Darlington to get 2 new reactors
Durham cheers jobs as massive expansion will almost double nuclear
Power-hungry Ontario wants new sources of electricity near Toronto. Hard-hit Durham Region wants jobs. Those factors won out over environmental fears and huge costs yesterday as the province announced that the Darlington nuclear plant will be expanded to accommodate two giant reactors.
Canada's first new reactors in two decades are expected to generate up to 3,200 megawatts of power. That is almost enough to power all homes and businesses in Toronto and nearly doubles Darlington's current capacity.
Energy Minister Gerry Phillips said construction should begin at the existing station in 2012 with electricity being generated by July 1, 2018. Phillips declined to give a price tag for the Darlington project other than to say it would fit within the province's $26.3 billion plan to upgrade its nuclear capacity over the next 20 years. Phillips said Darlington was selected because its transmission capacity is more accessible than the privately operated Bruce site on Lake Huron.
- Nuclear power is not safe. Yeah, I've heard it, blah, blah, blah. The fact remains that if something goes wrong, it goes very wrong, and insurance companies won't insure nuclear plants, and will not compensate Ontarians in the case of a nuclear accident.
- Nuclear plants are expensive, and conservation is cheaper. Duh!
- "Cost overruns have dogged every nuclear project in Ontario history."
- At current rates of usage, we have thirty years of unranium still to mine, at the outside. That means that these reactors will come online just in time to shut down. It's like peak oil, only faster and more expensive.
- The jobs created will boost one community, while green power is diffuse, benefitting most communities.
- The grid is unsustainable.
- Nuclear power is not green: it pollutes, and it produces carbon. Actual fission doesn't produce carbon, but everything else does: building the plant, mining the ore, refining the ore, transporting the ore, building waste dumps, transporting the waste, the commute for employees (since they try not to build these near inhabited areas) and maintaining the grid.