NATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN OF CANADA
4 January 2007
Louise Levert, Commission Operations Officer
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
280 Slater Street, Post Office Box 1046
Ontario, Canada KIP 5S9
Re: The Need for a Federal Panel Review of the Ontario Power Application for a Life – Extension of the Pickering B Nuclear Station
Dear Ms. Levert,
On behalf of the National Council of Women of Ontario (NCWC), whose membership includes many thousands of Canadians, about half of whom live in Ontario, I must express our grave reservations regarding Ontario Power Generation’s proposal to rebuild the Pickering B nuclear station in order to extend its operational life until 2060.
It has been NCWC’s concern for many years that Ontario has relied too heavily on what we consider to be a very dangerous source of electricity, particularly from nuclear plants such as this one that are in close proximity to heavily populated cities.
NCWC has long-standing and well-researched policy regarding the desirability of phasing out nuclear plants at the end of their life cycle, due to their inherent dangers to public health and safety and the environment, e.g. radioactive emissions to air, soil and water; the potential for catastrophic accidents and the lack of safe long-term solutions for nuclear waste. We had hoped that the government of Ontario would consider a phase-out of the Pickering B plant, rather than a life extension. This precautionary action is particularly important given accidents and near-accidents world-wide over the past several years, and, in the new age of post-September 11th 2001, the threat of a terrorist attack – a reality acknowledged by our federal government.
NCWC is therefore dismayed that Ontario Power Generation is applying to extend the long-term life of one of its oldest nuclear stations, and that Canadian Nuclear NSC may judge this application using a screening review – the lowest-level environmental assessment possible.
We urge the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to ensure that this application is subject to a much more vigorous review by a Federal Panel. Only through such a precautionary environmental assessment hearing, the strongest possible under Canadian law, may the health, safety and general well- being of the broader public be protected, now and well into the future.
Carla Kozak, NCWC President