Transcript: Jack Gibbons: Ontario's Best Power Options | Feb 23, 2016

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a dark blue suit, white shirt, a square pocket, and dark blue tie. Behind him, a wall screen shows the picture of an oil platform.

Steve says IN A WORLD CONSTANTLY
TALKING ABOUT RENEWABLE ENERGY,
ONTARIO RECENTLY REAFFIRMED ITS
COMMITMENT TO NUCLEAR.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "The Agenda. Ontario’s best power options."

Steve continues SINCE DECEMBER, MULTI-BILLION
DOLLAR PLANS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED
FOR THE BRUCE, DARLINGTON AND
PICKERING NUCLEAR STATIONS.
IT'S A BIG BET, AND ONE THAT NOT
EVERYONE AGREES WILL PAY OFF FOR
ONTARIANS.
JOINING US NOW FOR HIS VIEW,
JACK GIBBONS, CHAIR OF THE
ONTARIO CLEAN AIR ALLIANCE.
JACK, WELCOME BACK FOR THE FIRST
TIME IN TEN YEARS TO TVO.

Jack Gibbons is in his sixties, with receding white hair and clean-shaven. He’s wearing black-rimmed glasses, a striped dark blue suit, blue shirt and striped red and blue tie.

Jack says THANK YOU,
STEVE.

Steve says IT'S BEEN A LONG
TIME.
LET'S PUT INFORMATION YOU SURELY
KNOW ON THE SCREEN FOR OUR
VIEWERS AS WELL.
HERE'S HOW, WHEN YOU TURN THE
LIGHTS ON IN ONTARIO, IT WORKS.

A slate shows a pie chart under the title "Ontario’s electricity supply. Transmission grid-connected generation."

Steve continues THAT BIG PATCH OF RED ON THE
RIGHT THERE, 61 percent OF OUR POWER
SUPPLY IS CREATED BY NUCLEAR
POWER.
YOU THEN GO TO THE BOTTOM LEFT,
YOU'VE GOT HYDRO-ELECTRIC AT
22 percent.
GAS AT 12 percent.
WIND AT 4 percent.
AND BIOFUELS AND SOLAR SLIGHTLY
LESS THAN 1 percent.
THAT'S ESSENTIALLY HOW WE DO IT.
WHAT YOU WON'T SEE ON THAT LIST
ANYWHERE IS COAL BECAUSE OF
COURSE WE PHASED OUT COAL-FIRED
GENERATION IN 2014.

The caption changes to "Going Nuclear."

Steve continues LET ME ASK OFF THE TOP: 18
NUCLEAR REACTORS IN THE PROVINCE
PROVIDING 61 percent OF OUR POWER.
ARE YOU OKAY WITH THAT?

Jack says NO.

The caption changes to "Jack Gibbons. Ontario Clean Air Alliance."

Jack continues WE DON'T THINK IT MAKES SENSE TO
REBUILD TEN OF OUR AGING NUCLEAR
REACTORS AS PREMIER WYNNE IS
PROPOSING BECAUSE WE THINK THERE
ARE BETTER ALTERNATIVES,
CLEANER, SAFER, LOWER COST.

Steve says OKAY.
NUCLEAR IS PRETTY CLEAN; WOULD
YOU AGREE?
IN AS MUCH AS THERE'S NOTHING THAT
GOES UP A STACK.

Jack says WELL, IT'S
TRUE IT DOESN'T PRODUCE THE
SMOG-CAUSING EMISSIONS THAT THE
DIRTY COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS
PRODUCED, BUT IT DOES PRODUCE A
HIGHLY TOXIC RADIOACTIVE WASTE
THAT LASTS FOR HUNDREDS OF
THOUSANDS OF YEARS AND WE STILL
DON'T HAVE A LONG-TERM SOLUTION
TO HOW TO STORE THEM SAFELY.
THE NUCLEAR POWER, IT'S A VERY
HIGH-COST OPTION.
IT'S A VERY HIGH-COST FINANCIAL
OPTION AND IT'S PUSHING OUR
ELECTRICITY RATES UP AND UP AND
UP.

