Sunday, November 2, 2008

Haldimand "Are We Going Nuclear?"

Well are you ready? It looks like we could be going Nuclear in Haldimand County. And the process will not take as much time as one would think.

Well last Friday was certainly a very interesting day for me. I heard on the news that morning that Bruce Power was indeed proceeding with an EA in preparation for the building of a Nuclear Plant right here in Haldimand County.

I want to send a special thanks to "James at Bruce Power" for the invitation to attend Friday's news release in Nanticoke!

Here is a list of some of the invited guests that attended the News Release on Friday; MPP Toby Barrett, MP Diane Finley, Mayor Marie Trainer, Councillors Sloat, Ricker and Bartlett from Haldimand County, Managers Karen General, Hugh Hanley (from Haldimand County)Mayor Travelle and a few council members from Norfolk County, members from the Board of Trade, Construction Industry, McMaster University, Bill Jackson from the Regional Newspaper.

Bruce Power had school buses picking up people in Jarvis, Simcoe and Cayuga.

Some of us were told that we were going to US Steel, but no one knew for sure where we were going, we only new that we could not drive our own vehicles. So I met the bus at the Jarvis Library at 11:30am. I met quite a few interesting people in the parking lot, and have a few very good contacts that I will be following up with at a later date.

So on the bus we went, I personally thought that we were going to US Steel and as it was over the lunch period there would be some sandwiches and drinks. It became clear when we turned down a farmers path and were now four wheeling in a school bus, we were not going to US Steel.

A few fields in we were dropped off at a prepared area where there was a tent and a Johnny on the spot set up for us. There was food, refreshments, hats and a lot of material to read. This was the ideal site, this 2,000 acre parcel of land that the Nuclear Plant will be built on is located approx. 4 km west of OPG and is owned by US Steel! Thank goodness it was a good day! I felt quite comfortable, I felt like I was in my own backyard surrounded by farmers fields and a view of the lake in the distance.

Councillor Sloat welcomed the crowd of around 60 people and introduced each speaker. Some of the key speakers were MPP Toby Barrett, MP Diane Finley, Mayor Trainer from Haldimand County, Councillor Bartlett from Haldimand County, Mayor Travelle from Norfolk County and the President of Bruce Power, Duncan Hawthorne.

I won't go into a lot of detail of what each speaker said, but I will tell you that on a "local" front our Mayor and Councillors of Haldimand County that were in attendance are in "full support" of a Nuclear Plant being built in Nanticoke. Some will say that they are only in support of the EA process, but I was there and can tell you that a Nuclear build in Haldimand County means "huge" dollars to our County, and our representatives that attended made that point perfectly clear.

Here are some highlights of what was talked about;

The need for "support" from the "community".
This venture will create approx. "1,000 jobs" over the period of the next 60 years.
This was welcomed news from both Haldimand and Norfolk Councils.
The EA process will take approx. 3 years.
Bruce Power has been working with US Steel for about two years.
Bruce Power has been working with the Councils of Haldmand and Norfolk since the beginning of 2007.
Councillor Sloat heads up the "Special Committee" that was formed in early 2007 to deal with the issues of power generation in Haldimand County.

What I learned from reading the information package that was given out that day;

There will be two Nuclear units.
Bruce Power is considering three potential reactor designs, The ACR-1000, advanced CANDU reactor, the Westinghouse AP1000 and the AREVA EPR, the latest generation of pressurized water reactors (PWR).
The schedule for each project phase for EA purposes.

The schedule is as follows;

Planning and EA; 2008-2010 (24 months) for unit 1 and 2.
Site preparation; 2010-2012 (18-24 months) for unit 1 and 2.
Construction; 2012-2016 for unit 1, 2013-2017 for unit 2.
Commissioning 2017 for unit 1, 2018 for unit 2.
Operation and Maintenance; 2017-2077 for unit 1, 2018-2078 for unit 2.
Decommissioning 2077+ for unit 1, and 2078 for unit 2.

Bruce Power has already been engaged with the community. Since early 2007 there have been several seminars and presentations to both Haldimand and Norfolk Councils. Both councils visited Bruce Power's facility in April of 2007. This was all in preparation to apply for the license to start the EA process. In October of 2008 Bruce Power applied to the Federal Government for a site preparation license, once this happens the EA will start.

Part of the EA process is engaging the community and gaining support for a new Nuclear Build.

I will be writing several articles on the EA process. There is a lot of information to be read and to really understand this process I will be talking to a few people from Bruce Power and the Government agencies that are involved.

