To help meet rising electricity demands, earlier this week the Ontario government announced development of a new large-scale nuclear power plant. Pictured is Minister of Energy Todd Smith announcing the project at Bruce Power’s Kincardine facility, July 5, 2023. Photo credit: Twitter/Todd Smith
This week, the Ford government announced that a new large-scale nuclear power plant would be built in Ontario for the first time in over three decades.
In recent years, the focus in Canada and other countries has been on the development of small modular reactors (SMRs) rather than the full-scale reactors that were the previous standard, as well as renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biofuels. The location for the new facility is planned to be on Lake Huron near Kincardine, Ontario, adding another nuclear generating station to the existing Bruce Power facility there. It is estimated that the new station will produce enough energy to power almost 5 million homes.
Ontario has also announced recently that it will be refurbishing some existing nuclear facilities for future use. This is cold comfort to the climate alarmists, who for some reason have never liked nuclear power despite it being a very clean source of energy. The climate zealots continue to prefer wind and solar power, despite their high cost and unreliability. Nuclear accidents have received a great deal of attention over the years, and although they are relatively few, they have had disastrous consequences. But modern nuclear power has become much safer and more predictable, making it a viable choice for a clean energy future.
Canada’s nuclear technology has for some time had the reputation of being some of the safest in the world. In addition, many medical professionals are supporters of more nuclear facilities as nuclear isotopes used in medicine are created as a byproduct of the nuclear energy process. Although there are always some risks with nuclear energy, current high safety standards and the clean, reliable energy produced suggests that this technology will be a good solution to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels in future.
The Ontario government appears to have gone all in with the federal Liberals on the so-called electrification agenda, in which the goal is to change everything that is currently powered by fossil fuels to being fueled by electricity. In other words, cars, trucks, buses, factories, homes, farms, buildings, and more that are now heated, air conditioned or otherwise powered by oil, gas or coal should be switched to electricity that is generated by renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biofuels to reduce emissions. The fact that the Ontario government is planning to increase its dependence on nuclear energy instead of yet more wind and solar is a positive development.
The notion that fossil fuels will soon be replaced by electricity generated by renewable energy was always a stretch, but the role of nuclear power has not been adequately considered as so much of the climate crisis community does not consider nuclear to be an acceptable option. But the reality is that more electrification would be feasible with more nuclear power generation. The deadlines governments are setting for various electrification goals are still wildly unrealistic, however, as nuclear projects require lots of lead time and are expensive. For example, the forecasts for the new Ontario nuclear power plant are for at least 10 years from now, assuming the many regulatory and construction hurdles can be overcome in the interim.
Unfortunately, so much of the current climate agenda promoted by the federal and Ontario governments continues to be based on assumptions that are simply not true. For example, a recent analysis of the Statistical Review of World Energy 2023 by Robert Lyman here debunks all of the key claims that climate alarmists make to pretend their agenda is succeeding. For instance, the facts show that renewable energy sources are not actually replacing fossil fuels in the international energy mix, the world is not at all on a path to decarbonization as the Canadian government claims and all of the policies to promote the use of electric vehicles is not reducing the use of oil and gas in the transportation sector, among other things.
Basically, the climate extremists, including some of our governments in Canada, continue to pretend that their agenda to eventually eliminate the use of fossil fuels in our society is proceeding well, while the facts show exactly the opposite. They seem to be following the philosophy of the “Big Lie”, in which it is assumed that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.
Although the Ontario government appears to be going along with the electrification initiative of the federal government, their recent moves toward more reliance on nuclear energy are encouraging as they do not seem to be buying the notion that our future lies with unreliable and expensive wind and solar power. As more businesses, governments and citizens begin to better understand the foolish claims of the climate alarmists and their negative impacts on our standard of living, we can hopefully go forward with approaches that are positive for our environment without impoverishing our lives.
She has published numerous articles in journals, magazines & other media on issues such as free trade, finance, entrepreneurship & women business owners. Ms. Swift is a past President of the Empire Club of Canada, a former Director of the CD Howe Institute, the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, SOS Children’s Villages, past President of the International Small Business Congress and current Director of the Fraser Institute. She was cited in 2003 & 2012 as one of the most powerful women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network & is a recipient of the Queen’s Silver & Gold Jubilee medals.