Steve says HIGH COST IN WHAT
RESPECT?
THE COST PER KILOWATT HOUR OF
NUCLEAR POWER IS, I'M TOLD, VERY
CHEAP.

Jack says BACK IN 1999
THE OLD ONTARIO HYDRO WAS
EFFECTIVELY BANKRUPT.
IT WAS SPLIT INTO A NUMBER OF
COMPANIES.
ONTARIO POWER GENERATION GOT THE
NUCLEAR ASSETS.
BUT 20 BILLION DOLLARS OF THE NUCLEAR
DEBT WAS SHIFTED TO ANOTHER
COMPANY CALLED THE ONTARIO
ELECTRICITY FINANCIAL
CORPORATION.
SO THAT MAKES NUCLEAR POWER ON
ONTARIO POWER GENERATION'S BOOKS
LOOK CHEAPER THAN IT REALLY IS
BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT PAYING THE
FULL CAPITAL COST OF THOSE AGING
NUCLEAR REACTORS.

Steve says HOW ABOUT BRUCE
POWER?
BRUCE POWER SAYS WHEN IT DOES
ITS RENOVATION JOB ON THE
NUCLEAR REACTORS IT'S GOT, IT
WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THE
COST OVERRUNS.
SHOULD THAT NOT BE OF SOME
ASSURANCE TO CITIZENS IN
ONTARIO?

Jack says WELL,
ACCORDING TO BRUCE POWER,
ACCORDING TO THE GOVERNMENT OF
ONTARIO, ACCORDING TO THEIR
PRELIMINARY ESTIMATES, THE BRUCE
REBUILD WILL COST 13 BILLION DOLLARS.
BUT THAT'S JUST THE PRELIMINARY
ESTIMATE.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE ACTUAL
WORDING OF THE CONTRACT, THE
PRICE THAT YOU AND I WILL PAY
WILL BE BASED ON THE FINAL COST
ESTIMATE, AND SO IF THE FINAL
COST ESTIMATE IS GREATER THAN
13 BILLION DOLLARS, THEN THAT COST
OVERRUN IS GOING TO BE PASSED ON
TO YOU AND ME.

Steve says AND WHAT DO YOU
ANTICIPATE THE COST PER KILOWATT
HOUR WILL BE AT THE END OF
THE DAY?

Jack says EVERY NUCLEAR PROJECT
HAS GONE OVER BUDGET ON AVERAGE
BY TWO AND A HALF TIMES.
IF HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF, THE
BRUCE POWER PROJECT COULD COST
UP TO 14 CENTS PER KILOWATT HOUR
OR MORE.

Steve says EXCEPT THAT AS LONG
AS DUNCAN HAWTHORNE HAS BEEN
RUNNING BRUCE, ALL OF ITS RETRO
FITS HAVE COME IN, FROM WHAT
I'M TOLD, ON
TIME AND ON BUDGET.

Jack says ABSOLUTELY
NOT TRUE.
THEY HAVE NOT COME IN ON TIME
AND THEY HAVE NOT COME IN ON
BUDGET.
THE LAST TWO REACTORS THAT BRUCE
POWER REBUILT, RESTARTED, WENT
2 BILLION DOLLARS OVER BUDGET.

Steve says SO, ARE YOU SAYING THAT
THE BRUCE POWER PEOPLE ARE
SIMPLY LYING TO ME?

Jack says IF THEY TOLD
YOU THEY BROUGHT THEIR PROJECTS
IN ON BUDGET, THAT WAS NOT TRUE.
THE LAST TWO REACTORS THAT THEY
RESTARTED WERE 2 BILLION DOLLARS
OVER
BUDGET.

Steve says JACK, THEY'RE GOING
TO SPEND, I GUESS IF YOU TAKE
ALL THE NUCLEAR PROJECTS
TOGETHER, IT'S 26 BILLION DOLLARS TO
RENOVATE AND FIX UP, MODERNIZE
THESE NUCLEAR REACTORS.
THAT'S 26 BILLION DOLLARS THAT WILL
ADMITTEDLY IT'S A HELL OF A LOT
OF MONEY BUT IT STAYS IN THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.
IT EMPLOYS PEOPLE IN THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.
THERE'S A LOT OF JOBS THERE.
HOW IS THAT NOT GOOD FOR THE
PROVINCE'S ECONOMY?

