Trudeau’s pro-nuclear stance with German President good news for Pickering and Darlington

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Published April 25, 2023 at 4:17 pm

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeir with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. Photo Justin Tang Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent turnaround in whole-heartedly supporting nuclear energy was on full display Monday during a meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeir – whose government just phased out the last of their nuclear generating stations – when he told Steinmeir Canada will be producing “much more nuclear” over the coming decades.

“As we get towards the net-zero world, we have the capacities in Canada to generate energy for the world – wind, solar, geothermal, hydro … even a return to nuclear, which we’re very, very serious about,” Trudeau told his German counterpart.

Trudeau’s government had been lukewarm about the future of nuclear until recently but provided the industry – and in particular the small modular reactor now under construction at the Darlington nuclear plant near Bowmanville – with a grab-bag of tax incentive goodies in the recent budget and has been publicly on board when the provincial government agreed to extend the life of the Pickering plant with a full refurbishment.

“We are investing in some of the small modular reactors … as we look at what the baseload energy requirements are going to be needed by Canada over the coming decades,” Trudeau said while he and Steinmeir met with students at the University of Ottawa. “We’re drawing in global giants like Volkswagen, who choose Canada partially because we have a clean energy mix, and we’re going to need a lot more energy.”

Meanwhile, opposition to Ottawa’s renewed push for nuclear energy to meet net zero target has come from the left, which continue to attack nuclear energy as less desirable than other alternatives.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says other renewable energy sources are getting cheaper, so there’s not much of a case for Canada to expand its capacity for nuclear technology, which she told Canadian Press is being pushed by “powerful lobbyists.”

A prominent left-wing American news media outlet called The Young Turks, however, made the news last week when they called Germany’s decision to close its last three nuclear power plants “reckless.”

Canadians for Nuclear Energy President Dr. Chris Keefer and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

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