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Ontario, Quebec, and the Pickering Nuclear Station


ONTARIO ELECTRICITY GENERATION–RELATED GREENHOUSE GAS and air pollution emissions will increase significantly if and when the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station goes out of service beginning 2025. This is because PNGS’s 2,000–3,000 megawatts of round-the-clock electrical power will be replaced with natural gas–fired power. The reason for this is straightforward: no other available generation source in Ontario is capable of 24/7 operation.

Hourly Ontario data from a representative ten-day period in early February 2021 show the CO2 emissions we can expect when Pickering is replaced with gas. Fig. 1.1 shows greater hourly and of course greater cumulative emissions without Pickering. It is important to note that CO2 has a residence time in the atmosphere of over 1,000 years—emissions today are literally a thousand-year legacy…

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