Ontario’s risky play on nuke power

Mark Winfield | Nov 2022

Published in the Hamilton Spectator

"Last week, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) announced its intention to proceed with a proposed new 300MW nuclear power reactor at the provincially owned utility’s Darlington site. The announcement raises far more questions than it answers, particularly about the future path for the province’s electricity system.

The BWRX-300 reactor at the centre of the initiative itself only exists as a design — what has been termed a “PowerPoint” reactor — of which no examples have actually been constructed, tested or operated. This makes reliable estimates of costs and performance virtually impossible. The fact that the only major investor in the project seems to be the federal Canada Infrastructure Bank should be a flashing red warning light about its technological and economic risks.

More widely, the announcement begs questions about how decisions around Ontario’s electricity system are being made. As it currently stands, the province has no planning or regulatory framework around the future direction of its electricity system, or, more broadly, how it is going to address climate change."

Read the full article here.