Peabody speaks about possibility of another nuclear site in Bruce County

WALKERTON – The focus at this year’s Canadian Nuclear Association conference (Feb. 22-24 in Ottawa) was different from last year, said Bruce County Warden Chris Peabody.

He was among the local political leaders who attended the conference.

He noted there’s been a shift from having land for nuclear suppliers, to something that has the potential to be even more important to this area.

Peabody said the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) came out with a recent report on the “need for new nuclear builds in Ontario.” There has been discussion on whether this means small, modular reactors or something large, “to replace Pickering,” he said.

Peabody noted the report stated “the need to double generating capacity in this province this century.”

He further noted that Bruce County would seem to have a lot in its favour as a potential host community for a new nuclear site – a Bruce “C” site.

Peabody said Luke Charbonneau, mayor of Saugeen Shores, is very much in support of that concept, and is bringing forward a notice of motion at Thursday’s meeting of Bruce County council.

The motion states in part, “Whereas the Ontario Ministry of Energy is seeking feedback on the Independent Electricity System Operator’s Pathways to Decarbonization (P2D) study… and the P2D study has assessed that, to achieve a zero emissions electricity system and meet projected demand peaks by 2050, 69,000 megawatts of non-emitting supply and 5,000 megawatts of conservation efforts is required, in addition to the current system and already committed procurements” that the government should begin “the planning and siting work for new nuclear generating facilities in Ontario.”

The motion notes Bruce County is host to the world’s largest nuclear power generating station, making the county “ideally suited to advise… on public consultation and other considerations when it comes to siting new nuclear facilities in Ontario.”

It’s only one of a number of items on the county council agenda that Peabody spoke about in an interview Tuesday.

There are a number of delegations, including a presentation on homelessness by the United Housing For All – Homelessness sub-group.

Of particular interest to Peabody is a corporate services committee report on property tax ratios.

He said that while many jurisdictions actually have a higher property tax for apartments than single family homes, “Ours taxes them at the same rate.” It’s a good selling point, Peabody said.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times