Here are a few news articles;

Bruce Power to Conduct Environmental Assessment for Nuclear Generating Station in Haldimand-Norfolk

Last update: 1:00 p.m. EDT Oct. 31, 2008

NANTICOKE, ONTARIO, Oct 31, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- 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.

Contacts:
Bruce Power
Steve Cannon
(519) 361-6559
Email: steve.cannon@brucepower.com

Bruce Power
24-hour Duty Media Officer
(519) 361-6161

Bruce Power eyes Lake Erie site for nuclear reactors
Last Updated: Friday, October 31, 2008 5:18 PM ET
CBC News
Nuclear power-plant operator Bruce Power said Friday it is considering construction of two new nuclear stations in Nanticoke, Ont., the site of a coal plant scheduled to shut down in 2014.
The private nuclear generating company announced Friday it had applied for a site preparation licence with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

"Ontario needs affordable, reliable and clean energy as we move forward to address one of the greatest challenges of our time — climate change," said Bruce Power president and CEO Duncan Hawthorne in a statement.

"Examining new sources of generation in Haldimand-Norfolk will give us, and Ontario, a number of options to consider going forward," he said.

The company also said that if the safety commission accepts the licence application, the company would conduct an environmental assessment to gauge the impact of building two reactors in the Haldimand-Norfolk region of southern Ontario on the shore of Lake Erie, about 130 km southwest of Toronto.

The assessment could take as long as three years to complete, the company said.
The two reactors would generate between 2,000 and 3,000 megawatts of low-emissions electricity, the company said.

The Nanticoke Generating Station is the largest coal-firing power plant in North America. It is slated to close in 2014 as part of the Ontario government's push to eliminate the use of coal power by that year. The provincial government has said completely eliminating coal-fired power generation will have an environmental equivalent of removing seven million cars from the road.
Ontario currently has three operating nuclear plants: Bruce Power operates the Bruce site on Lake Huron while Ontario Power Generation operates the Pickering and Darlington sites, both east of Toronto.

Earlier this year Bruce Power filed an application nuclear safety commission for clearance to prepare another possible site in Alberta's Peace River district.

20 comments:

  1. Thanks Donna for your post. If gives more incite to what is happening. Please keep up the good work and keep us informed of what is going on.

    I do wonder why it was Sloat that seemed to be the one in charge of this news conference. Was this not put on by Bruce Power?

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  2. Well isn't this all just lovely. Not!

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  3. Best thing that "COULD" happen in Haldimand. Nanticoke is out of the Haldimand Tract. The industrial parcel is protected by a 3km buffer. It "COULD" generate over a thousand jobs, at an average wage of $80,000 if thing move forward, "NO GUARENTEES!" Taxation if I read the Kitchen report correctly is around 4.5million, which saves us 15%, 1% raise in taxes generating $400,000 (give or take). The whole process will be entirely open as an EA and Council assures.
    Let's stop the "fear mongering" the process will be open. What isn't is, if nuclear will actually happen.

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  4. A 3 km buffer? Tell that to the folks in and around Chernobyl.

    Not sure what all your gobblety-gook about "saves us 15% means...

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  5. The above poster is talking about the Kitchen report.

    Donna can you get a hold of this report and post it?

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  6. I don't believe for a moment that anything the residents have to say will make a difference. We are having Nuclear shoved down our throats and there is nothing you or I can do. Thanks to our bunch of looser council members who put us in this position. I for one will not be voting for Sloat again. He is the biggest looser around. I can't believe that he was the one doing all the introducing as he was the one running the show. Well as far as I am concerned our council and especially Sloat has sold us down the river!

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  7. I think it can make a difference what the residents have to say....so it is time to stand up and be heard. The residents have not been consulted. My request to make a presentation to Haldimand Council about our concerns about a nuclear plant at Nanticoke, was refused three times this summer....they stated it was 'premature' to discuss the issue. Well it is no longer premature...the province was even taken by surprise here. It is unbelievable that 7 council members in Haldimand can think they can make a decision for all of us without consulting us. Remember..they work for us! We will be heard. It is time to write letters, write the papers, make presentations to the community,attend the Energy Symposium on November 20th, write your elected officials (the provincial Energy Minister and Environment Minister etc...no need to waste your time on the local officials as they do not want to listen). This is too important to let it go...it will impact the environment of Haldimand and Norfolk as well as Lake Erie and the Grand River watershed...forever. It may be outside the Haldimand tract...but it is still of great concern to our First Nations People as well...they must also be consulted.We are all on the same side..the side of protecting the environment. We are many...and using Obama's words....I say..."Can we stop it? Yes we can!!"

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  8. Thanks for your comments everyone.

