County backs new reactor proposal
Pembroke Daily Observer
Fri 26 January 2007
Byline: Stephen Uhler

The idea of constructing a nuclear power station in Renfrew County, if it becomes a reality, has the support of county councillors.

This decision comes as two professional groups - the Algonquin Chapter of the Professional Engineers of Ontario, and the Chalk River Branch of the Canadian Nuclear Society - look to hosting a symposium on the idea's viability.

Petawawa Mayor Bob Sweet, the head of the county's development and property committee, said one of the solid assets of the Upper Ottawa Valley is AECL, and it will back any effort which benefits the company.

"We're in an energy crunch and we agree this is part of the solution," he said. "We're behind making this a possibility."

The idea of building a nuclear power station in the Ottawa Valley has been floated around since Ontario began looking to solving its energy shortage problems.

The current government wishes to close down its coal fired plants, and is considering expanding its nuclear program as a means of generating electricity to meet future needs.

It has been suggested since the construction of reactors in southern Ontario will face many political obstacles, building one in an area which already hosts and supports AECL seems to make sense to those supporting the nuclear program.

The CNS and PEO wrote the county in December indicating they are working to organize a symposium to discuss whether the idea has any merit.

In a letter dated Dec. 2, 2006, Dr. Blair Bromley, chairman of the Chalk River Branch of the CNS, said his group is hoping the event - "Discussing the viability of a nuclear power plant in Renfrew County" - could be held in late March 2007.

"We are in the process of recruiting speakers who will be able to cover the various topical areas that will be of interest and importance to you and other stakeholders in Renfrew County," he wrote.

Dr. Bromley stated his team of volunteers will contact the county once it has made more progress in organizing the symposium.