This Canada Day, I would like to recognize the importance of Canada’s nuclear power industry, and the leadership role of the people of Bruce, Grey and Huron counties.
Canada has been a leader in the peaceful use of nuclear energy since the mid-twentieth century, developing our very own reactor design (the CANDU), and putting our first commercial generating station on the grid in 1968 – Douglas Point Generating Station, right here in Bruce County. Based on that success, we went on to build Bruce Nuclear, the world’s largest single-site nuclear power development, and have operated it safely and successfully, right here in Bruce County, since the 1970’s.
Today, we are the world leader in nuclear refurbishment, as Bruce Power hits its stride, fully refurbishing the third of eight large reactors, with plans and private capital funding lined up to complete all eight.
What does that make Bruce County, along with our neighbouring counties? It makes us the unofficial nuclear power capital of Canada. I have not run all the numbers, but with Bruce County’s relatively low population, I’m pretty certain we have more nuclear power professionals per capita than anywhere else in the world. The nuclear operators and maintainers, nuclear physicists, engineers and radiation protection professionals who safely operate and maintain Bruce Nuclear are our neighbours, friends and relatives, tax-payers and involved members of our local community. As a result of their good work, Ontario enjoys clean air and a carbon-free electricity grid, which is one of the best and cleanest anywhere in the world. Thanks to the current refurbishments, Bruce Nuclear will continue to put carbon-free power on the Ontario grid well into the 2060’s. I am very proud to have had the opportunity to be part of this legacy of progress and leadership, by working in Ontario’s nuclear industry for the past couple of decades.
Now we have an opportunity to continue to embrace technology and progress, by hosting Canada’s deep geological repository (DGR) for spent nuclear fuel, right here in South Bruce. If safely engineered and constructed, this state-of-the-art facility will safely and permanently store all of Canada’s spent fuel from its entire fleet of CANDU nuclear reactors. In providing this important service to Canada, our local community will benefit from hundreds of high-paying, high-tech jobs, that will drive our local economy for a couple of generations.
What better place could there be to build such a facility than in Bruce County, Canada’s nuclear power heartland? Will we pass up this opportunity based on fear-mongering by the local anti-nuclear lobby, or will we embrace it?