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The Canadian Nuclear FAQ  

by Dr. Jeremy Whitlock


To The Toronto Star regarding an editorial on nuclear power's renaissance in North America:

May 9, 2001

To the Editor, The Toronto Star

Your editorial "Nuclear still a mistake second time around" is a knee-jerk reaction short on facts. Many are bothered by Premier Harris labelling nuclear energy "safe" and "green", but he is only publicizing what the experts have been trying to communicate for years.

Ontario Hydro closed eight reactors at Bruce and Pickering for maintenance, not safety, concerns, and most of these units will be up and running again in the near future.

It is a falsehood to suggest that "unusual levels of leukemia and prostate cancer" are linked to nuclear operations. I hope the Star will apologize for this irresponsible statement, and the unnecessary stress it imposes on those living near these facilities.

The "costs and risks" of this "complicated technology" are a matter of record -- the record that shows nuclear power to be both the cheapest and safest option for large-scale electricity production in Ontario.

The maintenance woes and construction costs of Ontario's reactors are largely due to political interference, by ruling parties of all stripes. Chief examples are the emasculation of Ontario Hydro by the NPD government, and the multiple construction delays imposed on the Darlington project.

Let's hope this renewed political appreciation for nuclear power extends to a hands-off approach during construction and operation - let the experts to their job.


Jeremy Whitlock