    I agree with Janet, we need to have our say. If we do nothing, nothing will happen.

    Get involved! This process will be over before you know it and if you have not had your say it will be too late!

    In my opinion this question should have been put on the "Election Ballot" in November of 2006. When you look at the time frame to what our Haldimand Council members have done, you will see that just a few months after the Municipal Election, they were writing letters in support of an EA into Nuclear in Nanticoke.

    If this question was on the ballot it would have given a true count as to who supports and who does not support a Nuclear facility in Haldimand.

    But maybe our Council didn't want to hear what we had to say!

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  9. Something smells a bit fishy here Donna. Why would a private comapny spend millions of dollars on this if they even thought that it would not hapeen. The province has already said that they are not in support of this project. Haldimand County Council is pushing this one, that I am clear on. What I am not clear on is this doesn't make any sense to me. We are all missing something very important, I just haven't fiqured out what it is yet.

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  10. Where was the rest of the Council members? Missing in action: Councillor Boyko, Dalimonte and Grice!

    If this was such a big announcement, why did the above members of council not attend? Or maybe they see the writing on the wall and don't want to be involved.

    Didn't Haldimand County Council all vote in favour of an EA? Answer: YES they did!

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  11. You bet it smells fishy! The timing of Smitherman's statement is nothing but a "red herring"; with his knowing of the announcement well before-hand, The Bruce, OPG, and Provincial strategy mix, is Biomass (OPG Nanticoke), wind, solar and nuclear after the Nanticoke coal-fired plant shuts down. The only alternative to nuclear remains clean-coal-technology and carbon sequestration. Therefore, people of Haldimand/Norfolk need to lobby "hard" for clean-coal as the greater alternative to nuclear?

    Earp

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  12. Thanks for your comments.

    I will agree with the above posters in regards to the Province. It just does not make sense. There seems to be a few pieces of the puzzle missing.

    I am not sure of the cost of an EA, but I believe it is in the millions. This does seem to be a lot of money to invest if there is no positive outcome at the end.

    It brings up the question as to what the truth is in the process.

    Does the Province of Ontario have to put their stamp of approval on a New Nuclear Build in Nanticoke?

    Does the Federal Government have the vito power over the Province in regards to Nuclear Regulations, the EA process and the ultimate decision makers?

    If anyone has any information on the above, please feel free to post!

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  13. The annoucnement that the Province made is just to make us think that this is just an exercise.

    Be aware of the political games that are played when it comes to Billions of Dollars.

    This is just a way of easing the minds of most, therefore people will not get involved. Then before you know it we have a Nuclear Facility in our backyard!

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  14. To tell the truth I'm really struggling with this whole idea of a nuclear power plant. I mean the word "nuclear" sends chills up and down my spine but I don't know whether my fears are justified or not. Being a "baby boomer" and growing up through the 50s and 60s I was subjected on a regular basis to the threat of nuclear war. Believe me, from a kid's point of view the "cold war" was every bit as frightening psycologically as any war ever lived through. I remember the "Bay of Pigs" incident as one of the scariest times of my life. I remember when we got our first TV and there were stories on CBS News on a regular basis about people building bomb shelters in their back yards. In fact many popular magazines of the time advertised plans and kits for building them.
    But is a nuclea power plant the same thing as a nuclear bomb? Does it carry the same threat? After all, there are many such power plants around the world which have been operating safely and successfully for many years (with the exception of Chernoble of course) Oh yeah, Chernoble! But should one such incident be enough to scare us off from nuclear power? Well THE BOMB was used in Hiroshima nad Nagasaki and though many have been manufactured since the results of what happened there have been enough to date to keep anyone from unleashing that poweragain. Therefore if anyone is planning or setting up any kind of organization to stop this from happening, yep, you betcha, count me in. I would rather err on the side of fear than see this beautiful planet of ours laid to waste and not try to do something to stop it.

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  15. "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." This is a quote from the above posted news article...with this published, it SEEMS that the members of Council have the mandate to go ahead, it SEEMS that they are actively representing the people as they should. Now, I am the first to cynically question the accuracy of such polls, so perhaps this is an indication that a more accurate reading of public opinion needs to be conducted somehow...or perhaps the public should be educated more. Talking to the politicians who do whatever they want to do, for whatever reasons they may have, honourable or not, may be a waste of energy. This should be brought to the people.

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  16. I agree with dragon. Bring on the petition, I want to sign it!

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  17. Thanks everyone for you comments. I have not heard of any petitions, but I will let everyone know if I do hear of one.

