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McGuinty Goes Nuclear

Dalton McGunity today said that nuclear power may be the best option for Ontario's future power needs, despite the obvious risks and complications.

According to the Toronto Star, McGuinty said that natural gas is too expensive, wind power is unreliable and Ontario's hydroelectric potential has largely been maxed out. So apparently, he feels that only leaves nuclear power.

Beyond the problem of nuclear waste, and the risk of an accident, we also face the very real problem of massive cost overruns backed up by the public purse. Of course, if Ontario follows this route you can be sure that government will be involved in limiting the liability of any nuclear builder. Otherwise, the real costs of insurance would be a further barrier to such a project.

I object to this plan for massive government subsidization of risky projects. More importantly, despite Dalton's myopia, nuclear is not the only option. There is no obvious need for such an endeavour when we haven't even begun to make a real attempt at conservation.

We will get nowhere on conservation while electricity prices are still cheap and low. When stores still have their air conditioning running and the doors propped open, it's clear that the costs of energy are such that people don't need to care.

In Ontario, conservation of electricity is mostly for "someone else", which means that it mainly isn't happening.

I'd rather see users paying the real cost of electricity -- and thus being motivated to conserve -- than to see our province facing unncessary financial and environmental risks through nuclear expansion.

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