27 September 2011 (Toronto) – Over 200 organizations are calling on the next government of Ontario to abandon its plan to build expensive new reactors at the Darlington nuclear station so green energy can continue to expand and reduce the risk of a nuclear accident and the production of radioactive waste.
“We call on Ontario’s political leaders to ensure Ontario stays competitive in the 21st century by investing in green energy and abandoning its plans for expensive new reactors. Ontario has become a leader in green energy, but that will grind to a halt if the next government builds new reactors at Darlington,” said Chris Younga managing director of Enfinity Canada Ltd, a solar development company.
The groups, including environmental organizations, green energy developers, women’s groups, farmers and students, have signed the Darlington Declaration to oppose the construction of new reactors in Ontario because it will block the expansion of more affordable green energy, increase the risk of a Fukushima-scale accident in Ontario and leave a legacy of radioactive waste for at least a million years.
The growth of green energy in Ontario is capped in 2018 because of current plans to build expensive new reactors at the Darlington Nuclear Station and maintain the supply of electricity from nuclear at the historic levels of 50 per cent. Both the Dalton McGuinty Liberals and Tim Hudak’s Ontario PCs support building new reactors at Darlington.
“If the next government approves expensive new reactors at Darlington, it will significantly add to the legacy of radioactive waste and debt the first round of reactors have left us burdened with. It would also lock Ontario into a technology the world is abandoning while stunting the growth of modern green energy,” said Brennain Lloyd, coordinator of Northwatch, a group opposing proposals to dump the province’s radioactive waste in Northern Ontario.
The McGuinty government suspended its purchase of new reactors 2009 when the cost topped $26 billion — $20 billion more than expected. Despite the high cost, the McGuinty Liberals say they remain committed to building new reactors and they have not considered more affordable green alternatives.
“The Fukushima disaster is yet another reason Ontario should choose green energy and abandon plans to build new reactors. Germany and Switzlerand have committed to fully phasing out their reactors and replacing them with safe and affordable green energy. Ontario should too,” said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, a nuclear analyst with Greenpeace.
New reactors at Darlington are intended to replace the aging Pickering nuclear station when it closes in 2020. Studies show it would be cheaper to use green energy and conservation than build new reactors to replace Pickering.
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For more information:
Brennain Lloyd, Northwatch, 705 497 0373
Shawn-Patrick Stensil, Greenpeace, 416-884-7053 (English/French)
Chris Young, Enfinity Canada Ltd, 613-656-3276
A list of endorsing groups can be found here: http://stopdarlington.org/wechoosegreenenergy/