EDITORIAL: LETTER TO CANDIDATES: Pickering license renewal

Aug. 17, 2016

M.P.P. candidate
Email address

Dear Ontario MPP:

Re:   Pickering Nuclear Station

As a resident of the City of Pickering, I am becoming very, very afraid. I live 10 km away from the Pickering Nuclear Station.

Consider these items:

  • More 2.2 million people live within 30 km of the plant
  • The plant was designed for a 30 year operating lifetime; it is nearing 50 years of age
  • The plant is the 4th oldest in the world
  • The plant is 5th largest nuclear station in North America
  • The plant affects the ecosystem of Lake Ontario 24/7
  • Since 1960, over 2.5 million fuel bundles have been produced in nuclear plants in Canada
  • 4,500 to 5,400 fuel bundles per power reactor are added to these pools each year
  • Since 1952 there have been 33 serious incidents/accidents around the world

Let me give you a little more information about those ‘spent fuel bundles.’ They can be transported elsewhere after 7-10 years. None of the nearly 40 northern Ontario potential storage site possibilities will not consider accepting transfer. Would you accept this material in your back yard?

Furthermore, there are positive, concrete alternatives to every proposed suggestion that closing the plant will cause great problems for Ontarians:

  • Power shortages for residents: false – abundant alternate sources of power exist now and are less expensive [Niagara Falls, Quebec, Labrador/NL]
  • Unemployment by closure: false – dismantling would need thousands of jobs; ongoing security and maintenance would guarantee jobs for decades.
  • The safety record of OPG is outstanding: false – three incidents have already occurred; Fukushima was the most modern of facilities; Chernobyl was a catastrophe affecting European countries more than a 1000 km away from Russia; Three mile island used American technology; the Titanic was unsinkable
  • $900 million a year: the amount the Ontario govt spends to subside the nuclear plant’s operation

You don’t live here, maybe not even within the 30 km radius of the generating station. Would you consider moving to the Pickering area knowing all the above? I have lived here for more than 30 years and moving elsewhere shouldn’t be a viable consideration for me to make. Why can’t the Ontario government consider the bigger picture:

  • The safety and security of its citizens
  • The use of safe, alternative and renewable sources of power
  • Reduction of power consumption costs for its citizens who now pay among the highest rates in all of Canada
  • The end of production of radioactive spent fuel bundles will never be safe in any kind of storage.

Where do you stand on the issue of the renewal of the Pickering Nuclear Plant’s operating license? I would like to hear your response to this and hear your explanation given the security and safety of future Ontarians. Where do you stand? Explain how you care about people who live in Ontario. I will be happy to convey your response and explanations to all my neighbours and friends.

Just so you can be better informed, visit: www.Close-Pickering.ca

Yours truly,

Richard Szpin
Pickering resident


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