Quebec to shut down nuclear power in province

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Quebec’s new government will not proceed with a multibillion-dollar refurbishment of the province’s lone nuclear reactor 100 kilometers northeast of Montreal, and instead will shut it down after 30 years of operations.  The previous government had decided in 2008 to rebuild the Gentilly-2 nuclear plant which provides 675 MW, or about 2% of the installed capacity of the network of Hydro-Québec, despite a cost estimate of $2 billion dollars, but work was halted after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Gentilly-1 is closed and in the decommissioning process, while Gentilly-2 is currently in operation. Gentilly-3 was halted during construction.  Operating the power plant produces solid radioactive wastes, which are stored on the Gentilly nuclear site.  Existing facilities in the radioactive waste storage area, however, will be unable to meet the needs to 2013, providing another critical issue as refurbishment would’ve produced additional radioactive wastes, primarily from retubing the reactor.

Quebec is considered as one of world leaders in fundamental scientific research, having produced ten Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry, astrophysics and medicine, and the government hopes to create a strong culture of innovation in Quebec for the next decades and to create a sustainable economy. Between 1991 and 2000, Quebec has produced more scientific papers per 100,000 inhabitants than the United States and Germany

Quebec is also active in the development of its energy industries, including renewable energy such as hydropower and wind power.

Source: CBC

Source: Hydro Quebec


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