Jack says WELL, LET'S
LOOK AT THE DARLINGTON REBUILD
PROJECT.
ONTARIO POWER GENERATION SAYS IT
WILL COST 13 BILLION DOLLARS.
BUT AS I SAID, EVERY NUCLEAR
PROJECT HAS GONE OVERBUDGET ON
AVERAGE BY TWO AND A HALF TIMES.
SO DARLINGTON WILL COST US
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 13 BILLION
AND 32 BILLION DOLLARS, AND THAT'S
GOING TO BE PAID FOR BY
TAXPAYERS.
AND IF WE SPEND 13 BILLION TO
32 BILLION DOLLARS ON THE DARLINGTON
REBUILD, THAT'S GOING TO DRAIN
THE INFRASTRUCTURE BUDGET.
IT'S GOING TO DRAIN THE
PROVINCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE
BUDGET.
SO WE'LL HAVE LESS MONEY TO
SPEND ON TRANSIT, ON ROADS AND
BRIDGES, ON HOSPITALS, ON
SCHOOLS.
SO WE BELIEVE A MUCH BETTER WAY
TO SPEND OUR INFRASTRUCTURE
DOLLARS IS ON TRANSIT, ON ROADS,
ON SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS AND
THAT WILL CREATE MANY MORE JOBS
THAN THE DARLINGTON REBUILD
PROJECT.

Steve says OKAY.
LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT -- HERE
ARE -- SHELDON, WE'LL BRING THIS
CHART UP HERE.
ONTARIO'S LARGEST CITIES
COMPARED TO OTHER CITIES ACROSS
THE COUNTRY IN TERMS OF WHAT WE
PAY RESIDENTIAL ELECTRICITY
PRICES ON AVERAGE AND THIS IS
AGAIN PER KILOWATT HOUR.
YOU CAN SEE YOU START AT HALIFAX
AT JUST OVER 16 CENTS,
CHARLOTTETOWN, THERE'S THE FIRST
ONTARIO CITY OTTAWA AT 14,
TORONTO A LITTLE OVER 14 AS
WELL, AND ALL THE WAY DOWN TO
WINNIPEG AND MONTRÉAL WHICH ARE
MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE THAN US.

The slate changes to show a list and a picture of a building under the title "Average Residential Electricity. Cents per kWh." It reads "Halifax: 16.03. Charlottetown: 15.62. Ottawa: 14.82. Regina: 14.37. Toronto: 14.31. Moncton: 12.30. Edmonton: 11.55. Saint John’s: 11.55. Vancouver: 10.29. Winnipeg: 8.11. Montreal: 7.19." Quoted from "Comparison of Electricity Prices, Hydro Quebec. April 1, 2015."

Steve continues OUR CITIES ARE NOT THE HIGHEST
PRICE BUT WE'RE NOT THE LOWEST
EITHER.
IS THAT ABOUT REASONABLE WHERE
WE ARE ON THE LIST RIGHT NOW?

The caption changes to "The Answer Lies in Quebec."

Jack says THAT'S AN
ACCURATE DESCRIPTION OF THE
PRICES, YES.

Steve says IS THAT AN
ACCEPTABLE AMOUNT, DO YOU THINK,
PAYING FOR POWER?

Jack says WELL, I THINK
WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTICE IS
WHAT ARE THE TWO CITIES WITH THE
LOWEST RATES?

Steve says WINNIPEG AND
MONTRÉAL.

Jack says WINNIPEG AND
MONTRÉAL.
AND MANITOBA AND QUEBEC BOTH
HAVE VIRTUALLY 100 PERCENT WATER
POWER SYSTEMS.
SO THAT REFLECTS THE FACT REALLY
THE BEST OPTION TO MEET OUR
ELECTRICITY NEEDS IS WATER
POWER, AND INSTEAD OF REBUILDING
OUR AGING NUCLEAR REACTORS,
PREMIER WYNNE SHOULD HAVE
NEGOTIATED A DEAL WITH QUEBEC TO
IMPORT LOW COST WATER POWER FROM
QUEBEC.

