Greenpeace Canada

Greenpeace Canada

May 06, 2005 19:11 ET

Greenpeace responds to Gentilly-2 BAPE report…

Make Quebec Nuclear-Free Attention: Environment Editor, Energy Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor MONTREAL/QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - May 6, 2005) - Premier Jean Charest should order Hydro-Quebec to close Quebec's only nuclear station, Gentilly-2, in 2013, and increase its conservation and renewable energy programs, says Greenpeace Canada in response to the Bureau des audience publiques en environnement (BAPE) recommendations on the expansion of a radioactive waste dump at Gentilly-2. Hydro-Quebec wants to rebuild and extend the life the nuclear reactor for another 25 years.

The BAPE report released today recommends that Hydro-Quebec be allowed to expand its temporary high-level radioactive waste dump for wastes produced until 2013, but that it defer a decision on rebuilding Gentilly-2 and further waste dump expansion until a federal plan for a permanent radioactive waste dump in Canada is finalized.

"We have eight years to plan for the end of nuclear power in Quebec. This is an opportunity to develop cleaner, safer alternatives to replace Gentilly-2. Quebec doesn't need nuclear power" said Steven Guilbeault, Greenpeace energy campigner.

Jean Charest stated in the 2003 election that the Quebec Liberal Party 's'est prononcé contre le dévelopement de l'énergie nucléaire'. Greenpeace is calling on the Charest government to formally make Quebec nuclear-free by closing Gentilly-2. According to a poll commissioned by Greenpeace in 2004, nuclear power is supported by less than 10% of Quebecers.

During the BAPE hearings, Quebec also reaffirmed its long-standing position against the establishment of a permanent radioactive waste dump in Quebec. Extending the life of Gentilly-2 would double the amount of high-level radioactive waste in Quebec.

"It would be hypocritical for the Charest government to allow Hydro-Quebec to rebuild Gentilly-2 when Quebec has refused to have a permanent radioactive waste dump. It's time for Quebec to act responsibly and stop producing more radioactive waste" said Guilbeault.

In 2000, Germany committed to phasing out its 19 nuclear reactors by 2025. Since then, Germany has become the world leader in renewable energy, with 15,000 MW of wind power installed. Other countries such as Sweden, Belgium, Austria and Italy also decided to phase out nuclear power.

"Nuclear Power is dirty, dangerous and expensive. Letting Gentilly-2 die a natural death is good for Quebec and good for the environment" said Guilbeault.

Hydro-Quebec has refused to release economic studies on Gentilly-2 refurbishment, despite its unsubstantiated claim that the $1.4 billion reconstruction of Gentilly-2 is cost-effective. Greenpeace demands that Hydro-Quebec release all its technical and economic studies for public scrutiny.

For more information:

Steven Guilbeault, 514-933-0021 ex13; cell: 514-231-2650
Shawn-Patrick Stensil 416-597-8408 ex 3013; cell: 416-884-7053 IN: ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, POLITICS

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