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Investment In Nuclear Energy Essential – But Lacks Details!

The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce (GOCC) has long advocated for an adequate, stable and reliable supply of electricity for Ontario’s businesses. The recent announcement in the province’s energy plan of the refurbishment of 10 nuclear reactors and the building of two new generators at Darlington, although good news, is only a reconfirmation of similar announcements by the government two years ago. “The announcement on November 24th, 2010, by the Ontario Government did not identify who is to build the new nuclear facilities nor has it set out any timelines,” stated John Walker, President of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce.
The new plan does set out a platform that will build a strong foundation in securing a continuous and reliable supply of energy for Ontario, but, has left many details out including timelines, the vendor, the price, and the operator, as well as increasing opportunities and innovation in the energy sector.

“New nuclear generation is vital for this province as we look for clean, safe, reliable and cost-effective electricity while reducing our reliance on fossil fuels,” explains Bob Malcolmson, CEO of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce. “The delay in choosing a supplier for the two new nuclear reactors needs to be settled immediately.”

The GOCC supported by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce calls for the Federal government to ensure that Ontario and Canada has a made in Ontario Nuclear Energy Strategy that will continue to provide jobs, investment and economic strength for the Ontario and Canadian economy in the coming decades.

“The decision by the Government to make this substantial investment into nuclear energy will go a long way in creating sustainable and affordable energy production within the province,” says Len Crispino, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC). “The importance of nuclear generation to provide stable base load energy cannot be over-stated. This is a major step forward for the province of Ontario.”

With the closing of the coalfired generating plants scheduled for 2014, the OCC believes that renewed investment in nuclear energy is fundamental to Ontario’s economy and business competitiveness. The OCC recognizes the importance of the plan to move forward with a sustainable and reliable energy supply that can be delivered at an affordable rate, while opening up opportunities to invest in renewable energy and maintaining a diverse portfolio of energy generation.

The Canadian innovative design and manufacture of nuclear reactors has proven to be competitive in world markets. Canada’s technology future is at stake. Let’s not make the same mistake with nuclear as we did just 50 short years ago in 1959 when Government cancelled the AVRO Arrow. That crippled the domestic aerospace industry and sent our engineers and scientists south.

Ontario has very few industries that offer the potential for ongoing long-term job and wealth creation. Around the world we are seeing a nuclear renaissance as the many strengths of nuclear energy are being recognized. Billions of dollars will be spent on hundreds of new plants around the world over the next 10-20 years. The developing powerhouses of China and India are looking to new nuclear capacity to help secure the energy they will need to fuel their economic growth. In 2006, the United States implemented an Energy Policy Act encouraging construction of new Nuclear plants as part of a diverse energy-production portfolio. Many other countries such as France, the United Kingdom and Japan have also adopted nuclear energy in their public policy positions.