Quick Facts: Gentilly-2

Page - August 10, 2008
  • Gentilly-2 produces less than three per cent of Quebec's electricity.
  • Hydro Québec signed a deal with the federal government in 1973 to build Gentilly-2 a CANDU 6 design developed by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) in the early 1970s.
  • Gentilly-2's construction costs quadrupled to $1.36 billion from $302 million-a billion dollar cost over-run.
  • The Québec government declared a moratorium on nuclear power plant construction in 1978.
  • Hydro-Quebec's estimate for rebuilding Gentilly-2 has nearly doubled to $1.5 billion from $845 million.
  • Gentilly-2 has already produced over 2,500 tonnes of high-level radioactive waste that must be isolated from the environment for a million years.
  • Hydro-Quebec has not developed a long-term storage facility for radioactive waste, even though the reactor has operated for almost 30 years.
  • In 1994, the environmental agency the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) called on Hydro-Quebec to releasing all economic and technical studies for rebuilding Gentilly-2. Hydro-Quebec has not released this information.
  • In 2005, BAPE called on Hydro-Quebec to propose a socially acceptable plan for managing its highly toxic radioactive waste. Hydro-Quebec has not released a proposal.
  • The Gentilly-2 design predates the September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre. The design would not withstand such an attack.
  • Since September 11th international regulators require new nuclear stations to be more able to withstand terrorist attacks. Gentilly-2 would not meet these standards.
  • Gentilly-2 shares an inherent design flaw with the reactor that failed at Chernobyl. The design flaw- "the positive void coefficient"- can lead to an explosive pulse of power. International regulations ban the Gentilly-2 flaw in new reactors.
  • Ontario abandoned plans to build a CANDU 6 reactor because of the need for extensive design changes to meet even the weak standards that govern nuclear reactor design in Canada.
  • Greenpeace released a commissioned report by a nuclear safety expert in June 2008 that says none of the three reactors Ontario is considering should be licensed because of design flaws.
  • The design for Gentilly-2 does not meet the flawed standards of the reactors Ontario is considering.

For more information, please contact:

Brian Blomme, Media and Public Relations Officer, (416) 930-9055