Steve says SHE DIDN'T, AND I
WANT TO TAKE A LOOK AT SOMETHING
YOU WROTE A YEAR AND A HALF AGO
ABOUT WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT HER
NOT DECIDING TO DO THAT.
HERE'S WHAT YOU WROTE IN
THE
TORONTO STAR...

Under the title "Out with the old, in with the new," the slate changes to "As an alternative, letting the oldest reactors die and replacing their output with clean, renewable water power from Quebec could save Ontario $600 million a year in foregone nuclear costs-beginning as soon as the two neighbours decide to end the electricity separatism that has traditionally stood in the way of such a logical and mutually beneficial hookup." Quoted from "Jack Gibbons, Toronto Star. July 20, 2014."

Steve says NOW, JACK, YOU CAN'T
USE A TERM LIKE ELECTRICITY
SEPARATISM WITHOUT RAISING A FEW
EYEBROWS.
SO WHAT IS THAT?

Jack says ONTARIO HAS
HAD ELECTRICITY SEPARATISM FOR
YEARS.

Steve says WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Jack says IT MEANS WE
REFUSE TO BUY POWER FROM OUR
NEIGHBOURS IN QUEBEC OR
MANITOBA.
WE REFUSE TO SIGN LONG-TERM
CONTRACTS IN ORDER TO AVOID
BUILDING POWER PLANTS IN
ONTARIO.

Steve says HOW COME?

Jack says WELL,
ORIGINALLY, 100 YEARS AGO,
ELECTRICITY SEPARATISM MADE
SENSE.
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE LAST
CENTURY, ONTARIO HAD HUGE
UNTAPPED WATER POWER RESOURCES,
LIKE AT NIAGARA FALLS.
AND IT MADE SENSE TO MEET OUR
ELECTRICITY NEEDS BY DEVELOPING
OUR LOW-COST WATER POWER
RESOURCES.
AND IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT,
DURING THE FIRST HALF OF THE
LAST CENTURY, AS WE DEVELOPED
MORE AND MORE MADE-IN-ONTARIO
WATER POWER, OUR ELECTRICITY
RATES AND BILLS FELL EVERY YEAR.
BUT BY 1960, WE TAPPED OUT ALL
OF OUR LOW-COST WATER POWER.
AND THEREFORE ELECTRICITY
SEPARATISM NO LONGER MAKES SENSE
FOR ONTARIO BECAUSE NOW OUR
LOWEST COST SOURCE OF NEW SUPPLY
WOULD BE IMPORTING WATER POWER
FROM QUEBEC.

Steve says DOES QUEBEC SELL ITS
ELECTRICITY, HYDRO ELECTRIC
POWER, ANYWHERE ELSE BESIDES TO
THE PEOPLE OF QUEBEC?

Jack says THEY EXPORT
IT.
THEY'VE HAD LONG-TERM EXPORT
CONTRACTS WITH THE CITY OF
CORNWALL FOR DECADES, PROVIDED
CORNWALL WITH A VERY RELIABLE
SUPPLY OF POWER FOR DECADES.
THEY ALSO HAVE LONG-TERM
ELECTRICITY SUPPLY CONTRACTS
WITH VERMONT, AND THEY MAKE SPOT
SALES, SHORT-TERM SALES, TO THE
OTHER NEW ENGLAND STATES AND NEW
YORK.

Steve says AND IT'S ALWAYS BEEN
RELIABLE?

Jack says ALWAYS BEEN
VERY RELIABLE.

Steve says AND LOW COST?

Jack says VERY LOW
COST.

Steve says AND CLEAN,
OBVIOUSLY.

Jack says YES.

Steve says YOU SAY WE WOULD
SAVE 600 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR IF WE
GOT OUR ELECTRICITY FROM QUEBEC.
WHERE DID YOU GET THAT NUMBER?