    Here is another news article about the announcemnet;

    Nuclear power surge; Bruce Power Announces Plans to Build Two Reactors in
    Nanticoke
    Simcoe Reformer
    Monday, November 3, 2008

    BY ASHLEY HOUSE, SIMCOE REFORMER

    Local officials are giving their stamp of approval on the first step to a nuclear power plant in Nanticoke -- despite the lack of provincial support.

    Bruce Power announced plans Friday to build two nuclear reactors on an
    800-hectare site within the Lake Erie Industrial Park in Haldimand.

    After site preparation approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety commission, the first step is a federal environmental assessment of the proposed project.

    But the Ontario government is clear it is not on board.

    A statement from the Ontario Government said they have "not encouraged or solicited a proposal to build a nuclear generating station in the Haldimand
    Norfolk Region."

    Instead, they are looking at energy conservation measures and investments in renewable energies like solar, wind, hydrogen and biomass to replace coal-fired
    energy.

    "Adding more nuclear beyond the existing supply of 50 per cent (14,000 megawatts) is not in Ontario's plans or in Ontario's interest," said Minister of
    Energy and Infrastructure George Smitherman.

    Still, Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer and Norfolk Mayor Dennis Travale, along with Haldimand Norfolk MP Diane Finley, accompanied Bruce Power at the proposed site Friday touting the possibilities a nuclear plant could have for the surrounding communities, especially given that Ontario Power Generation's
    Nanticoke coal-fired generating station is slated to be closed by the province in 2014. The station employs 600 people.

    "We need that power and it might as well be here," Finley said. "The real key here, apart from reliable, safe and affordable energy is the potential to create
    1,000 jobs for 60 years."

    Research out of Trent University projected the Nanticoke plant could also inject $550 million annually into the regional economy during construction and $152
    million while in operation.

    "There are a million spin offs like shopping in our stores, eating our food, moving into our area, more tourists," Trainer said.

    Last year, both counties passed resolutions supporting an environmental assessment and asked the McGuinty government to consider Nanticoke as a potential new nuclear site. "If you look around you might not find a better site in Canada," said Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power's chief executive officer and
    president.

    The isolated area within an already existing industrial area and close proximity to both Lake Erie and the existing 500 kV transmission grid that distributes to the rest of Ontario are all appealing factors for Bruce Power.

    However, the government's energy plan only includes renewing its nuclear facilities at existing sites -- not building new ones.

    The plant would provide the base load to the grid and look into other clean energy sources like hydrogen, solar and wind power as a complement to the facility.

    Travale agreed with everyone that an environmental assessment is only the first step and the community's input is wanted.

    "This is not an open and closed case," Travale said. "We've been presented an opportunity. Without getting too far ahead, the public will have an opportunity
    to have their say."

    NUCLEAR PROPOSAL

    Bruce Power announced Friday they are taking the first step, an environmental assessment, in their Nanticoke Nuclear Power Plant Project. Below is an outline
    of the plan.

    - Two nuclear reactors generating 2,000 to 3,000 megawatts of low-emissions
    electricity to Ontario's energy grid.

    - To be built on 800 hectares of land within the Lake Erie Industrial Park in
    Haldimand County, just 4 km west of the north-south provincial 500 kV transmission network.

    - The environmental assessment will look at environmental and social impacts of a nuclear plant in Haldimand Norfolk and is slated to take three years.

    - The plant, if it moves forward, could be producing energy in 2018, employing 1,000 people for 60 years.

    - The environmental assessment is estimated to cost $30 million with the construction to cost an estimated $8 billion.

    - The nuclear plant would provide the base load of energy demand and is looking to other clean energy sources like solar, wind and hydrogen to complement the
    facility.

    - Research out of Trent University projected the Nanticoke plant could inject $550 million annually into the regional economy during construction and $152
    million while in operation.

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  18. I agree with most of the above.

    Haldimand County Council has sold us out for a few million a year in tax revenue.

    Keep the Nuclear Plants in the communities that are all for it, we are not for it here!

    We are not a willing host as our council has made us out to be.

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  19. I could swear that we were told not that long ago that this was a dead issue!? You see how these people work, these people from Bruce Power and our governing bodies!? They're like spiders, weaving beautiful webs for us all to see, to enhance us with the art and draw us closer until, finally and suddenly we are trapped with no chance to escape. As soon as we let down our guard they continued to work underground behind our backs to achieve their purpose, money and power. Well there are many things in life more valuable than money and power like our neighbours, our friends and families, our forests and waterways, wildlife, pets, PEACE OF MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is our duty to protect these things! We can't just sit back and let this happen. We must fight with everything we have and continue to fight until we know for certain that this evil is finally and forever dead.

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