‘Ride for Renewables’ calls on McGuinty government to go green

Feature story - August 24, 2010
(Pickering) – Greenpeace activists, green energy supporters and cyclists are riding from the Pickering nuclear station to Darlington today demanding the Ontario government replace the aging Pickering reactors with affordable green energy instead of expensive and dangerous new reactors as currently planned.

“We’re cycling from Pickering to Darlington today to tell the McGuinty government the best and most affordable choice for Ontarians is to replace the Pickering reactors with green energy,” said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, nuclear analyst with Greenpeace. “New reactors at Darlington are unnecessary and expensive.”

Over 30 cyclists are riding the 45 km Waterfront Trail between the two nuclear facilities to draw attention to the fact that the costs of replacing reactors has risen dramatically since the government first started planning to build replacement reactors at Darlington in 2006. Meanwhile, the cyclists say green energy has never had a better opportunity to grow in Ontario.

“We need green energy to protect Ontarians from increasing nuclear costs. New reactors at Darlington will reportedly cost $26 billion – that’s 20 billion more than we were told in 2007. Green energy is the affordable choice for replacing Pickering,” said Stensil

The Ontario government suspended its purchase of new reactors last year because of the high cost of the offers it received from reactor vendors. Renewable is Doable, an alliance of environmental groups which includes Greenpeace, has proposed a solution to the government. A report released earlier this month shows how a mix of green energy options be 12 to 48 per cent cheaper than buying new reactors to replace Pickering.

The Ride for Renewables supports the expansion of green energy, which has exceeded all industry expectations and if given the chance, could replace aging nuclear stations. Ontario has already procured more green electricity in 2010 than it expected it would over the next 17 years.

“I want Ontario to stop repeating past nuclear mistakes,” said Dave Martin, a policy advisor with Greenpeace. “We’re still paying off the billions of dollars in cost over-runs from building the current Darlington reactors every month on our electricity bill. Let’s not do it again.”

The Ride for Renewables was organized as part of Greenpeace’s Don’t Nuke Green Energy campaign, which aims to expose and stop subsidies and sweetheart deals for the nuclear industry that undermine the growth of green energy.

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