Jack says WELL, WE
COMPARED ONTARIO POWER
GENERATION'S ESTIMATE OF THE
COST OF REBUILDING DARLINGTON TO
THE PRICE OF QUEBEC'S
ELECTRICITY EXPORTS TO THE
UNITED STATES, AND ACCORDING TO
THE QUEBEC ENERGY COMMISSION,
MOST OF QUEBEC'S ELECTRICITY
EXPORTS ARE SOLD TO THE UNITED
STATES AT AN AVERAGE PRICE OF 3
CENTS A KILOWATT HOUR, WHICH IS
A LOT LOWER THAN THE COST OF
REBUILDING DARLINGTON.
SO WHAT WE SUGGESTED AS A
PRICE -- WE WOULD PAY QUEBEC
MORE THAN THEY'RE GETTING FROM
THE AMERICANS BUT LESS THAN THE
COST OF THE DARLINGTON REBUILD
SO WE COULD DO A DEAL THAT WAS
MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL FOR BOTH
PROVINCES.
HYDRO QUEBEC WOULD GET HIGHER
REVENUES, HIGHER PROFITS, AND WE
WILL GET LOWER ELECTRICITY BILLS
THAN IF WE PROCEEDED WITH THE
DARLINGTON REBUILD.

Steve says PRESUMABLY, THOUGH,
IF YOU WANT TO GET THE POWER
FROM QUEBEC TO ONTARIO IN A
FASHION THAT NOW DOES NOT EXIST,
YOU'D HAVE TO BUILD NEW
TRANSMISSION LINES TO GET THAT
POWER HERE.
HOW MUCH WOULD THAT COST?

Jack says WELL, THERE
ARE ALREADY INTERCONNECTIONS
WITH QUEBEC.
SO AT THE MOMENT WE CAN IMPORT
ENOUGH POWER FROM QUEBEC TO
REPLACE APPROXIMATELY 75 percent OF
DARLINGTON'S ANNUAL OUTPUT.
BUT WE DO NEED TO -- IF WE WANT
TO FULLY REPLACE DARLINGTON WITH
POWER FROM QUEBEC, WE DO NEED TO
MAKE SOME IMPROVEMENTS TO THE
HYDRO ONE TRANSMISSION SYSTEM,
SO WE CAN TAKE MORE POWER FROM
QUEBEC.
SO WE NEED TO MAKE SOME MORE
INVESTMENTS.
WE SAY THE COST IS ABOUT
500 MILLION DOLLARS OF THAT INVESTMENT
SO THAT WE COULD DISPLACE
100 PERCENT OF DARLINGTON'S
OUTBY IMPORTING POWER FROM
QUEBEC.
NOW, ONTARIO'S ELECTRICITY
SYSTEM OPERATOR HAS COME FORWARD
WITH A HIGHER COST ESTIMATE OF
2 BILLION DOLLARS, BUT THAT INVOLVES
ALSO BUILDING A BRAND NEW
INTERTIE NEAR CORNWALL, AND IF
WE MADE THAT 2 BILLION DOLLARS
INVESTMENT, NOT ONLY COULD WE
DISPLACE ALL OF DARLINGTON'S
OUTPUT WITH WATER POWER FROM
QUEBEC, BUT WE COULD ALSO
DISPLACE HALF OF THE OUTPUT OF
THE PICKERING NUCLEAR STATION.

Steve says ALL RIGHT.
HERE'S THE THING I DON'T GET,
AND I READ YOUR STUFF PRETTY
RELIGIOUSLY.
YOU SEND OUT eMAILS ALL THE
TIME AND I'M ON YOUR LIST SO I
READ YOUR STUFF.
AND YOU HAVE MADE THIS CASE FOR
MANY, MANY YEARS NOW THAT WE
OUGHT TO BE DOING DEALS WITH OUR
NEIGHBOURS AS OPPOSED TO
REINVESTING IN OUR NUCLEAR
CAPABILITY AND THE BASELINE
POWER THAT PROVIDES.

The caption changes to "Power and Politics."

Steve continues IF THIS ARGUMENT YOU'RE PUTTING
FORWARD IS SO OBVIOUSLY LOGICAL
ON THE FACE OF IT, WHY HAVE WE
NEVER HAD ANY GOVERNMENT OF ANY
STRIPE -- I'M NOT JUST TALKING
ABOUT THIS GOVERNMENT BUT THE
PREVIOUS CONSERVATIVE OR
PREVIOUS NDP GOVERNMENTS
EITHER -- NO ONE HAS JUMPED AT
THIS, JACK.
HOW COME?

