[DC1] measure of power output compared to its


Decommissioning The PickeringDC2  Nuclear Generation StationDC3 

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In 1986, Chernobyl Ukraine’s nuclear power station suffered a
major nuclear meltdown, where there was a fire and explosion that
sent radiation into the atmosphere. DC4 Experts
predict that the meltdown is responsible for over 93,000 cancer related deaths
due to the exposure to the radiation (Slate). If the containmentDC5  structure
in the reactor gets damaged the radioactive materials and ionizing radiation
can be released into the surrounding environment. This is very dangerous
because it can lead to many different types of cancer for both humans and
animals, contaminate water streams, and ruin land(National). Every year that
passes the Pickering Nuclear Generation Station gets older and more dangerous.
An old nuclear plant is more unreliable, expensive, and dangerous. The
Pickering Nuclear Generation Station must be decommissioned because the costs
outweigh the financial savingsDC6 , there is
dangerously low preparedness and awarenessDC7  of the
population in case of emergency, and a possible meltdown would result in
contamination of Lake Ontario thus leading to lack of clean water for millions
of people.DC8 

As nuclear plants age they become more expensive to maintain.
The Pickering plant costs more to maintain the it saves in energy prices. DC9 The only
reason Ontario Power Generation (OPG)insists that the plant is beneficial is
the Independent Electricity System Operator(IESO) cost-benefit analysis. This
analysis was filled with unrealistic assumptions that were proven optimistic
and slanted towards the Plant. One of the comparisons made was to natural gas
generators; the predict gas prices were much too high. When IESO finished this
analysis (2015) they concluded that extending the life of the plant had a 70%
chance in resulting in a net cost. If IESO were to do the analysis again with Lup-to-date
gas prices, Pickering would cost rate payers over $550 million (Financial). OPG
conducted a study where they would compare nuclear plants from across the
continent. Two out of Pickering’s six reactors scored last place when it came
performance. Performance is compared using a measure referred to as “unit
capability factor”. The factor is a measure of power output compared to its max
output. The other four reactors placed in the bottom half. OPG admitted that
because of the Pickering plant’s design, it will never be as efficient or reliable
as other nuclear plants. In OPG’s 2016 annual report, they reported that the
plant spent more time offline then they had intended it to(Financial). Ontario
already has an energy surplus so almost all the energy created by the plant is
not needed, and in the long run costing the rate payer more. Ontario power
generation recently filed an application to get three times as much money for
nuclear power output for reason they said covering the ballooning cost of
operating the aging Pickering nuclear station (Greenpeace). They said it
themselves the cost of the plant keeps increasing with age. Independent
Electricity System Operator confessed that Pickering energy would only be need
a few hours a year. But, it produces power year-round because of how nuclear
power is difficult to turn on and off (Financial). Through OPG’s benchmark
study they concluded that a unit of energy from Pickering is over 70% more
expensive then energy produced at top performing Plants in North America and
over 50% more expensive then the median cost. Energy production at the
Pickering Plant is 50% more expensive then that at the neighboring plant in
Darlington (Financial). The Pickering nuclear power station is more expensive
then it is worth and is standing in the way of using less expensive renewable
energy sources.


Secondly, Ontario is not prepared in case of a meltdown at
the reactor which will result in thousands of lives. Since there is such an
abundance of people living near of the plant a disaster would result in catastrophic
damage.  During the nuclear meltdown in
Fukushima 150,00 people were evacuated within 20km. If there were to be a
meltdown in Pickering and the evacuation area was the same over a million
people would be displaced(Greenpeace). The emergency plan for the Pickering
area hasn’tDC10  been changed since 2009. This meaning that the
plans DC11 does not account for the population increase.
Potassium Iodine (KI) pills are to be taken after a nuclear accident to
mitigate risk of cancer. Only people within the first 10km have received any
(Star). But the Nuclear Regulatory Commission recommends anyone within 80km to
protect their food and water from radiation, meaning that Ontario ins further
then the KI pill radius will be affected by the radiation(Smithsonian). A
recent survey of residents living within 10km of Pickering plant neighboring
plant in Darlington, showed that 80% said they have no plans incase of
emergency (Star). This goes to show that the government has not stressed the
importance of preparation of an emergency. Theresa McLagan, executive director
of the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) commented “Until now, as
far as I’m aware, there’s been no attempt to reach out to city of Toronto
residents about the fact that there are nuclear plants in the GTA.” The plant’s
emergency plan is not based on a Fukushima type scenario. By creating plans
that rely on workers controlling the accident, the plant is simply hoping
nothing terrible happens. They are hoping and preparing for a minor accident
instead of preparing for the worst, like what happened in Chernobyl or
Fukushima. The population in the area surrounding the plant continues to grow,
resulting in more people in dangerously proximity of the plant. If there were
to be a meltdown over a million people would be affected, we have seen from
past disasters that no matter how prepares you are damage will be done without
doubt. But, the Ontario Government is not preparing as much as we need. The
Pickering Nuclear Generation Station is the most heavily populated nuclear
plant in North America meaning that if disaster were to strike millions would
be affected. The government must aware residents and prepare for the worst
because without preparation damage will be maximized.DC12 

