Bruce Power is pleased to announce it will conduct an Environmental Assessment (EA) as it considers building a nuclear generating station in the Haldimand-Norfolk region of southern Ontario.
The assessment, which could take nearly three years to complete, will examine the environmental and social impacts of building two reactors to generate between 2,000 and 3,000 megawatts of low-emissions electricity. It will also consider how other clean energy sources such as hydrogen, solar and wind could complement nuclear in the area.
“Ontario needs affordable, reliable and clean energy as we move forward to address one of the greatest challenges of our time – climate change,” said Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Examining new sources of generation in Haldimand-Norfolk will give us, and Ontario, a number of options to consider going forward.”
Bruce Power is Canada’s only private nuclear generating company and the operator of Ontario’s first commercial wind farm at its Bruce County site, approximately 250 km northwest of Toronto. It is also considering building new reactors at its current Ontario site as well as the Peace Country region of Alberta. Earlier this year, it launched a feasibility study to help Saskatchewan decide whether it will add nuclear to its energy mix as well.
In Haldimand-Norfolk, Bruce Power will use the EA as a planning tool to weigh the merits of building a clean energy hub on approximately 800 hectares within the Haldimand Industrial Park that it has optioned from US Steel Canada Inc. The EA will officially begin when a Project Description and Site Preparation License, filed today, are accepted by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
As part of its Integrated Power System Plan, the Ontario Power Authority has said nuclear energy should continue to provide 14,000 megawatts of electricity over the next 20 years, while coal is phased-out through investment in renewables and building a culture of conservation.
“Although this is a major step forward, we will not make a decision to proceed with a project until we have consulted thoroughly with the people of Haldimand-Norfolk and have significantly progressed the EA,” Hawthorne said.
The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, applauded Bruce Power’s decision, saying she strongly supports the launching of an assessment for new nuclear build in her Haldimand-Norfolk riding.
“I’m pleased Bruce Power is progressing with an option that could provide stable, long-term economic impacts for the next 60 years,” said Minister Finley, who first approached Bruce Power in 2007 to consider her community as a potential growth site.
Last June, both Haldimand and Norfolk councils unanimously passed resolutions supporting the launch of an EA into new nuclear. Soon after, a poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid showed more than 80 per cent of residents were open to the EA planning process and that nearly two-thirds of people in the area support nuclear energy.
“Haldimand council fully supports this environmental assessment,” said Marie Trainer, Mayor of Haldimand County. “This has been a topic of interest in our community for some time and with Bruce Power taking this step, we can now move ahead with extensive and formal public consultation and input.”
Norfolk County Mayor Dennis Travale agreed, saying, “Ontario needs power from Nanticoke to support the grid and if such a project proceeds, following a detailed EA, it will be good news for the economies of Haldimand, Norfolk and Ontario.”
Councillor Buck Sloat, Chair of the Haldimand Special Committee into Energy Development said the region could benefit greatly from new investment in clean energy. “Establishing an energy hub at Nanticoke means clean energy for Ontario and long-term stable jobs for our local community,” Sloat said.
Patrick Dillon, Business Manager of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario, said the project would help the region develop a larger pool of skilled trades people if it goes ahead. “This will have immense economic benefits that go far beyond the walls of any new facility,” Dillon said.
In October of 2007, both councils jointly released an economic study, authored by Dr. Harry Kitchen of Trent University, which showed a new facility could create approximately 1,000 new jobs and contribute $550 million annually in regional, economic impacts during construction.
About Bruce Power
Bruce Power is a partnership among Cameco Corporation, TransCanada Corporation, BPC Generation Infrastructure Trust, a trust established by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, the Power Workers’ Union and The Society of Energy Professionals.