Jack says TO ME THE
DECISION TO PROCEED WITH THE
DARLINGTON REBUILD PROJECT LOOKS
LIKE A GOLD-PLATED MAKE-WORK
PROJECT.

Steve says IS THERE SOMETHING
TO BE SAID FOR, WE OUGHT TO BE,
IF I CAN STEAL THE QUEBEC
PHRASE, MAÎTRES CHEZ NOUS
AND THAT IS
MAKE OUR OWN POWER WITHIN OUR
OWN BORDERS AND HAVE CONTROL
OVER THAT SOURCE OF POWER?

Jack says NO, I DON'T
THINK SO.

Steve says WHY NOT?

Jack says BECAUSE WATER POWER
FROM QUEBEC IS MUCH MORE LOW
COST, IT'S CLEANER AND MORE
RELIABLE.

Steve says WE DON'T CONTROL IT,
THOUGH.

Jack says SURE, WE DO.

Steve says NO, WE DON'T.
IT'S IN QUEBEC.

Jack says WE BUY LOTS
OF THINGS FROM THE REST OF THE
WORLD.
WE HAVE FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS
WITH THE UNITED STATES AND
MEXICO.
WE BUY PRODUCTS FROM JAPAN.
WE BUY PRODUCTS FROM EUROPE.
IF WE CAN HAVE FREE TRADE WITH
OTHER JURISDICTIONS, WHY CAN'T
WE HAVE FREE TRADE WITH QUEBEC
THAT'S PART OF THE SAME COUNTRY?

Steve says FAIR ENOUGH.
I MEAN, SOME PEOPLE ARE MAKING
THE ARGUMENT THAT THIS IS ALMOST
A NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE, THAT
IF YOU -- THAT YOU NEED TO BE IN
CONTROL OF THE LEVERS OF
CREATING YOUR OWN ELECTRICITY
AND YOU DON'T WANT TO BE AT THE
BECK AND CALL OF ANYBODY ELSE,
BECAUSE IF, HEAVEN FORBID, IT
BECAME SCARCE, OBVIOUSLY QUEBEC
WOULD TAKE CARE OF ITS OWN
PEOPLE FIRST AHEAD OF PEOPLE IN
ONTARIO OR VERMONT OR UPSTATE
NEW YORK OR WHEREVER ELSE.
I MEAN, THAT'S LOGICAL, ISN'T
IT.

Jack says NO, IT'S NOT.

Steve says WHY NOT?

Jack says WE WOULD BE
SIGNING A LONG-TERM CONTRACT AND
THERE'S NO DOUBT HYDRO QUEBEC
WOULD HONOUR THAT CONTRACT.
STEVE, LET'S PUT THIS IN A BIT
OF PERSPECTIVE.
ONTARIO GETS VIRTUALLY ALL OF
ITS NATURAL GAS FROM ALBERTA AND
PENNSYLVANIA TO HEAT OUR HOMES,
TO POWER OUR FACTORIES.
NO ONE EVER OBJECTS TO THE FACT
THAT WE GET 99 percent OF OUR NATURAL
GAS FROM WESTERN CANADA AND
PENNSYLVANIA.
IF WE CAN GET VIRTUALLY ALL OF
OUR NATURAL GAS -- WHICH IS A
FOSSIL FUEL -- FROM OUTSIDE OF
THE PROVINCE, WHY IS IT WRONG TO
IMPORT 20 percent OF OUR ELECTRICITY
FROM OUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOUR,
WHICH IS THE FOURTH LARGEST
WATER POWER PRODUCER IN THE
WORLD AND HAS THE LOWEST
ELECTRICITY RATES IN NORTH
AMERICA?

Steve says I'M ASSUMING THE
REASON IS, BECAUSE IF WE DO DO
THAT AND LET OUR NUCLEAR
CAPABILITIES DISINTEGRATE, YOU
HAVE SAID GOOD-BYE TO A PRETTY
HIGH-TECH PART OF OUR ECONOMY.
IS THAT PART OF IT?