Lastly, a nuclear meltdown would contaminate Lake Ontario; a
water supply over 9 million DC13 people depend on for their water (Star). All nuclear
plants must be situated on a body of water; The Pickering nuclear plant is located
on the shore of Lake Ontario. Lake Ontario is a crucial body of what that supplies
water to over 9 million people from Ontario and New York. The government has no
emergency plan on how to act in case of plant meltdown resulting in water
contamination. “Millions of people get their drinking water from Lake Ontario,
but there’s no credible plan on how to deal with tap water contamination in the
event of a nuclear accident,” says Greenpeace Canada’s senior nuclear analyst,
Shawn-Patrick Stensil. Lake Ontario is crucial for providing water to millions
of people, many of which have no other source of water. Over 30 years after the
accident in Chernobyl near by cities are still experiencing many water
contamination problems (ScienceDirect). Contaminating Lake Ontario will not
only affect this generation but also future generations. After the disaster in
Fukushima, Japan, water sources from over 200km away were contaminated. Not only
do big meltdowns leak radiation but small leaks can as well. As plants get
older the chance of them leaking is much higher. Since the Pickering plant is 47
years old it will be very susceptible to leaks. 75% of US nuclear plants have
leaked Tritium, a chemical that has been proven to cause cancer and birth
defects (Environment). If the safety of the lake cannot be guaranteed neither
can the health of the people drinking that water. The solution that the
government has stood by is to simply hope that the plant can be contained quick
enough so that the lack does not get completely contaminated. This solution can
not cut it, we as Ontarians can not be satisfied with a plan to hope. Water is
crucial to the wellbeing of the population and the government must step up and
start to address this possible disaster.


government of Ontario must decommission the Pickering Nuclear Generation
station because of the little benefit associated with keeping it open and the
high risk of not closing it.  Many people
believe that the power plant has no negatives, the only reason they believe
that is because they have not seen any negatives. Pickering Nuclear Generation
Station is a negative that is a danger to us because of the lack of awareness
and preparedness and the risk of water supply contamination Are we as a
province going to sit around and wait for a disaster to strike or are we going
to act to protect ourselves. Chernobyl will not be inhabitable for the next
20,000 years; do we want to inflict that on future generation. We must preserve
this precious land we live in we must shut down the plant.DC14 










Works CitedDC15 

“Accidents at Nuclear Power Plants and Cancer Risk.” National Cancer Institute, 19 Apr. 2011,

Mycio, Mary. “How Many People Have Been Killed by
Chernobyl?” Slate Magazine, 26 Apr.

“Nuclear Power Plants Threaten Drinking Water for 4
Million Bay Staters.” Nuclear Power Plants
Threaten Drinking Water for 4 Million Bay Staters | Environment Massachusetts,
24 Jan. 2012,

Otis, Daniel. “Is Toronto Ready for a Radiation Emergency?”
Thestar.com, 5 Jan. 2016,

Otis, Daniel. “Safety Not Guaranteed near Nuclear
Plants in Pickering and Clarington, Critics Say.” DurhamRegion.com, Metrolandmedia, 5 Jan. 2016,

“Pickering Nuclear: Too Close for Comfort.” Ontario Clean Air Alliance, 24 Feb.
2076, www.cleanairalliance.org/pickering-nuclear-in-the-wrong-place/.

Ridgwell, Henry. “30 Years On, Chernobyl Still Leaks
Radiation.” VOA, VOA, 26 Apr. 2016,

Stensil, Shawn-Patrick. “3 Reasons to Shut Down
Pickering.” Greenpeace Canada, 6 Dec.

Stromberg, Joseph. “Do You Live Within 50 Miles of a
Nuclear Power Plant?” Smithsonian.com,
Smithsonian Institution, 13 Mar. 2014,

Vakulovsky, S M, et al. “Cesium-137 and Strontium-90
Contamination of Water Bodies in the Areas Affected by Releases from the
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Accident: an Overview.” Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Elsevier, 8 Apr. 2003,

Yach, Brady. “Looking to Lower Ontario Power Rates? Start
with Pickering, Where $550 Million Will Be Wastefully Spent.” Financial Post, 28 Mar. 2017,


interesting and well argued. However there are a number of writing mistakes, or
incomplete thoughts that could be improved. See below for my comments.

a ‘the’

about a better name for your FILE itself. ‘BigOlGeoBoi” not really appropriate.

should be two sentences, not one.

Watch out for small writing errors.



good thesis, but see above – you could expand it a bit to be more
informativeand clear.

be good to see some dollar figures here – what’s expensive? Real dollars will
make it more real in your reader’s head.


– what are you trying to say? (plus you may need a citation here)

thoughts and arguments based on your research.

9? Maybe cite this.

conclusion overall.

at top of page. 11 sources – a solid amount for a project of this size. Proper
format. Alphabetical.