Yesterday Greenpeace released a report, Better Never than Late, outlining the financial and environmental threats of proceeding with the McGuinty government's nuclear electricity plan. The report recommends the government start to control rising nuclear costs by deciding to close the ageing Pickering B nuclear station when it comes to the end of its operational life in 2014 and replace it with cheaper green energy.
Pickering B produces just 2000 MW of electricity and could easily be replaced by green energy and conservation. Despite lots of talk about green energy, however, the McGuinty government hasn't even examined replacing Pickering with a portfolio of green power. The government has spent three years studying how to rebuild the ageing station. If it doesn't rebuild the station, the McGuinty government is opting to increase gas or coal generation for over a decade until new expensive nuclear plants come online.
At Queen's Park yesterday, the leader of the Ontario NDP asked energy Minister George Smitherman to direct Ontario's electricity planning agency to develop a plan for replacing Pickering B with green power. Minister Smitherman dodged the question.
Minister Smitherman has said that he wants to increase green power in Ontario. If he's sincere, he shouldn't be dodging questions on what is probably his best opportunity for getting more green power on the grid.