announcement shows again it can’t deliver on its own promise of cheap nuclear power.
The nuclear industry’s public relations campaign won’t keep the lights on or stop climate change. Worse, it's been distracting us from real solutions.
Time to stop dreaming of cheap nuclear power and get on to developing proven and cost-effective green power.