Jack says WELL, YES.
WE DON'T THINK NUCLEAR POWER
MAKES SENSE FOR ONTARIO.
WHEN WE ORIGINALLY DECIDED TO
INVEST IN NUCLEAR POWER, WE WERE
PROMISED IT WOULD BE A VERY LOW
COST SOURCE OF ELECTRICITY.
BACK IN THE 1950s, IT SAID
NUCLEAR WOULD BE TOO CHEAP TO
METER.
BUT THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY HASN'T
DELIVERED.
NUCLEAR POWER IS NOW THE HIGHEST
COST OPTION TO KEEP OUR LIGHTS
ON.
WE HAVE MUCH LOWER COST OPTIONS
IN ADDITION TO WATER POWER
IMPORTS FROM QUEBEC, ENERGY
EFFICIENCY IS MUCH LOWER COST,
WIND POWER IS NOW LOWER COST,
MANY PEOPLE THINK WITHIN A FEW
YEARS SOLAR ENERGY WILL BE LOWER
COST.
SO NUCLEAR POWER, IT WAS A
1950s SOLUTION TO MEET OUR
ELECTRICITY NEEDS.
IT IS NOT THE SMART 21ST CENTURY
SOLUTION TO KEEP THE LIGHTS ON
IN ONTARIO.

Steve says BUT IT'S MORE THAN
60 percent OF OUR POWER MAKEUP RIGHT
NOW.
THAT PIE CHART WE SHOWED OFF THE
TOP.

Jack says RIGHT.

Steve says CAN YOU REPLACE THAT
ENTIRE 60 PERCENT OF NUCLEAR
POWER IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO
WITH SOMETHING ELSE?

Jack says YES, WE CAN.
WE'RE NOT ADVOCATING A PREMATURE
PHASE-OUT OF NUCLEAR, BUT MOST
OF OUR NUCLEAR REACTORS WILL
COME TO THE END OF THEIR LIVES
DURING THE NEXT 10 YEARS AND
WE'RE SAYING, DON'T REBUILD
THEM.
BUT WHEN THEY COME TO THE END OF
THEIR LIVES, SHUT THEM DOWN AND
MOVE ON TO CLEANER AND LOWER
COST SOURCES OF POWER.

Steve says JUST IN OUR LAST
MINUTE HERE, THE OTHER ARGUMENT
I'VE HEARD IS THAT WIND, SOLAR
ARE CLEAN AND WONDERFUL IN TERMS
OF THEIR BEING GREEN, BUT YOU
CAN'T RELY ON THEM, AND
THEREFORE, UNTIL WE FIGURE OUT
HOW TO STORE THEM, WE STILL ARE
GOING TO NEED THE GOOD
OLD-FASHIONED NUCLEAR POWER TO
PROVIDE WHAT THEY CALL BASE LOAD
POWER: STUFF THAT'S THERE
WHETHER THE SUN IS OUT OR
WHETHER THE WIND IS BLOWING.
IS THAT NOT TRUE?

Jack says YES, WE DO
NEED A STORAGE TECHNIQUE FOR
WIND AND SOLAR.
THAT'S RIGHT, STEVE.
BUT WHAT PEOPLE FORGET IS THAT
ONTARIO IS LOCATED RIGHT NEXT
DOOR TO THE BEST BATTERY IN THE
WORLD.
IT'S HYDRO QUEBEC'S MASSIVE
WATER POWER RESERVOIRS.
THEY ARE THE BEST BATTERY IN THE
WORLD.
AND SO BY INTEGRATING OUR
ELECTRICITY GRID WITH THAT OF
QUEBEC, WE CAN TURN WIND FROM AN
INTERMITTENT SOURCE OF POWER TO
A 24-7 RELIABLE SOURCE OF BASE
LOAD POWER.

Steve says SO IF THIS IS SO
OBVIOUS, WHY AREN'T WE DOING IT?

Jack says WELL, OLD
IDEAS OFTEN PERSIST BEYOND THEIR
VALID TIME PERIOD.

Steve says JACK, WE THANK YOU
FOR COMING IN TO TVO TONIGHT AND
SHARING YOUR VIEWS WITH US.

Jack says THANK YOU,
STEVE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Sandra Gionas, @sandragionas."

Steve says JACK GIBBONS, CHAIR
OF THE ONTARIO CLEAN AIR
ALLIANCE.

Watch: Jack Gibbons: Ontario's Best Power Options